It's Year 2 of MLB's rule change to extra innings which places a runner on second base with nobody out to begin every half-inning after the bottom of the ninth.
The rule was implemented in 2020 as part of MLB's health and safety protocols, along with seven-inning doubleheaders, alterations to the roster size and to taxi squads. The change was widely criticized until we all saw what it looked like on a day-to-day basis. Many liked it, many disliked it, but it stuck for 2021.
The Phillies' first game this season went to extras and ended after 10 on Jean Segura's walk-off single. On a cold day with the wind taking away deep flyballs to left field, who knows how long the game would've gone under previous rules.
The Phillies are 4-1 in extra innings under this format since the start of 2020.
Joe Girardi has been a consistent supporter of this two-year-old rule.
"The first thing that always comes to my mind is, when I was managing the Yankees, we had an 18-inning game on a Friday night and then had a 1:00 game the next day," Girardi said. "And how difficult that is on the players, how difficult it is on your pitching staff and how you sometimes have to send a couple of guys (to the minors) and all of the sudden, you don't have what would be considered your best product available to you on a daily basis.
"I also think fans are more apt to stay tuned knowing that something's going to happen fairly quickly. That's great for baseball. The fact that it doesn't really disrupt your bullpen. It allows you to play your stars more because if you get into an 18-inning game, you have to give the guy a day off the next day. I think it keeps the fans interested. I think it's a win on all sides."
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