Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Dodgers lose to Mariners in extra innings with walk-off balk

Question for us all: of the various uncommon ways to have a walk-off win, are there any more entertaining than the walk-off balk?

The movement was small enough that it might not be noticeable in another situation. But this was the 10th inning of a tied game between two teams with playoff aspirations. When Dodgers reliever Dylan Floro stepped off the mound with the bases loaded, his team’s fate was sealed. It was a walk-off balk in a 5-4 defeat to the Mariners, one which left the Dodgers furious at the umpiring crew but unable to answer.

“That’s the worst part about tonight, that it was decided by an umpire,” third baseman Justin Turner said. “There was nothing egregious about that. We watched [the replay]. There was nothing egregious.”

The defeat stung for several reasons. At this point in the season, the Dodgers cannot afford many losses. It also sapped the confidence of a bullpen still reeling from the follies of series against Colorado and San Francisco.

 

QLE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:46 AM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: balk, dodgers, mariners, walkoff wins

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5729627)
Meanwhile, the Rockies were down 3-0 to the Braves with two out and nobody on in the ninth last night. Double, single, double, single, and the game was tied. Then they won it in the tenth. The Rox are now a half game behind the D-Backs and a game and a half in front of the Dodgers in the NL West.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5729629)
Has David Dahl definitively wrested the starting spot from Parra?
   3. Jon W Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5729637)
Wrote this story two weeks ago, so to answer the question ... every other way is more entertaining.

The worst play in baseball: The walkoff balk
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5729639)
Has David Dahl definitively wrested the starting spot from Parra?


It's only been the last four games that Dahl has started over Parra, but they left him in the lineup after an 0-for-5 game, which I take as a good sign.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5729649)
From Jon W's link:

Rule 8.05 Comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern.


I wasn't aware of this.

I wonder how often balks occur that aren't called because of this directive. Is the answer "never?" Umpires don't like using judgment - they like black and white rules - and they don't like admitting that they ever have doubt.
   6. puck Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5729662)
Amazing the Rockies are that close to the division lead even though they've been outscored on the season. I wonder how often that happens.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5729667)
The walkoff balk

Balk-off.
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5729707)
Amazing the Rockies are that close to the division lead even though they've been outscored on the season. I wonder how often that happens.


The 2007 D-Backs won 90 games and the NL West despite being outscored 712-732. Chris Jaffe argued that this was because they had a big split in their bullpen, and that's certainly true of the Rockies pen this year. Ottavino has been devastating (1.67 ERA in 56 games) as has the newly acquired Oh, but they also keep running people like Bryan Shaw (6.42 in 53 games), Jake McGee (6.29 in 49 games) and Chris Rusin (7.02 in 37 games) out there.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5729710)
Amazing the Rockies are that close to the division lead even though they've been outscored on the season. I wonder how often that happens.


The 1987 Twins were outscored by 20 during the regular season and won the World Series.
   10. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5729718)
It is interesting how the divisions are shaping up in the AL. The A's chased down the Astros. Heading into summer they were 11 games back and in 4th place. The Yankees were 2 games up and now they are 10.5 games back of the Red Sox. The Indians were 5 games up against the Tigers and they are now 12 games up on the Twins.
   11. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5729720)
Since Jansen went on the disabled list with an irregular heartbeat on Aug. 10, the Dodgers have lost on Ryan McMahon's walk-off homer off JT Chargois, Floro's walk-off walk, a four-run ninth off Scott Alexander, Kenta Maeda's ninth-inning loss after he was bumped from the rotation and now a walk-off balk.


The Dodgers using a major league game to rehab Buehler vs. the Cubs and pitching Kike instead of Kenta in extras vs the Pirates may come back to haunt them.
   12. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5729721)
Well, the 1994 Rangers won the AL West with a losing record and got outscored by 84 runs.

The Rangers and A's both had 48 games left when the strike hit. Rangers were 10 games under and the A's were 12 games under. Rangers would have needed to go 29-19 the rest of the way to not have a losing record and the A's would have needed to go 30-18. A .604 and .625 winning percentage respectively.
   13. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5729723)
Rule 8.05 Comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern.


