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The Loop

Korean World Series game decided by botched rundown play

October 26, 2017

If you thought, moments after watching George Springer blast the Astros to a game two World Series victory in the top of the 11th, that you had seen the craziest baseball highlight of the night, you thought wrong. Less than an hour after Springer’s telling two-run shot, game two of the KBO Korean Series—Korea’s version of the Fall Classic—got underway in Seoul. Led by lefty ace Hyeon-Jong Yang, who tossed a 122-pitch shutout gem, the Kia Tigers entered the bottom of the eighth inning tied with the Doosan Bears 0-0. Then sports happened:

Caught in a rundown between third and home with another baserunner rounding second, the Bears looked certain to collect their second out. That is until the catcher lost his mind, sh-t his pants, and instead of standing his ground for the obvious out, instead threw back to third, where the shortstop, who had rotated over to cover the bag, then lost his mind, sh-t his pants, and instead of immediately whipping the ball back down the line, turned to tag the second baserunner, now coming in to third. That moment of hesitation was it all it took, and the Tigers' lead runner came home, giving his team a 1-0 lead which they never relinquished.

Now, we don’t know if the catcher thought there were two outs or if the shortstop, disoriented by fielding an unfamiliar position, simply short-circuited, but the reality is this: Not since Buckner has there been a "World Series" blunder as decisive (or crushing) as this. The Dodgers and Astros—pictures of modern baseball heartbreak—still have (potentially) five more games to top it of course, but for now we feel comfortable calling this the single craziest baseball highlight of the fall.