MLB, fans and media got their first look at the 2020 version of extra innings Friday night. They saw exactly one additional frame.
The Angels and A’s did the honors in Oakland after LA tied the game in the top of the ninth. Under rules that are similar to ones in place in the minor leagues, the Halos put Shohei Ohtani, who made the last out in the ninth, on second base to begin the 10th. Ohtani promptly ran into an out and the Halos eventually stranded the bases loaded.
Up came the host A’s, who started their half with Marcus Semien on second. He stayed on the bases 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 reduce the length of some games and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread at parks. The reactions were more negative than positive, at first glance.
Dear Angels and As. Please go 20 innings to spite Manfred. Thanks.
Runner on second in extras is stupid.
— Raquel (@Numbrocker02) July 25, 2020
I really like this runner on 2nd in extra innings so far. Although I totally disagree with both teams strategy during this inning. #LAAvsOAK
— Vinnie travi (@vinnie_travi) July 25, 2020
Ohtani hates the rule so much that he got caught in a rundown on purpose. He’s a man of principle.
— Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) July 25, 2020
Here’s what I’ll say: This rule definitely makes extra innings a lot more interesting. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but this entire inning has been super high leverage.
— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) July 25, 2020
The extra innings rule is stupid, STUPID!
— Altuve & Harden 4 HoF (@ErinAstrosFan) July 22, 2020
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention the Angels’ five-man infield once the potential winning run reached third.
Two days into this abbreviated season, the baseball world has something unusual to discuss.