HomeSportsRockies win after unprecedented walk-off pitch clock violation

Rockies win after unprecedented walk-off pitch clock violation

Hunter Wendelstedt wasn’t afraid to call a pitch clock violation with the game on the line. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

It had to happen as soon as MLB implemented the new rules. A team has won with a walk-off pitch clock violation.

Specifically, the Colorado Rockies defeated the Washington Nationals 8-7 on Saturday because Nationals closer Kyle Finnegan was a second (or two) late and threw the ball to Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon with a full count, the bases loaded and the game tied.

Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called the foul on Finnegan and issued what is known in baseball Internet circles as a shrimp: a walk-off walk. McMahon even seemed to think he had struck out because he swung at Finnegan’s pitch, but seconds later he was showered with Gatorade.

It honestly shouldn’t be a huge surprise that Finnegan was the pitcher who lost in a way that no pitcher has lost before. The right-hander has been excellent this season, entering Saturday with a 1.72 ERA in 31 1/3 innings, but Andrew Golden of the Washington Post notes that he already has eight pitch clock violations in the league this season.

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The next pitcher had five.

The walk-off pitch clock violation was the highlight of a Rockies comeback after Washington took a 7-5 lead in the top of the eighth inning. McMahon brought Colorado back within a run with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth and Brenton Doyle tied the score with a single in the ninth-inning rally that put McMahon on the board again.

The loss drops the Nationals’ record to 37-39, putting them 1.5 games back from the third wild-card spot. As for the Rockies, they are still in last place in the NL West at 27-50.

But now they can say they’ve done something no one else has done before.

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