Brad Ausmus considering international tiebreaker to avoid lengthy extra innings
The Los Angeles Angels played for over six hours in their 10-8 loss to the Baltimore Orioles that went 16 innings. The game began just after 7 pm PT on Thursday night and did not finish until nearly 1:30 am PT Friday morning.
Both teams used nine pitchers before finally turning to undesirable options. The Orioles went with center fielder Stevie Wilkerson to try closing out the game in the 16th, and he made history in the process. The Angels opted to have scheduled Friday starter Griffin Canning pitch their final two innings.
Seeing the game go so long and the toll it took on his pitching staff has Angels manager Brad Ausmus considering alternatives. One thing he mentioned to reporters on Friday was the possibility of using an international tiebreaker in extra innings, which allows teams to begin with a runner on second base.
Ausmus on 16-inning game: "Nights like that make me entertain the idea of the international rules regarding extra innings, putting the runner on 2nd base. I don't know if it's the right call or not, but it would avoid players being optioned or designated from a big league roster"
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 27, 2019
Traditionalists may despise the idea, but I’m in favor of it. Regular season games do not need to go on so long, particularly when they have such devastating consequences for the respective pitching staffs. Teams often need to make roster moves just to get a fresher pitcher up with the club.
Beyond just using the international tiebreaker, we have some other ideas for baseball reform that could help provide tighter games that don’t drag on for so long.