Why is baseball the greatest sport in the world?
Why is baseball the greatest sport? Because just when you think you’ve seen it all, you witness what the Cubs did in their playoff win over the Nationals last night.
With two outs in the top of the fifth inning the Cubs saw four consecutive batters reach: one by an intentional walk, one on a passed-ball strikeout, one on catcher’s interference, and the fourth on a hit-by-pitch.
Those four events have never happened before in the same half-inning, at least not in the more than 2.73 million half innings in Baseball Reference’s database.
None of the 2.73m half innings in our db have even had all 4 of these events. 22 w/ 3. Only 5 games had all 4.https://t.co/ntifpJIb6n
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 13, 2017
Only 22 half innings have had 3. Only 5 games had all 4.
The Cubs somehow pulled that off, to the chagrin of Nats’ manager Dusty Baker who was dying watching it, seemingly for the first time in the history of the sport.
In case you’re wondering how many ways there are to get to first base. Six. Add a fielder’s choice and a fielder’s error, the later of which would arguably include the pass ball on a third strike. I’m not counting going on as a pinch runner.
So, the Cubs did cover each of the ways to get to first without an out — all in a half inning and in consecutive batters.
May never happen again. Pretty neat.