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Potential Scoring(/Umping) Error in SFvSD Game Last Night
Posted: 09 September 2006 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]

Last night with a runner on third, Matt Cain (in his 5th one-hit start of the year) bunted a 2-strike pitch to the backstop, and Mike Piazza, ever the defensive genius, hustled to the backstop to catch the ball.  I say that’s a deadball and a strikeout.  The boxscore in my paper indicates it was ruled a foul popout.

From definitions section of the rulebook:

A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which—

(d) Is bunted foul

A FOUL BALL is a batted ball that . . . while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.

CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; . . .  In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

6.05—“the batter” section
A batter is out when—
(a) His fair or foul fly ball (other than a foul tip) is legally caught by a fielder;
(b) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher;
(d) He bunts foul on third strike;

Which of these things occured first?  We’ve all seen balls in the air that fielders have touched, but not caught, so clearly the touch comes before possession and not simultaneously with it.  I think the proper ruling is that the ball is dead as soon as the ball is touched in foul territory.

However this cannot be the ruling of the official scorer unless the umpire rules it on the field

10.01 “The Official Scorer” section
4) The scorer shall not make any decision conflicting with the Official Playing Rules, or with an umpire?s decision.

So if the ump did not wave deadball at that moment, I don’t think the scorer can tally a K.  But such a ruling could easily have been missed, the scorer ought to ask the ump what the ruling was within his 24 hour window.

Posted: 09 September 2006 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]

A little too much time on your hands? :)

But seriously, I think that it is a foul pop up.  It is not a third strike until it lands foul.  It never landed foul (nor was it dropped by someone in foul territory and then landed foul).

Edited:  Part in parentheses added to be overly anal.

Posted: 09 September 2006 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]

Read again Daryn:

FOUL BALL is a batted ball that . . . while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.

There’s about 12 more hours before that becomes an official part of the record.

That play might prove to be wholy insignificant or it might decide the K title for the NL this year.

Posted: 09 September 2006 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]

I think you are misinterpreting CXS.  The event of touching the player excludes the event of it being caught by the player.  By your interpretation any foul pop that is caught should instead be ruled a foul ball because it was touched before it was caught.  It doesn’t work that way.

Posted: 09 September 2006 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]

The relevant portion of the Official Scoring Rules
(a) A strikeout shall be scored whenever:
(1) A batter is put out by a third strike caught by the catcher;
(2) A batter is put out by a third strike not caught when there is a runner on first before two are out;
(3) A batter becomes a runner because a third strike is not caught;
(4) A batter bunts foul on third strike. EXCEPTION: If such bunt on third strike results in a foul fly caught by any fielder, do not score a strikeout. Credit the fielder who catches such foul fly with a putout.
(b)When the batter leaves the game with two strikes against him, and the substitute batter completes a strikeout, charge the strikeout and the time at bat to the first batter. If the substitute batter completes the turn at bat in any other manner, including a base on balls, score the action as having been that of the substitute batter.

Posted: 09 September 2006 09:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]

Or, what Bob T said.  It is amazing how almost every eventuality is explicitly covered in the rules.

Posted: 09 September 2006 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]

Another reason it’s considered a foulout and not a strikeout is that the runners could tag up an try to advance on the play.

Posted: 09 September 2006 10:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]

Thanks Bob.

The rulebook is an amazing document.

What started me off on parsing the play was exactly the possibility of a rhubarb breaking out if the runner on third had attempted to catch everyone off guard with the C at the backstop and tried to score.

What the heck is a CXS?

Posted: 10 September 2006 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]

Your name.  There could have been a comma there for clarity.