Imagine the following scenario. In fact, don’t even worry about imagining it, because something very much like it is definitely going to happen in 2020.
The Cleveland Indians hold a 5-1 lead heading into the ninth inning of a game. Brad Hand has pitched in three of the Tribe’s last five contests, and Terry Francona would rightfully prefer not to overwork him in a non-save situation.
The pitcher who does start the ninth inning–let’s call him Nick Wittgren–walks the first hitter he faces on four pitches. None of them are anywhere near the plate.