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Big League Stew

How a minor league team achieved a rare walk-off win via intentional walk

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

Let's get this out of the way: Winning a game via walk-off intentional walk makes absolutely no sense. In a tie ballgame in the final inning, there's no rational reason an intentional walk would lead to the game-winning run crossing the plate. Unless the team bus needs to leave to get to In-N-Out Burger before it closed, then ... maybe.

But the game we're talking about happened in Connecticut between the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (yes, these are real baseball teams). There's no In-N-Out Burger in Connecticut, so this leaves a baseball abnormality as the only reason behind New Britain's strange win.

[ Y! Sports MLB video: Denard Span's game-saving catch ]

Here's the scenario: There are two outs and the Rock Cats have runners at second and third in the bottom of the seventh inning. Since this is the second game of a doubleheader, per league rules, the seventh is the final inning unless there's a tie, which at this moment there is, 5-5. Reynaldo Rodriguez comes up to bat for the Rock Cats, needing a base hit to win the game.

The Fisher Cats make a sound baseball decision: intentionally walk Rodriguez to load the bases and give themselves the option of a force play at any base. You've seen this move before plenty of times, no big deal. Until ...

Until pitcher Alan Farina lets fly ball four and it literally flies — over his catcher's head and to the backstop. Eddie Rosario, the runner on third, races home and the Rock Cats earn a 6-5 win in most unusual style.

We've seen the walk-off wild pitch before — the Dodgers won a game on one earlier this year. But during an intentional walk? That's just crazy baseball right there. It's why we're taught as kids, even during an intentional walk, to pay attention.

Because you never know what's going to happen and where that ball is going to fly.

 

BLS H/N: For The Win

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