Can you imagine baseball standings with a third column for ties? Or a total points system like the NHL? Either would be better than the uncertainty of extra inning baseball. On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays played 19 innings to decide an important September game in the American League playoff race. The two teams featured 19 combined pitchers, including six relievers who threw more than one inning of work.
Red Sox pitchers have now pitched more than 47 innings of baseball beyond regulation during the 2017 season. That’s more than five full games. Capping the games after nine full innings would eliminate the excitement of the 10th and 11th inning drama when most extra inning games end, but it would also prevent tired play, injuries, and the abuse of a bullpen. Extra innings could be added back in the postseason, or even opted for during the regular season if both managers agree at the end of nine innings of play.