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Balk Newsbeat

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

‘Catcher’s balk’? Not quite ... but it was rare

The incredulity displayed by the Giants’ catching tandem encapsulated the bizarre nature of the play that unfolded in the bottom of the second inning of the Giants’ 3-1 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

After the D-backs put runners on first and second with one out, Asdrúbal Cabrera stepped up to the plate to face right-hander Johnny Cueto. Cabrera took a first-pitch changeup in the dirt that Casali blocked, but Casali then took off his catcher’s mask and used it to stop the ball, which is illegal. Home-plate umpire Chris Guccione called Casali for an error, with both runners moving up 90 feet as a result of the miscue.

The official scorer called the mistake a “catcher’s balk,” but Casali technically violated Major League Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(3)(E), which allows runners to advance one base when, “A fielder deliberately touches a pitched ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person. The ball is in play, and the award is made from the position of the runner at the time the ball was touched.”

“It was definitely a strange play,” Casali said. “I can’t say totally that I’ve ever done that before. It was definitely unintentional. It was just kind of one of those plays where normally I’d just flip my mask off and it would just fly behind me, but for whatever reason, it just kind of stuck and fell. I haven’t looked at the replay, but I’m assuming it looked pretty obvious. It was definitely unintentional. Stupid play on my part. It shouldn’t happen in a big league game. It stinks.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 04:42 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: balk



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