If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
If someone you loved died in front of you, but a copy was created down to the atomic level, would they be the same person and would you love them as much?
If a pitcher doesn't allow a hit in a seven-inning game as part of a doubleheader, does it count as a no-hitter?
These are some of life's most important questions, the latter of which hadn't been asked until former Giant Madison Bumgarner allowed no hits in the second game of a seven-inning doubleheader Sunday. MLB and the Elias Sports Bureau haven't yet decided whether the Arizona Diamondbacks' 7-0 win over Atlanta is a no-hitter, according to Jon Heyman.
Seven-innings are a recent addition to MLB's schedule, a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than risk teams end the season with imbalanced schedules or -- more importantly to MLB and the Players Association -- miss out on TV and gate revenue, MLB has utilized seven-inning games in doubleheaders to make up for postponements.
Bumgarner considers it a no-hitter, and so do the Diamondbacks.
MLB's official Twitter accounts stuck to calling it an "unofficial" no-hitter, trying to have some fun with a situation far above their social-media managers' pay grades.
Fans, media and players reacting to Bumgarner's outing were largely aligned. Many tweeted that Bumgarner's seven-inning shutout should be considered a no-hitter since seven-inning games count the same for just about everything else.
With that kind of track record, expect the unexpected when MLB and Elias determine the status of Bumgarner's seven-inning start.