MLB, fans and media got their first look at the 2020 version of extra innings on Friday night. They saw exactly one extra frame.
The Angels and A’s did the honors in Oakland after LA tied the game in the top of the ninth. Under rules similar to those in the minor leagues, Halo’s Shohei Ohtani, who made the final out in the ninth, placed on second base to start the 10th. Ohtani promptly reached zero and the Halos stranded.
Up came the host A’s, who started their half with Marcus Semien second. He stayed on base and eventually trotted home on Matt Olson’s walk-off grand slam. Oakland had a 7-3 victory for the books.
People took the time to tweet their thoughts on the rule, which is intended to shorten the duration of some games and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in parks. At first sight, the reactions were negative rather than positive.
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Dear angels and Ash. Please go 20 turns to thwart Manfred. Thanks.
Second place runner in extras is stupid.
– Raquel (@ Numbrocker02) July 25, 2020
I really like this runner in 2nd place in extra innings so far. Although I totally disagree with the strategy of both teams during this inning. #LAAvsOAK
– Vinnie travi (@vinnie_travi) July 25, 2020
Ohtani hates the rule so much that he deliberately ends up in an overview. He is a man of principles.
– Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) July 25, 2020
Here’s what I’ll say: This rule definitely makes extra turns a lot more interesting. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but this whole inning was super high leverage.
– Devan Fink (@DevanFink) July 25, 2020
The extra collection rule is stupid, STUPID!
– Altuve & Harden 4 HoF (@ErinAstrosFan) July 22, 2020
Oh, yes, forgot to mention the five-man infield of the Angels once the potential winning run reached third.
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Two days after this shortened season, the baseball world has something unusual to discuss.