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Guest Sparky

Rules for stealing home on an inning-ending strikeout

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Guest Sparky

Let’s say you have a runner on third with two outs and two strikes on the batter. Now let’s say the runner attempts to steal home.

1) under what circumstances, if any would the pitcher’s throw home be considered a legal pitch?

2) in the event that a legal pitch occurred on the play and the batter strikes out (and fails to reach first) can the run score if the runner avoids any tag?

3) does timing (e.g. whether the pitcher starts his delivery before the runner breaks for home) or actions of the batter (such as leaving the batters box to give the runner room to slide) impact the umpire’s potential ruling?

4) in the event such a play occurred and the runner were called safe, would the opposing manager be able to argue that a ball-strike call should have been made?

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1 minute ago, Guest Sparky said:

Let’s say you have a runner on third with two outs and two strikes on the batter. Now let’s say the runner attempts to steal home.

1) under what circumstances, if any would the pitcher’s throw home be considered a legal pitch?  If he is in contact with the rubber it's a pitch.

2) in the event that a legal pitch occurred on the play and the batter strikes out (and fails to reach first) can the run score if the runner avoids any tag?   No. No run can score if the third out is made by the batter before he reaches 1B.

3) does timing (e.g. whether the pitcher starts his delivery before the runner breaks for home) or actions of the batter (such as leaving the batters box to give the runner room to slide) impact the umpire’s potential ruling?  No. If the batter leaves the box the pitch is called a strike/ball based on the batter's strike zone.

4) in the event such a play occurred and the runner were called safe, would the opposing manager be able to argue that a ball-strike call should have been made?  If it was a pitch a call must be made. If the pitcher legally disengaged before throwing it's not a pitch and there is no call to make.

Answers interspaced.

So what happened in your game?

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IMO, the runner is more likely to catch a pitcher (an untrained pitcher) off-guard in this situation and draw a balk. Aside from a safe call at the plate or a hit, this is about the only good outcome a coach could expect from trying this. Not a very high percentage play at most upper levels where balks are called, again; IMO.

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21 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Answers interspaced.

So what happened in your game?

Rich Ives thank you (by the way I’m guest sparky).

 

I’ve never been an umpire at any level (except from in front of my TV); I’m just a huge baseball nerd who got curious. Since this type of situation wasn’t covered in any of the rulebook’s comments, I figured I’d look for an expert opinion.

I came up with this because of Bryce Harper’s steal attempt yesterday. I have think it should have been a legal pitch, but since the catcher caught it in front of home plate (and in front of the strike zone) to apply the tag, would that be considered a strike or no pitch?

Also, if it is strike three, shouldn’t that mean the at bat is over? With a caught stealing, the next inning began with Rhys Hoskins still at the plate.

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73F341A3-7435-4BCE-BA2C-6210BF8F2158.png

49F21954-4B41-4446-AAEA-504D44BD7724.png

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5 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

IMO, the runner is more likely to catch a pitcher (an untrained pitcher) off-guard in this situation and draw a balk. Aside from a safe call at the plate or a hit, this is about the only good outcome a coach could expect from trying this. Not a very high percentage play at most upper levels where balks are called, again; IMO.

This was meant to be theoretical, but I was mostly thinking about the major leagues.

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26 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

Rich Ives thank you (by the way I’m guest sparky).

 

I’ve never been an umpire at any level (except from in front of my TV); I’m just a huge baseball nerd who got curious. Since this type of situation wasn’t covered in any of the rulebook’s comments, I figured I’d look for an expert opinion.

I came up with this because of Bryce Harper’s steal attempt yesterday. I have think it should have been a legal pitch, but since the catcher caught it in front of home plate (and in front of the strike zone) to apply the tag, would that be considered a strike or no pitch?

Also, if it is strike three, shouldn’t that mean the at bat is over? With a caught stealing, the next inning began with Rhys Hoskins still at the plate.

