This is so baseball.
In the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates, the former’s Josh Lester grounded out to officially end the game to give the Pirates the 7-4 win. And, as normal, the umpires walked off the field with the spring training contest officially coming to a close.
However, both Baltimore and Pittsburgh had different plans, as they continued the game after a quick conversation between managers Derek Shelton (Pirates) and Brandon Hyde (Orioles). Baltimore wanted to get pitcher Ofreidy Gómez some work on the mound, but Hyde said that the umpiring crew had no interest in extending the game and dipped, so both he and Shelton just agreed to call the game themselves so the game could go on.
Just like what we did as kids, the teams got the catcher to call the balls and strikes — that catcher was Maverick Handley, a non-roster invitee who has never played above Double-A baseball.
The Orioles and Pirates wanted to play the bottom of the ninth, but the umpires left, so they called the game themselves. pic.twitter.com/D9pDYVVV2i
— Baseball GIFs (@gifs_baseball) February 28, 2023
The Orioles and Pirates played the bottom of the ninth despite it not being necessary. Brandon Hyde wanted to get his pitcher some more reps and wanted to play the bottom of the ninth, so they did, with no umpires. Baseball. pic.twitter.com/gSDkQW3Tw9
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) February 28, 2023
Holy shit, this is such a baseball move. And I absolutely love it. (RELATED: This Video Proves MLB’s Pitch Clock Rule Will 1,000% Make Baseball Better)
I’ve missed you, baseball. Welcome back.