One of the most fundamental aspects of playing baseball isn’t fielding, or hitting, or running. It’s knowing the score. That seems basic, but a right fielder with the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A team for the Baltimore Orioles, forgot the score on Wednesday night. That’s not great most of the time, but it’s especially not great in an extra-innings game that your team is about to win — or was.
The Tides were facing the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees’ Triple-A team, and were leading 6-5 when the RailRiders came up to bat in the bottom of the tenth inning. One RailRiders player was placed on second base at the start of the inning (which is the rule in extra innings in minor league baseball), but after a strikeout the Tides were just two outs from a win.
They were so close, but not close enough. The Tides didn’t count on their right fielder, Anderson Feliz, forgetting that the game was no longer tied and the Tides had scored in the previous inning. And that was something he really, really needed to remember for what came next.
You can practically hear “The Price is Right” fail horn during that play. When the batter sent a line-drive to right field, it should have been a game-tying double. But Feliz barely jogged to the ball and then picked it up and threw it into the stands, obviously thinking that the Tides had already lost. In the meantime, two RailRiders runners scored instead of just one and the Tides lost for real.
That’s a nice souvenir for whoever got that ball, but it’s one huge whoopsie for Feliz.
Feliz’s truly unfortunate brain fart snatched a defeat from the jaws of victory for the Tides. Baseball is a game of many moving parts, but when you forget the basics, sometimes you end up on a team’s blooper highlight reel.
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