A minor baseball miracle happened today in the game between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals. Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was at the plate against Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright. Murphy has recently transformed from Really Bad Daniel Murphy into Really Good Daniel Murphy, and as the latter being, launched a Wainwright pitch to the wall. Then, as Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen called it:
"Down toward the corner and Beltran watchest that ball go...through the fence for a ground-rule double. That was odd."
Yes, replays confirmed that Murphy's hit found the one baseball-sized gap in the middle of the outfield wall. The hit was correctly ruled a ground-rule double.
Keith Hernandez, the Mets' color commentator noted, "He couldn't do that again if he tried." Yes, Keith, that is accurate. Anyone who can hit a baseball pitched by one of the game's best hurlers 300+ feet into a hole barely wider than the ball itself should probably figure out how to make a career out of that.
"That shouldn't be there. Murph could have had a triple if that ball was misplayed off the carom," Hernandez added. I half agree. There should either be no gap in the wall, or they should leave the gap and have special rules about it. It's an automatic triple or homer, or the ball is still in play on the other side of the fence.
Incidentally, Rick Ankiel was gifted a ground-rule double of his own in the same game when an umpire ruled fan interference on a ball that glanced off the wall on the left side of the field. Ankiel was lucky, because he had just been thrown out by a mile trying to stretch that hit into a double.
Two ground-rule doubles for the Mets in that game, one on a missed call, the other on a random hole in the fence. And people say that baseball is boring.