296D0D65-5590-4E93-ABE3-ADCCE62CECFB.jpeg

C85CB05C-69D7-4C8A-BA8C-26BCD0BFCDEE.png

1670DEE1-D1F5-4A66-8EA0-20A131583EC3.png

7F10E470-8EF7-43AC-9487-49A0D9405C40.png

D7987F9A-AE24-4536-99E4-3A4241BEB095.png

CD520B25-CC88-4FC1-89B8-9F65C8B7967A.png

73F341A3-7435-4BCE-BA2C-6210BF8F2158.png

49F21954-4B41-4446-AAEA-504D44BD7724.png

Box score play by play shows Hoskins with a 2-2 count to finish so that pitch was called a ball and it looked high. Hard to tell if F2 reached out over the plate and I don't have CI when looking at it on MLBTV . But there also is an interp from years past that if the batter backs out of the box that far no CI will be called. I don't agree with that but the PU either does agree with that interp or judged no reach over HP. 

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12 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

Box score play by play shows Hoskins with a 2-2 count to finish so that pitch was called a ball and it looked high. Hard to tell if F2 reached out over the plate and I don't have CI when looking at it on MLBTV . But there also is an interp from years past that if the batter backs out of the box that far no CI will be called. I don't agree with that but the PU either does agree with that interp or judged no reach over HP. 

Where do you see that?

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51 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

https://www.mlb.com/gameday/reds-vs-phillies/2019/06/09/567092#game_state=final,lock_state=final,game_tab=play-by-play,game=567092

All plays, 5th inning, last play, Harper caught stealing, 2 red dots and 2 green dots

It gets more interesting. I'm thinking HP Jordan Baker escaped a jam. The screen zone box, which is not accurate, shows ball 2 solidly in the zone but I can see balling it the way the catcher caught it. The pitcher, Gray, starts to ask why it wasn't a strike but let's it go since they got Harper out. Hoskins has a conversation with Baker before leaving for the dugout, probably about what happened and what was his count. When you hear footsteps from R3 your mantra should be call the pitch, call the play, look for CI, look for BI. Either Baker had a ball because it was up or because, unlikely in my opinion,  the catcher didn't let it get to the zone. Or he had a ball because he brainfarted on calling the pitch. I've seen umps at my level call the third out on a steal of home with no call on the pitch. Luckily the count was 3-2 so no matter what the pitch was the at bat was over and the next inning the next batter in the lineup started off.

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7 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

Are you sure the count was 3-2? OP said it was 2-2 and that matters if he called it a ball.

The play occurred on a 1-2 pitch. According to mlb.com, it was called ball 2.

 

The catcher caught the ball in front of the plate, but I have the pitch on the outside corner and above the belt. Just based on the Fox Sports K-zone.

 

I honestly think the umpire forgot to make a call one way or another and so mlb.com decided it had to have been a ball.

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695E8924-1797-4A04-A5CF-6C43FEC16DB4.jpeg

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26 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

Are you sure the count was 3-2? OP said it was 2-2 and that matters if he called it a ball.

The 3-2 count was in the example I recounted. The OP was a 1-2 count when the steal was attempted and became a 2-2 count.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

The play occurred on a 1-2 pitch. According to mlb.com, it was called ball 2.

 

The catcher caught the ball in front of the plate, but I have the pitch on the outside corner and above the belt. Just based on the Fox Sports K-zone.

 

I honestly think the umpire forgot to make a call one way or another and so mlb.com decided it had to have been a ball.

545158A6-485A-49C9-9654-58DB17DA8278.jpeg

695E8924-1797-4A04-A5CF-6C43FEC16DB4.jpeg

He might have forgotten to call the pitch right away but he and Hoskins discuss the  count afterward and Hoskins comes back up to bat next inning. I don't think you can say the catcher caught the ball in front of the plate.

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So, theoretically, with two outs and two strikes, one thing the pitcher could do on an attempted steal of home is just deliver his best pitch down the middle for strike 3. Does that sound right?

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4 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

He might have forgotten to call the pitch right away but he and Hoskins discuss the  count afterward and Hoskins comes back up to bat next inning. I don't think you can say the catcher caught the ball in front of the plate.

I’m just basing that assertion off of this shot.

2970BD26-1D20-45F4-A83F-10B1686EA4AB.png

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8 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

I’m just basing that assertion off of this shot.

2970BD26-1D20-45F4-A83F-10B1686EA4AB.png

Not a good angle. That puts the plate umps head over HP.

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29 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

I’m just basing that assertion off of this shot.

2970BD26-1D20-45F4-A83F-10B1686EA4AB.png

The catcher and umpire would both have to be about ten feet tall...or, the more simple answer is this is a poor angle.   Look at where their feet are - there's no way the catcher's glove is in front of the plate.

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