Big League Stew

Spring training special: Braves and Nationals combine for 31 runs over four innings

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(USA Today)

You've probably heard the phrase "scoring runs in bunches" before. On Saturday, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals took that to the extreme, combining for 31 runs in the span of four innings.

The flurry started with the Braves plating two in the top half of the third. It ended with Washington’s five-spot in the sixth. And that was all the scoring for the game. The Nationals took home the victory 16-15 in nine regulation innings.

Granted, it was a spring training special with multiple players and pitchers we'll never hear from in the regular season, but it was a regulation baseball game nonetheless.

Those aren't the last four digits of your social security number hidden in the middle, it's pure spring training weirdness.

The four scoring innings: 31 runs.

The other 4 ½ innings = 0 runs.

And perhaps the strangest twist to it all? The two teams combined for 37 hits, but zero home runs or triples. Heck, even the 11 double seems a little low considering the absurd number of runs, but I guess 14 walks (11 from the Braves) will make up for that.

Breaking the game down even further, right in the middle of the madness was a nine-run fifth inning for Atlanta. That alone will wreak havoc on your spring training scorecard. Now take into consideration the Nationals began the inning with defensive substitutions at eight positions minus only the pitcher. That change would actually come later in the inning, but it wasn’t enough to stop the bleeding.

Here’s how the half inning looked in the game log.

Three errors, too? Brutal.

If you were scoring at home, hopefully you learned your lesson on Saturday afternoon.

And if you’re the Atlanta Braves, be thankful it was March 1. They had a nine-run inning, delivered 25 hits, and benefited from five Nationals errors. And lost.

You'll have to take our word for all of this. The game wasn't covered on television and there are no highlights available, but we've heard from enough people who lived through the game to believe it actually happened.

Better luck to everybody on Sunday.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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