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August 22, 2005

Baseball math

Yesterday, as we were driving home from New York, we turned on the radio to the Mets game with the Nationals. The announcer said something like this: Esteban Loaiza is pitching in an unusual situation. He's already driven in a run before taking the mound for the first time.

I immediately started trying to figure out the minimum number of runs the Nationals must have scored in the top of the first inning if Loaiza had driven in a run. Before I'd finished, the announcer reported that the score was 6-0. But six isn't the minimum number of runs. I'm pretty sure the answer is 4. I've tried to come up with an unusual way that they could have scored only 3 runs, but I don't think it's possible. Any takers?