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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Kenley Jansen executed a rare intentional balk last night

Last night, Kenley Jansen recorded a save against the Cubs in a 5-3 win for the Dodgers. He surrendered a baserunner on a Matt Beaty error but otherwise was dominant and he struck out three.

Before the final strikeout, however, he did something I hadn’t seen before. With Jason Heyward on second apparently annoying him, Kenley intentionally balked him to third so he could just focus on the batter and/or to prevent Heyward for relaying pitch and/or location to Victor Caratini.

He yells out “I’m going to balk”.

I’ve never seen such a thing. Have you?

Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 15, 2019 at 04:57 PM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: balk, chicago cubs, cubs, dodgers, jason heyward, kenley jansen, los angeles dodgers

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 15, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5852292)
What a smart play - I've never seen that before...
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 15, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5852297)
Pretty dumb when you consider that the Cubs hit like Bob Uecker when they get a guy on second base.
   3. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 15, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5852320)
Btw, Jansen has settled down from his clunky start. Since allowing the game-losing slam in San Diego on May 5, his line over his next 10 outings: 10-1/3 4 0 0 1 16 and 8-for-8 on saves. Curiously, of those four hits, one was a triple and two went for doubles.
   4. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 15, 2019 at 11:12 PM (#5852416)
I remember Bob Wickman...I think, doing that against the Twins. Same situation, he thought the runner was stealing signs so he balked to put him on third.
   5. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 15, 2019 at 11:31 PM (#5852424)
I thought someone like Todd Jones did it 10-15 years ago. I could be thinking of Wickman I guess.
   6. bobm Posted: June 15, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5852426)
[4]!

Wickman's intentional balk

News-Herald (Ohio): Wickman balks at ordinary move

Jim Ingraham, Staff Writer May 5, 2005

MINNEAPOLIS - Bob Wickman has invented a new statistic.

The intentional balk.

The Indians closer christened the birth of that statistic during a harrowing ninth inning in the Indians' 4-2 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night. Wickman labored through a 28-pitch, five-batter inning in which he struck out Matt LeCroy on a 3-2 pitch with runners at second and third.

It's how those runners got to second and third that added some gray hairs to the head of Tribe manager Eric Wedge. With the Indians leading, 4-2, the Twins had Michael Cuddyer at second base with two outs and Shannon Stewart at the plate.

It was then that Wickman had, depending on your viewpoint, a stroke of genius or a brain cramp.

The intentional balk.

"I did it on purpose," said Wickman. "If he (Cuddyer) is on third, he can't call pitches."

Wickman was concerned that Cuddyer could have potentially signaled the location of his pitches to Stewart, based on where catcher Victor Martinez set up behind the plate.

"I'm not saying he (Cuddyer) was tipping my pitches (to Stewart)," said Wickman, "but with a two-run lead, it didn't matter if I balked and moved him to third, where he couldn't do it."

So Wickman, pitching out of the stretch, lifted his left leg, froze, then put it back down. Stopping a delivery like that is one of the ways a pitcher can balk.

"As I did it, I'm thinking to myself, 'There it is, dude, call it,' " said Wickman, referring to home-plate umpire Rick Reed.

Making it even more noteworthy was the fact it was the first balk of Wickman's major-league career.

Wickman said the idea for his intentional balk was hatched April 21, during a blown save against the Angels. Darin Erstad was at second with two outs when Garret Anderson blooped an outside pitch into center field, driving in the tying run.

"That ball was almost in the other batter's box," said Wickman of the pitch to Anderson. Wickman was concerned Erstad might have signaled the location of the pitch to Anderson.

"I said to myself that if that situation ever came up again, I might balk to guy to third to get him off second," said Wickman.

Tuesday night, the situation did come up again, and Wickman countered it with the birth of the intentional balk. Unfortunately for Wickman, he then walked Stewart, who, with Cuddyer no longer occupying the base, was free to steal second.

That meant the tying run was now in scoring position, which is why Wedge, when asked about Wickman's strategy, was less than enthusiastic.

"He did that all on his own," said Wedge with a sigh. "Whatever it takes."

Asked if he'd ever seen an intentional balk before, Wedge said, "Nope. That's another first."

Did Wedge know Wickman was considering the maneuver?

"No."

Did Wickman's balk look strange from the dugout?

"Yep."

Asked if Wickman's intentional balk was something he'd be inclined to tell his closer never to do again, Wedge said, "It was an isolated incident. That's where Wicky's mindset was at the time. He wanted to eliminate a distraction."
   7. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 15, 2019 at 11:44 PM (#5852429)
Btw, Jansen has settled down from his clunky start. Since allowing the game-losing slam in San Diego on May 5, his line over his next 10 outings: 10-1/3 4 0 0 1 16 and 8-for-8 on saves. Curiously, of those four hits, one was a triple and two went for doubles.
WELP.
   8. Meatwad Posted: June 16, 2019 at 12:16 AM (#5852437)
Just made the cycle with that home run.
   9. The Duke Posted: June 16, 2019 at 07:49 AM (#5852462)
Heyward should simply have stolen 2B back on next pitch.

