Picked-off Royals

Royals are pretty good at being unique this week. Not in a good way, either.

Last night, bottom of the ninth, a possible superstar in the making ties the the game with a home run.

The next batter gets a walk and the Royals bring in a pinch runner. He gets picked off at first base. The next batter draws a one-out walk. Instead of first and second with no outs in a tie game you have a man on first with one out. Pinch runner, another pickoff. A strikeout ends the threat. Game tied and the Royals lose to the Rangers in extra innings.

Surely, it isn’t unprecedented. Right? Two pinch runners picked off in the same inning this late in the game?

Nope, at least not by the play-by-play data from Retrosheet. But I did find something that might be worse:

A May 7, 1969 game, Dodgers in Chicago to take on the Cubs. The game was tied 1-1 after nine innings and it took the visiting Dodgers until the 12th inning to plate any more runners against Fergie Jenkins, but then they scored three. In the bottom of the 12th, the Cubs got a little bit of a rally going. After getting a run to make the score 4-2, the Cubs had runners on first and third with two outs. Nate Oliver pinch runs for Willie Smith, who was on first base. Nate Oliver the gets picked off. Ball Game. Cubs lose.

At least the pickoffs did not END the game for the Royals.

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  1. Greg Jackson said...

    What about Blue Jays vs Orioles, August 24, 1983?

    As quoted in http://mopupduty.com/index.php/3-jays-picked-off-in-one-inning/

    “A pitching duel between Jays’ starter Jim Clancy and Orioles’ starter Scott McGregor ensued.  Clancy went 8.2 innings and McGregor went the full 9 but the teams were tied up at 4-4 heading into the 10th.  Cliff Johnson led off with a HR to put the Jays up 5-4. Then Barry Bonnell singled to start a rally to get some breathing room. Not so fast.  In comes Orioles left-handed reliever Tippy Martinez who promptly picked off Bonnell at 1B. No big deal. Pinch hitter Dave Collins walks to start up another rally. Not so fast. Martinez picks him off too for the second pickoff of the inning.  Willie Upshaw is at bat and he gets a single. Wait what? Another pickoff? Yes, Upshaw gets picked off at first to retired the Jays – all on pick offs”

    They then lost in the bottom of the 10th.

  2. Mat Kovach said...

    I was actually looking for instances where a pinch runner was picked off.

    I forgot to mention that in the Dodgers/Cubs game,Nate Oliver was a pinch hitter for Jenkins. So the pinch runner for the pincher of the pitcher and picked off. (Try typing that three times, fast).

    But the old three pick-off inning is a good one also.

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