Last Thursday (May 22), the game between the Giants and the Rockies was suspended due to rain tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 6th. Most likely, this game won’t be completed until the Giants return to Colorado during the first week of September. That’s a long time to wait to finish a game. The suspended game (as opposed to the postponement or shortening of a game due to weather) is a relatively rare occurrence, and brings with it a bevy of interesting hypothetical scenarios. For example, let’s say between now and September, the Rockies trade Michael Cuddyer to the Giants. When the game is completed, Cuddyer would be eligible to enter the game for the Giants, thus appearing in the same game for both teams. This has never happened before in the history of baseball, but in this age of increased in-season trades, this is bound to occur sooner or later.
Hypothetically, it would also be possible for even stranger situations to occur when players switch teams prior to the completion of a suspended game. Nick Masset completed the top of the 6th for the Rockies; if the Rockies were then to take the lead in the bottom of the 6th, Masset would be in line to get a win. But what if Masset were traded to the Giants, then, when this suspended game is resumed, enters the game in the bottom of the 6th inning with the bases empty and gives up a tie-breaking run? In theory, at least, Masset could get credit for BOTH the win and the loss in the SAME GAME. While this can’t happen in this particular situation because a runner is currently on base with two outs (even if Masset entered the game immediately for the Giants, the go-ahead run couldn’t be charged to him), you can see how it’s at least a plausible scenario. At the very least, this is yet another reason why wins and losses are super fun.
Finally, let’s look at one other possible (but even more unlikely) situation: as before, Masset pitches the top of the 6th for the Rockies, the game gets suspended, Masset gets traded to the Giants, the game resumes, then Masset enters the game for the Giants in the bottom of the 6th. Upon entering, however, Masset ends up facing the pitcher’s spot in the order for the Rockies…which is of course currently occupied by Masset himself. Of course, there’s no situation where Masset could actually walk up to the plate and face himself, unless, you know, he’s Multiple Man. So in 99.99% of these situations, the Rockies would just put a pinch hitter in Rockies Masset’s spot to face Giant Masset (wait…is a single member of the Rockies team called a Rocky? Or are the Rockies one of those team names that can’t be singularized like the Heat or the Red Sox?). But let’s say Rockies management has a colossal brain fart (or just wants to make history) and somehow just skips Rockies Masset’s spot in the order. According to MLB rules, if you skip a player in the order, that player would simply be called out. Statistically, I’m not sure how that would be recorded (probably an 0 for 1 for Rockies Masset and 1/3 of an inning pitched for Giant Masset), but I would like to think that this would mean that Masset gets credit for an at bat…against himself.
The fact that it is possible (however unlikely) for two versions of the same person to appear in a single game proves that suspended games are far more insidious than they initially appear. How can there be two Nick Massets? Think of it this way: the unholy act of suspending a baseball game creates a tear in the space-time continuum , allowing Future Nick Masset to interact with Past Nick Masset. In other words, a suspended game behaves like a black hole. Taking that reasonable analogy to its logical conclusion, the upside of suspended games is the possible creation of interestingly quirky box scores, while the downside is the potential destruction of the entire world.