As for Los Mets, that was their oddest walkoff yet. As if Endy's winning drag bunt wasn't enough, now they're tying a game on two balks in the twelfth inning? How is that even poss-- ohhhhhh. That's right, Armando Benitez is the Giants' closer this year! Suddenly it all makes sense. As Carlos Delgado, whose second homer of the night won the game, put it in the Times:
"I don’t know the history, but I could tell by the welcome he got... It’s not my problem, it is something he has to deal with, but he is not well liked here."
Indeed. You know, I feel for Giants fans. That team's got such a long, proud history, but they can't be much fun to watch at the moment. As if the Bonds mess wasn't enough, now they have to deal with the vicissitudes of Benitez, too. (The Vicissitudes of Benitez: possible band name?). At least they have Omar Vizquel's jaw-dropping defense to keep them warm at night, I suppose. And little Timmy Lincecum, who was in fact very impressive.
In the video highlights, check out how Reyes is flitting around third base, basically drawing the second balk. Granted, under the right circumstances, you could probably get Benitez to balk just by clearing your throat, but nevertheless -- reason #374 why Jose Reyes is awesome. I almost feel bad bringing it up, because at this point he's being so hyped all over the place, but what are you going to do?
Also, on some level we all know what a balk is -- you know it when you see it -- but it must be the hardest concept in all of baseball to explain. I was recently trying to get it across to a visiting Brit, and I don't think I did a very good job, but then the official rules aren't exactly a succinct beacon of clarity, either.
However, in case you were wondering, the record for balks in a game by one pitcher is five: Bob Shaw, for Milwaukee, in 1963. That same day, the team set an all-time record, with six. I wouldn't mind seeing that one on ESPN Classic.