New extra-inning format stirs debate as teams plot strategy
Will road teams try to bunt that runner over to third or play for the big inning? How often will pitchers walk the leadoff batter to set up a double play? How frequently will teams pinch-run for the guy on second?
“It’s a whole different realm strategy-wise,” Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said.
Minor league managers already know that.
Thorman used to make sure he saved at least one or two relievers in case a game ended up lasting 14-plus innings. He said he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore because games rarely last that long.
Matt Erickson, who manages the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Single-A Midwest League, said the cold weather had road teams often bunting and playing for one run early in the first season under the new rule.
“But as the summer went on, you find out you’re not really playing for a run as the visiting team,” Erickson said. “You’re pretty much playing for multiple runs if you’re on the road, trying to get a big inning.”
Williams believes road teams have an advantage because the runner on second scores so often, putting immediate pressure on the home team.
BY DANNY BLEVINS STAR CORRESPONDENT I was working in my house when I heard an ear-piercing scream. My wife was... read more