The “Two-Out” Inning

Confusion795114Just when you think you’ve seen everything in baseball, along comes some strange wackiness that would even make the headless horseman scratch his head. The other day while I was smoking a cigarette out on the stoop, a little birdie flew by and chirped some very strange happenings from Bristol, Virginia.

On July 9th, in an Appalachian League game (Rookie Ball) between the Elizabethton Twins and the Bristol Sox, their was actually a "two-out" inning. According to my feathered friend, the incident took place in the top of the 5th inning with Elizabethton batting. This is how it went down—Daniel Berg led off with a line single to right. Richard Sojo then tripled him home. With no one out Steven Singleton lifted a sacrifice fly to center-field to score Sojo and record the first out of the inning.

Then things turned wacky.

Evidently, with Michael Lysaught at the plate and no one on base, the scoreboard listed that there were two-outs. When Lysaught popped out to center fielder Kent Gerst, the umps called three-outs and the teams left the field. The mistake unbelievably wasn’t noticed until the bottom of the fifth was already under way. The umpires decided to continue play as normal with Elizabethton’s next scheduled hitter William Luque leading off the top of the sixth. The Bristol pitchers ended up being credited with 9-innings pitched and 27 outs recorded even though they actually only got 26 men out.

So, what happened to the mystery out? If you look at the Game Log in the top of the 5th that day,
you will notice that the batter Michael Lysaught is credited for two-outs during his at bat. The second out is listed as batters interference. You’ll also notice in the Box Score that Lysaught, who was batting ninth in the lineup, is credited with 5 plate appearances while the rest of his teammates all have 4 plate appearances.

All this craziness didn’t hamper Elizabethton as they went on to win 5-3 anyway, but poor Mr.

Lysaught’s batting average got the short end of the stick as he wound up 0 for 5 instead of    0 for 4.

So, how could this happen?

Well, the only answers I can think of are that we have become so
conditioned to accept technology as omnipotent that it no longer occurs to us to question what an electronic scoreboard says; or that the home team knew what was going on, but decided to stay mum about it thinking that they had caught a break; or as my little birdie surmises, there was some kind of sedative in the water in Bristol that day. On the positive side, maybe this abbreviated-inning gaffe should be adopted as the norm—it sure would shorten the interminable length of ballgames these days!

Cabbie Suggestion

I’m not really sure how to prevent this oddity from occuring ever again, except to suggest a new toy out on the market that might help the umpires refresh their counting skills— it’s a brilliant little item and can even be folded and packed in a bag for road games.




    Recently in a Brewers game an opposing teams player was awarded first base as the scoreboard and the home umpire believed it was ball four instead of ball three. Either the first or third base umpire called a pow-wow with the home arbiter and called the runner back. It was determined that umps nowadays don’t(always) use the handheld clicker anymore and rely on the SCOREBOARD!! I found out sometimes the scoreboard people are just listening to the radio account of the game, which can account for erroneous information…hoophead

  2. Carl

    Well, we won’t know how worth it this trade is until next season when we see what magic Rick Peterson can work with Perez. But, Roberto is small consolation for losing Duaner.


    It seems the Bristol OS has revised his first creation for the phantom out as back on 7/13 I noticed that the “out” was recorded as a pitcher’s pick-off at 1st base although I don’t recall how the batter/runner got on base.

    As an OS w/12 years of experience I do not agree with how this specific phantom out is being accounted for.

    It is not fair that Lysaught gets his batting average nailed by this extra 0’fer phantom at-bat. I don’t know his stats but imagine the chaos that would take place if Lysaught lost a batting title by mere percentage points due to this extra phantom 0’fer! If this hypothetical situation were to happen, would there be a third revision to this creative accounting?

    What’s my solution to the situation you ask? Simple – the TRUTH. Make a notation that only 26 outs were recorded due to the facts that actually took place.

    I know how tough being an OS is, especially in the minors where the OS probably doesn’t have access to instant replay and I’m not criticizing the Bristol OS. My criticisim in this situation is directed to those who approved this scenerio – MiLB Stats.


    Official Scorer

    Bakersfield Blaze (Cal Lg)

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