You *Can* Tie In Baseball

One of the cool things about baseball is that there are no ties. Teams can play forever, theoretically. Just ask members of the 1981 Pawtucket and Rochester teams, who played the longest game in minor league history: 33 innings.

Well, yesterday I saw my first tie.

I knew it was possible – there is a tiny loophole which can cause it to happen in the PCL, and Tacoma had three ties listed previously: one each in 1985, 1965, and 1961. It takes a perfect combination of events to occur.

Here’s what happened yesterday in New Orleans:

  • It was the final game of the season between the two teams, meaning there was no opportunity to suspend the game and continue it on a future date.
  • The game had to be past the five inning mark, making it an official game per league rules.
  • The score had to be tied, of course.
  • Something had to happen to make further play impossible – in this case, a massive thunder and lightning storm, turning Zephyr Field into a swamp.

The ferocious storm hit in the top of the sixth inning, with Mike Baxter at the plate and the score tied 2-2.

The grounds crew was ready for it and had the tarp on the infield in seconds (it was impressive how quick they were), but the tarp had no chance against this amount of rain. It was an incredible Southern storm, seemingly dumping reservoirs of water on the area in a matter of thirty minutes.

We were done immediately. It was obvious that there was no chance to fix the field and resume play. The umpires contacted the PCL office and quickly made the right call.

So we have a tie. All stats from the game count – Baxter hit a homer earlier, and we got one of the all-time baseball rarities: a complete game no decision.

New Orleans starter Paul Clemens pitched the whole game, so he gets a CG. And there was no win or loss, so he has the complete game with no decision.

Which, believe it or not, has happened before. In the majors!

The Yankees Mike Mussina and Baltimore’s Pat Hentgen each got credited with a complete game no decision on September 18, 2003 when a game was washed away with the score tied 1-1 after five innings. That boxscore is right here. Hat tip to Twitter user James Smyth for sending me the date.

So the tie was over, everyone was kind of mystified by it, the team was going to the airport to fly out of town, and then we heard that Fresno and Colorado Springs also played to a tie yesterday – but that one was under very different circumstances, a ten-inning game halted by team travel restrictions. More on that in the links.

Two ties in one day! This better not become a regular thing.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: We played a tie. Hahahahahaha! No seriously, it was a tie. Rather unsatisfying, in retrospect.

Roster Move: Patrick Kivlehan reports today, and we also anticipate Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte starting a rehabilitation assignment today. Marte is on the Mariners disabled list with a sprained left thumb; he’s eligible to come off the DL on June 6.

Today: Salt Lake (25-24) at Tacoma (30-20-1), 6:05.

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Season Series: Tacoma leads, 4-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Kyle Kendrick (2-2, 5.45) at LHP James Paxton (4-3, 3.97).

Hot RainiersJonathan Aro has allowed just one earned run on one hit over his last 12 innings, spanning ten appearances. They’re batting .029 against him during that time… in his last six appearances, Blake Parker has allowed just one hit and no runs over 6.1 innings. He’s also 9-for-9 in save opportunities this season.

Look Out For: Quentin Berry and Ryan Jackson each bring a nine-game hitting streak into tonight’s series opener. Berry has 17 hits during his streak,  while Jackson has 12.

Ex-Rainiers and Local Dudes: Salt Lake has former Rainiers players Lucas Luetge and Ji-Man Choi, and Washington natives Tim Lincecum and Kyle Kendrick.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • In the Rainiers game story, we learn that manager Pat Listach thought it should have been a Rainiers win – not a tie. He’s right, there were some serious scoring opportunities that went awry.
  • The Mariners ended their three-game losing streak by blasting homers against the Padres on Monday.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook indicates that the team is about to get healthy.
  • The M’s fortunes turned when Nori Aoki reached base on a Catcher’s Interference, John McGrath writes.
  • Ex-Mariners Fernando Rodney and Ichiro are highlighted in Jonah Keri’s weekly issue of The 30.
  • Ryan Divish caught up with Rodney yesterday.
  • Dustin Ackley is hurting in New York.

PCL Game Reports:

  • Salt Lake lost to Nashville yesterday, 8-3, and got swept at home in the four-game series. Nashville has won eight in a row and 15 of 16, and they passed Tacoma for best record in the PCL.
  • Apparently managers don’t like ties. Fresno skipper Tony DeFrancesco was not pleased after the 6-6 deadlock with Colorado Springs. It was the first tie in Fresno’s 19-year PCL history.
  • Round Rock starter Nick Martinez struck out 11 Aces in a 4-1 win over Reno.
  • Sacramento’s Mitch Delfino singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth to beat Oklahoma City, 4-3.
  • Albuquerque and Iowa were cruising along in Des Moines, 0-0 game in the sixth, and then Iowa scored ten runs in the bottom of the inning and went on to win, 11-0. Willson Contreras hit two homers – one a grand slam – and the paper had a feature on him.
  • El Paso’s Alex Dickerson extended his hitting streak to 28 games in a 12-0 win at Omaha.
  • Memphis starter Arturo Reyes shut down Las Vegas on Monday afternoon.

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