   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 16, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5852463)
No can do, thanks to Germany Schaefer among others.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2019 at 11:13 PM (#5852643)
Really interesting!
   12. bfan Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5852745)
In the NFL you can decline a penalty; can you decline the extra base given by a balk?
   13. PeteF3 Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5852758)
You can if it's on a pitch that goes into play and the result is more advantageous for your team, but I don't think you can decline a pre-pitch balk.
   14. Itchy Row Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5852772)
I don't see that the rules say a team ever has the option of declining a balk, but, similar to what 13 said, the balk is ignored if the hitter reaches and the runners all advance on the pitch.

PENALTY: The ball is dead, and each runner shall advance one
base without liability to be put out, unless the batter reaches
first on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter, or otherwise,
and all other runners advance at least one base, in which case
the play proceeds without reference to the balk.
APPROVED RULING: In cases where a pitcher balks and
throws wild, either to a base or to home plate, a runner or runners may advance beyond the base to which he is entitled at his
own risk.
   15. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5852789)

I don't think any sport would benefit from a rule change as much as the NBA allowing teams to decline the free throws on a foul.
   16. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5852790)
This is great. Baseball! A hundred plus years of history and still wacky things are happening.
   17. Shredder Posted: June 17, 2019 at 05:40 PM (#5852942)
You can if it's on a pitch that goes into play and the result is more advantageous for your team, but I don't think you can decline a pre-pitch balk.
Isn't every balk a pre-pitch balk?
I don't think any sport would benefit from a rule change as much as the NBA allowing teams to decline the free throws on a foul.
It would still be advantageous to foul. If you're behind in the last minute, and the other team could decline free throws and keep possession on a foul, your options are to a) go for a steal when the clock is running, or b) foul to stop the clock and try to get a steal on the in-bounds play (or a five second count). It might actually make the situation worse. Though it would allow a team to keep poor free throw shooters on the floor in that situation.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 17, 2019 at 05:46 PM (#5852948)
I don't think any sport would benefit from a rule change as much as the NBA allowing teams to decline the free throws on a foul.
Or just require the refs to call intentional fouls when fouls are intentional. So crazy it just might work.
   19. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5852962)
[18] That's gonna get people hurt. You have to make sure to foul someone but make it look unintentional? It's like if you couldn't intentionally walk someone, you'd have to hit someone and make it look like an accident.
   20. Pirate Joe Posted: June 17, 2019 at 07:15 PM (#5852969)
You have to make sure to foul someone but make it look unintentional?


No, you just actually have to make a play on the ball. Heck, every so often you might end up getting a steal without a foul being called.

   21. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5853120)
Isn't every balk a pre-pitch balk?


Not a catcher’s balk! HA HA HA HA you fool!!!! (Yeah, you’re right but I’m feeling saucy).
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5853123)
I don't think any sport would benefit from a rule change as much as the NBA allowing teams to decline the free throws on a foul.

It would still be advantageous to foul. If you're behind in the last minute, and the other team could decline free throws and keep possession on a foul, your options are to a) go for a steal when the clock is running, or b) foul to stop the clock and try to get a steal on the in-bounds play (or a five second count). It might actually make the situation worse. Though it would allow a team to keep poor free throw shooters on the floor in that situation.
Wouldn't the shot clock re-set? If not, I assume that would be part of the rule.
   23. bunyon Posted: June 18, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5853216)
Sometimes balks are called with the pitcher already in the wind up and he still delivers the pitch. Basically, the rule is: if the pitcher delivers the ball and the result is better for the offense than the balk, the result can't be called back because of the balk.
   24. Greg Pope Posted: June 18, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5853243)
It would still be advantageous to foul. If you're behind in the last minute, and the other team could decline free throws and keep possession on a foul, your options are to a) go for a steal when the clock is running, or b) foul to stop the clock and try to get a steal on the in-bounds play (or a five second count). It might actually make the situation worse. Though it would allow a team to keep poor free throw shooters on the floor in that situation.

Tweak it so that in the last X minutes, when a team gets fouled and declines the free throws, they inbound from the backcourt and the other team isn't allowed in the backcourt. As soon as the ball is inbounded, the defense can return the backcourt to pressure the ball handler. Or something like that.
   25. Brian C Posted: June 18, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5853302)
My pet idea is a "super bonus", where after X number of fouls, the fouled team gets free throws and keeps the ball.
   26. Sunday silence Posted: June 18, 2019 at 05:39 PM (#5853310)
I think it much better: you get 1 pt for a foul and one free throw. that would speed up the game, and make fouls cost a little bit more.

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