But wasn't Floro trying to keep Maybin from moving towards home? I admit it's gamesmanship by the baserunner, but so? Trying to judge pitcher intent would enflame a manager even more. Both Robers and Honeycutt admitted after the game it was a balk.

You know what really screwed the Dodgers? Walking Nelson Cruz on five pitches. I absolutely detest a walk to load the bases.
   14. Jon W Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5729726)
... prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving ...


The point is there's no deception. Of course, Floro doesn't want Maybin to score. But nothing Floro did misleads the runner. He stepped off the mound and stood to collect himself.

The problem with the rule, as I write in the article, is that it has been twisted to allow the baserunners every trick in the book to deceive and manipulate the pitcher, to the point where if a pitcher all but blinks wrong, he can lose the game before even throwing the pitch. It's clear that baserunners on third regularly try to get pitchers to balk as a means to an end. This is clearly not the purpose of the rule.
   15. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5729727)
The 2005 Padres won the division while being outscored by 42 runs. Swept out of the divisional series by the Cardinals. 1997 Giants went 90-72 while being outscored by 9 runs and were also swept out of the divisional round, this time by the Marlins. The other team that hasn't been mentioned yet that won their division while being outscored were the 1984 Royals who were outscored by 13 runs and went 84-78 but again got bounced out of the first round by being swept by the Angels.
   16. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5729733)
Dodgers have to go 24-14 the rest of the way to reach 90 wins. Twenty of those games vs. the Cardinals, Rockies, and Diamondbacks. The D'backs have series remaining with the Cubs, Atlanta, Houston, and Seattle. The Rockies close with seven games in Denver vs the Phillies and Nats.
   17. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5729737)
He stepped off the mound and stood to collect himself.


After moving his hands.

twisted to allow the baserunners every trick in the book to deceive and manipulate the pitcher


Throwing dirt at the mound? Yipping at the pitcher like Kramer at DiMaggio? No, merely by leading off the base and feinting as to steal. Pitchers need to man up, or merely avoid loading the bases and twisting themselves in a knot.
   18. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5729740)
Jon, do you think the Dodgers are hungover from last year's devastating loss? I know I still feel the sting.
   19. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5729741)
pitching Kike instead of Kenta in extras vs the Pirates may come back to haunt them.

My hot take at the time was that I hoped the Dodgers missed the playoffs by a single game for that stunt. Can't say my thoughts have changed.
   20. Jon W Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5729746)
Throwing dirt at the mound? Yipping at the pitcher like Kramer at DiMaggio? No, merely by leading off the base and feinting as to steal.


However you want to characterize it, it's completely imbalanced. Baserunners can do whatever they want at any time they want. Pitchers can't move their hands a quarter of an inch. How does this make sense?

The fact that the any team is in trouble by putting the runners there is beside the point. The penalty for a twitch should not be a run. Turning this into an issue of manhood is pretty silly. Is it manning up to exploit a loophole in the rules to win?


   21. Jon W Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5729748)
pitching Kike instead of Kenta in extras vs the Pirates may come back to haunt them.


It was Rich Hill, not Kenta, FWIW.
   22. Jon W Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5729751)
Jon, do you think the Dodgers are hungover from last year's devastating loss? I know I still feel the sting.


If they were, that's long since passed. If anything, they're pressing. But also, they've been in trouble each of the past five years, and while they might not get out of it this time, there's no reason to think they can't.

The Dodgers have seven head-to-head games with Arizona remaining and six with Colorado. There's little reason to think those won't be decisive in the division race.
   23. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5729754)
It was Rich Hill, not Kenta, FWIW.


Thanks.
   24. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5729758)
There's little reason to think those won't be decisive in the division race.


10-12 against those rivals so far. Both have their weaknesses, and no easy pickings, so sure. There's just little room left for twitching.
   25. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5729770)
After moving his hands.

The literate among us are still waiting for you to identify an attempt to deceive the runner.
   26. tshipman Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5729775)
The excerpt didn't say, so I had to check.

Andy Fletcher was the ump, not Bob Davidson, who I am sad to learn has retired.
   27. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 19, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5729824)
Game 3 of the 2011 World Series will always be my go-to for most entertaining walk-off win.

