A Most Improbable Win

We’re about two weeks removed from one of the most memorable World Series ever played. We’re also just under a week removed from probably the most divisive election this country has ever seen. What a perfect time to break away from the normal coverage and talk about one of the more remarkable feats that I’ve ever witnessed in a baseball game.

BJ Ryan

Baseball has so many quirks. I’ve been avidly watching the game for close to thirty years. Every season, without exception, I see something I’ve never seen before. The 2003 season was no exception. This is where BJ Ryan comes in.

Ryan was a reliever who played parts of 11 seasons with the Reds, Blue Jays, and Orioles. He was an extremely effective left-handed specialist and was twice selected as an all-star.

On May 1, 2003 the Orioles played a double-header with the Tigers in Detroit. The Orioles won the first game of the set but how they won the game is the real story.

Ryan entered the game in the bottom of the 7th with two outs and a runner on first and Detroit leading 2-1. Once Ryan was in the game, the first play was a pickoff of Omar Infante at first base to end the inning. In the top of the 8th, the Orioles scored 3 runs to take the lead and Ryan was subbed for in the bottom of the 8th. Since Ryan was the pitcher of record when the Orioles took the lead, he recorded the win.

Ryan won the game without throwing a pitch.

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