Last night during the Giants and Red Sox game, it got really interesting in the bottom of the 8th. The score was 2-1, Red Sox in the lead. The Giants had a runner on third with one out when Buster Posey hit a corker out to right field that was foul, which Shane Victorino chose to catch rather than letting it land foul, thereby allowing the runner on third to score. Had the ball landed foul, it would have been dead, and the runner would have remained on third. As a result, the SF Giants, hugging the cellar in the NL West, were able to score, and then score again, and hang onto a 3-2 lead in the 9th to beat the Sox, who were leading the AL East prior to the game.
Immediately after the game a rather lively discussion about the Victorino catch ensued about whether he should or shouldn’t have caught that ball. Here’s the options discussed:
1. Because it was Buster Posey, reigning NL MVP, he could have hit the next pitch out of the park for a 3-run homer. Better to retire him now than risk it.
2. The play only allowed a tie game, it wasn’t a go-ahead run. They can get them next inning.
3. It was windy at the park, and there was a chance the ball, barely foul, might have blown back in-bounds. Better to catch it while you can.
Victorino said there was no question in his mind he was going to catch the ball, knowing full well the runner was going to score. His manager agreed with him. After the game the Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, agreed too. And today before the final game in the series, the announcers generally agreed it wasn’t even open for discussion. The only logical option available was to catch the ball and let the chips fall where they may.
Personally, I was totally confused for the rest of the game. For some reason I didn’t think the runner could score on that caught foul ball. I’ve spent all morning looking through the MLB Rulebook and couldn’t find a thing about it and, of course, if that were true we’d be having a completely different discussion today. So be it. And so now it’s back to my pesky little scorebook to try and figure out how to record the darned thing. Never a dull moment in baseball, even in the most boring of games, last night not being one of them.