Tie game, bottom 9, 1 out, runners on 2nd and 3rd. Infield in, batter hits a sharp grounder up the middle but Pedroia stops it with a great diving play, and fires home in time to get the runner. But then the catcher tries to get the (hobbled) Allen Craig Out at third...but his throw is wild and sails into left field. Craig picks himself up to race home, but immediately trips over Boston’s third baseman. In a low-key incredible feat of heroic athleticism, the at this point borderline crippled Allen Craig still busts it as fast as his broken body can carry him, but gets thrown out by a couple feet....except the ump’s rule that he’s actually safe by reason of obstruction on the third baseman’s part (ie, when Craig tripped over his outstretched legs.)

It’d be a crazy sequence of events in the third inning of a mid-summer Rays-Twins game. For it to decide a World Series—inconceivable!
   28. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 19, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5729827)
I’ll always regret that the 2014 World Series didn’t end with Alex Gordon getting thrown out at the plate attempting a game-tying Little League-style inside the park home run. Oh well!
   29. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5729832)
The literate among us are still waiting for you to identify an attempt to deceive the runner.


As pointed out above, the ump could theoretically ignore it, but trying to judge intent is a fool's game. A balk by definition may deceive the runner (or batter). You could argue endlessly about baseball rules because they're mostly clear as mud, but there's always a gap between language and action that allows for interpretation.

Regardless, Floro balked, the ump called it, ballgame.

And I'm a Dodgers fan.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5729850)

I’ll always regret that the 2014 World Series didn’t end with Alex Gordon getting thrown out at the plate attempting a game-tying Little League-style inside the park home run. Oh well!


I think a lot of the excitement with that play would have been negated when Posey was sitting at home waiting to tag him out.




   31. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 19, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5729852)
I saw a walk-off at this game a couple of weeks ago!
   32. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5729857)
I think a lot of the excitement with that play would have been negated when Posey was sitting at home waiting to tag him out.


Might have been negated. Can't assume a perfect throw. And it doesn't even matter. The moment that we realized Gordon was going to try and score would have been one of the most exciting moments in baseball history. Literally. A clean out doesn't undo that moment.
   33. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5729973)
After moving his hands.

The literate among us are still waiting for you to identify an attempt to deceive the runner.


Once he starts moving his hands, that means (according to the rules) he's going to pitch the ball, and the runner is safe from a pick-off and can take a secondary lead from the base (in case of a wild pitch).
By moving his hands and NOT throwing towards the plate, he's deceived the runner (albeit just a bit) and now the runner might be caught leaning/moving towards home on that secondary lead.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:46 PM (#5729998)
#33 - That argument is simply "he deceived, therefore he intended to deceive." If it's possible to commit a balk by the letter of the law, but do so without intention to deceive - a possibility the rules clearly allow for - it would look something like this play.
   35. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:05 PM (#5730014)
Might have been negated. Can't assume a perfect throw. And it doesn't even matter. The moment that we realized Gordon was going to try and score would have been one of the most exciting moments in baseball history. Literally. A clean out doesn't undo that moment.


I still think he should have gone for it because the probability of him making it, while very low (15-20%, maybe), was likely still higher than the probability of Sal Perez getting a hit off Bumgarner.

But most likely it ends with Posey standing in front of the plate with the ball by the time Gordon gets close enough to slide. In which case it's remembered forever not as one of the most exciting plays ever, but as one of the most boneheaded blunders ever. And Sal Perez probably never speaks to Gordon or the third base coach again.
   36. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:04 AM (#5730037)
I wish the balk had been like this one by Homer Bailey.
   37. Rally Posted: August 20, 2018 at 08:48 AM (#5730074)
The 1987 Twins were outscored by 20 during the regular season and won the World Series.


Mariners are being outscored by 42 runs, yet have a 71-54 record. That wouldn't put them in the playoffs today for the lopsided American League, but they have a better record than every NL team except for the Cubs.
   38. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5730078)
I still think he should have gone for it because the probability of him making it, while very low (15-20%, maybe), was likely still higher than the probability of Sal Perez getting a hit off Bumgarner.


Not just a hit, but an error, WP, PB, balk, or even a walk or HBP in which case the scenario resets with a new batter.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5730092)
Not just a hit, but an error, WP, PB, balk, or even a walk or HBP in which case the scenario resets with a new batter.


