Monday night, R.A. Dickey tries to start another scoreless-innings streak.
His last one got busted after 32 innings, when the Rays scored in the ninth inning on a routine ground-out.
I was watching, and yet something obvious didn't occur to me ...
Here's Jay Schreiber (via The New York Times):
Of course, Dickey, with two outs to go in the game, was still a long distance from the major league record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings set by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Orel Hershiser in 1988. But why not do everything to keep Dickey’s streak going?
Collins did not. He left his infield back, instead of bringing it in, and, sure enough, the next batter hit a routine grounder to shortstop that scored a run and kept Dickey from inching any closer to Hershiser.
Asked about it later, Collins made it clear that, in his view, bringing in the infield to keep intact a 9-0 shutout would be a clear violation of baseball’s unwritten rules — that you don’t rub it in the loser’s face when you’re way ahead.
Really? This is the first time I've ever heard of infield positioning being part of the unwritten rules. Though I suppose it must come up occasionally, when a pitcher's going for a shutout in a blowout. I doubt if Collins just invented this one in the heat of the moment.
That said, I think it's really stupid.