|MLB Umpire Angel Hernandez.|
However, after Hernandez and field umpires Ed Hickox, Chris Conroy and Mark Carlson met to conference and discuss the call, the umpires correctly administered prescribed penalties, awarding Harper home plate and Zimmerman second base, while keeping LaRoche at the plate, still with a 2-2 count.
As specified in the UEFL article, "Rule 8.05: It is a balk when—," a balk results in a one-base award for all baserunners unless more advantageous objectives are achieved. Because Harper advanced while Zimmerman did not and LaRoche was put out, the balk was enforced and the result of the play was discarded. Contrary to the broadcaster's depiction, balks are not akin to football penalties and may not be accepted or declined; balks are not subject to team choice or preference.
For those keeping score, Galarraga's precise infraction was of Rule 8.05(m), for Galarraga delivered from the Set Position without coming to a stop. As for LaRoche, he perhaps would have benefited from no balk call at all; instead of a sac fly and RBI, LaRoche subsequently struck out swinging.
In a related story, Bryce Harper is expected to take Thursday off after arguing with Hernandez over balls and strikes on Wednesday. Though Harper was not ejected and Hernandez indicated to a pool reporter that Harper was never close to being tossed, Washington skipper Davey Johnson suggested a poor throw later in the contest may have been caused by the dispute: "That's just a rookie mistake ... I think maybe he took his at-bat with him into the outfield."
Wrap: Nationals at Astros, 8/8/12
Video: Galarraga balks, scoring Harper and sending Zimmerman to second while keeping LaRoche at bat