Before that at bat, Sal Perez had faced the unhittable Madison Bumgarner twice in that series. He was 2-6 with a homer. The idea that he had a less than 20 percent chance of a positive, run-scoring (or game-extending) outcome is understandable on an emotional level, but it's still fiction.

   40. perros Posted: August 20, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5730113)
#33 - That argument is simply "he deceived, therefore he intended to deceive." If it's possible to commit a balk by the letter of the law, but do so without intention to deceive - a possibility the rules clearly allow for - it would look something like this play.


Sure, but as you point out in #5, judging intent muddies the waters and is shunned not just by umpires as an argument, but managers, coaches, and players, too.

But maybe it's much simpler in Justin Turner's comment afterward: Let the players decide the game, not the umps. Unfortunately, the trend line is to decide everything for the players (and managers) except the three true outcomes. And maybe it's just me, but I've never been more bored watching mlb. The Royals were a brief respite in the rationalization of the game, but this year is full speed ahead to the singularity.
   41. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 20, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5730116)
pitching Kike instead of Kenta in extras vs the Pirates may come back to haunt them.



It was Rich Hill, not Kenta, FWIW.


And it was vs the Phillies, FWIW.
   42. perros Posted: August 20, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5730134)
Damn, the memory's going. Boredom doesn't help.
   43. Rusty Priske Posted: August 20, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5730141)
TERRIBLE call.
   44. Lassus Posted: August 20, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5730142)
Did it really take until #44 to get DJ Carrasco and the Mets brought up?
   45. RoyalFlush Posted: August 20, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5730143)
The 2005 Padres won the division while being outscored by 42 runs. Swept out of the divisional series by the Cardinals. 1997 Giants went 90-72 while being outscored by 9 runs and were also swept out of the divisional round, this time by the Marlins. The other team that hasn't been mentioned yet that won their division while being outscored were the 1984 Royals who were outscored by 13 runs and went 84-78 but again got bounced out of the first round by being swept by the Angels.


The Royals were swept by a really good '84 Tigers team in the first round (ALCS, not divisional round) - not the Angels.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Eugene Freedman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogDetroit Tigers food services employee in custody after video showed him spitting on pizza
(32 - 3:59am, Sep 26)
Last: Petunia inquires about ponies

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)
(840 - 3:17am, Sep 26)
Last: Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB)

NewsblogNo more Jello Pudding Pops for OMNICHATTER, for Sept. 25, 2018
(78 - 2:09am, Sep 26)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOTP 2018 September 24: Baseball and the presidency
(949 - 1:42am, Sep 26)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Gonfalon CubsThe Final Push
(196 - 1:38am, Sep 26)
Last: Walks Clog Up the Bases

NewsblogOT - 2018 NBA Thread (Pre-Season Edition)
(598 - 1:14am, Sep 26)
Last: maccoach57

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - Dodgers voting thread
(15 - 12:10am, Sep 26)
Last: QLE

NewsblogMarlins Finish With Lowest Home Draw Since 2004 Expos
(14 - 11:40pm, Sep 25)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogCarlos Santana at third base in 2019? He’d be open to it | NBC Sports Philadelphia
(15 - 10:43pm, Sep 25)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogFive Tool Players | Articles | Bill James Online
(45 - 10:34pm, Sep 25)
Last: Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day

NewsblogMariners’ Felix Hernandez ‘so proud to be an American’ after becoming a U.S. citizen
(20 - 9:50pm, Sep 25)
Last: phredbird

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (September 2018)
(427 - 9:20pm, Sep 25)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogFowler, still owed almost $50 million, eager to be part of Cardinals' future | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com
(17 - 9:00pm, Sep 25)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogBobby Evans’ days as the Giants’ GM appear to be numbered
(9 - 8:22pm, Sep 25)
Last: SoSH U at work

Newsblog10 Degrees: It's the real 'Golden Era' as baseball today has the greatest group of young, prime players in the sport's history
(12 - 8:00pm, Sep 25)
Last: phredbird

Page rendered in 0.3884 seconds
46 querie(s) executed