We’ve talked before about the new rule in the minor leagues in which extra innings begin with a runner on second base in order to speed things along. Some people are fine with it. Some people hate it with the energy of a thousand suns. I’ve been to one of these games and it was . . . fine I guess? I dunno. I’d be mad it if ever was utilized in a game that truly mattered at the major league level, but I suspect that won’t happen any time soon. It’s an experiment for now. A weird experiment.
The experiment got weirder down in Florida on Monday night when the rule caused a team to lose a game despite throwing a no-hitter. Indeed, despite nearly tossing a perfect game.
The game was between the Phillies affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers, and the Yankees affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League. It was only a scheduled seventh inning game, so the extra frame was the eighth inning.
The details: Tampa starter Deivi Garcia tossed seven perfect innings, but it was tied 0-0 at the end of seven. Clearwater began the top of the eighth with an automatic runner on second. He went to third on an error. Two batters later, he scored when a Thresher batter grounded out to first base. Tampa went down in order in the bottom of the eighth and that was the ballgame.
Losing a no-hitter is pretty dang rare. Losing a nearly perfect game is probably even more rare. But we’re in strange new times, I suppose.