It was kind of a strange day, the final day of the regular season in the Double-A Eastern League. Bowie entered Monday a half-game behind Richmond for a playoff berth.
Richmond took the lead in its game, 2-1 at Altoona with an eighth-inning homer that was followed by a rain delay. At that point, observers in the press box at Bowie figured if the game got stopped by rain there, it would revert to the previous inning and remain tied at 1-1. That would open the door for Bowie to win its game and force a one-game playoff with Richmond today.
Usually, because the eighth inning was incomplete the game reverts back to the seventh inning, but in this instance, Major League Baseball Rule 4.12(b)(4)(i) applies and awards Richmond the victory.
The rule basically stated that if this was the final game of the year between the teams it could be ruled a final score if the game was stopped after it had become an official game.
Bowie went on later to beat Erie 3-2 in a game that also was shortened by rain (in the top of the ninth) to finish the year 75-66, but a half-game out of a playoff spot.
With 75 wins, the Baysox matched their 2010 season total and won the second-most games in franchise history. The franchise record for wins in a season is 84 and it was achieved in 1994 and 2008.
When it was over, Baysox manager Gary Kendall was not upset that Richmond got a rain-shortened win. He also knew that his team was in first place August 13 with a record of 67-52, but went just 8-14 in the final three weeks.
“That’s baseball,” Kendall said. “I look back and Altoona had seven opportunties (Monday afternoon) and that’s what the rule states. You know we had 140 ballgames to make it different.
“As good as our season went, and I think it was a good year, we just fell short. I’m really proud of all our guys. We always talk about development and seeing guys get better, we sure had some guys progress out there.”
When it was over, amid the disappointment, Kendall got to tell one player he was heading to the major leagues for the first time. Shortstop Pedro Florimon was called up to Baltimore after the contest.
“He’s been swinging a good bat,” Kendall said of Florimon, who went 5-for-8 with five RBIs the last two games. “I’ve managed Flo at different levels, but I don’t think it came together for him until he went to Frederick last year. He’s a guy that we were always looking for some consistency out of. He was out there quite a bit at shortstop for us and really gave us a lot out there.”
In 133 Bowie games, the 24-year-old Florimon hit .267 with 27 doubles, eight homers, 60 RBIs and a .741 OPS.
On the season’s final day, right-hander Tim Bascom came up big for Bowie, as he had most of the year, giving up just one run and three hits over seven innings.
Bascom began the year in the bullpen, but ended it as Bowie’s best starter, going 9-4 with a 3.11 ERA that was fourth best in the league. His 1.13 WHIP ranked third in the Eastern League.
Now Bascom said he looks forward to playing some winter ball, but isn’t sure yet whether it would be in Arizona or maybe Venezuela, Mexico or Puerto Rico.
“I was in the ‘pen earlier this year, so I had maybe another five or six starts I could have had. So hopefully I can get another 20 or 30 innings. Last year I had around 150 innings and now I am around 125 to 130,” Bascom said.
LJ Hoes went hitless Monday, but drove in a run to finish the year batting .305 with six homers, 54 RBIs and an OPS of .792 in 92 games.
Now the 21-year-old Hoes is headed to play in the Arizona Fall League, which begins early next month.
“It will be a great experience,” Hoes said. “It’s a great honor to play there and coming into the season it was one of my goals to go to the fall league.”
Hoes is expected to get some work on his infield defense in Arizona and play mostly second and third base.
“I’ll be out there with some great players. Mike Trout will be out there, Bryce Harper will be there. Aaron Hicks will be on our (Mesa Solar Sox) team. So there will be a lot of great players and I can measure myself to see how I stack against them,” he said.
One other minor league note. Mike Bordick will lead the Orioles’ instructional league workouts that begin Sept. 15 in Sarasota and will manage the team when it plays in games.
This morning, the Eastern League put out a press release to clarify how the Richmond game became an official result yesterday. Here is the release:
PORTLAND, MAINE - The Eastern League of Professional Baseball Clubs would like to provide clarification regarding the rules that came into play for the game between the Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Altoona Curve on the final day of the regular season. In that game the Richmond club was declared a 2-1 winner with one out in the top of the eighth inning. The game was tied 1-1 entering the eighth inning and was suspended after a one-out home run by Wes Hodges that gave Richmond the 2-1 lead. Following a rain delay it was decided the game would not be continued due to unplayable field conditions and Richmond was declared the winner of the game. With that win Richmond clinched a second place finish in the Western Division standings and a postseason berth.
Richmond was declared the winner of the game despite Altoona not having an opportunity to bat after the Flying Squirrels took the lead because of Official Baseball Rule 4.12 (b)(4)(i) which states:
4.12 SUSPENDED GAMES
(b) A suspended game shall be resumed and completed as follows:
(4) Any suspended game not completed prior to the last scheduled game between the two teams during the championship season shall become a called game. If such game becomes a called game and
(i) has progressed far enough to become a regulation game, and one team is ahead, the team that is ahead shall be declared the winner.