Ken Plutnicki, New York Times:
A play at the plate is one of the most exciting plays in baseball, so when there are two plays at the plate (at the same time!) it's a real beer-spiller.
Such was the case on Tuesday night, in the Padres-Giants game, when Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley of the Padres tried to score on a double off the right-field wall. Gonzalez, on second, had to hold to see if the ball would be caught, but Headley, on first, had a better read and was running right away. That meant Headley was right behind Gonzalez as the throw came in from right field.
The Giants catcher, Benji Molina, was able to get only one of the runners out, and the plate umpire, Jeff Nelson, was in good position to make the calls amid the chaos.
I wondered, though, how such a play would be scored. If Molina had tagged out both runners, would the outfielder be credited with two assists on one play with just the one throw?That answer is no, said Andres Wirkmaa, who wrote "Baseball Scorekeeping: A Practical Guide to the Rules." One throw, one assist is the rule of thumb for such a play, although the Official Baseball Rules do not directly address this situation. Wirkmaa said that once the first putout is made by the catcher, that ends the play, and the next play is an unassisted putout by the catcher.
But in the Giants game, the first runner was safe. Does that end the play? No assist even though the second runner was tagged out by Molina? more