I wrote a post on Jackie Bradley Jr over at my Red Sox focused blog. Among other things, I noted a quirk in the consecutive game hitting streak scoring rule. This was a temporary hot topic on twitter when he was walked in his first couple of plate appearances while trying to keep his hit streak alive. A few tweeps quickly pointed out that the streak does not end if all plate appearances are walks, hit by pitch, CI or sacrifice bunts. But it does end, if a batter gets a sacrifice fly. Here is the exact wording of the rule (9.23(b) previously 10.23(b)):
A consecutive-game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all of a batter’s plate appearances (one or more) in a game result in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or obstruction or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit.
Curious that a sacrifice fly ends it. An at bat is not charged for a SF, so a hit streak could end with a player going 0-0. Imagine after hitting in 55 consecutive games, a manager intentionally walks you in every plate appearance. Until you come up with the bases loaded with one out in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th. You hit a long sacrifice fly to get a walkoff win. According to this rule, Joe DiMaggio can rest easy knowing that his record will not be broken.
If anybody has any idea why the rule is written this way, I’d love to hear it.