Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Case Play 2013-06: Foul Bunt with Two Strikes (Completed)

Lightning Case Play: Foul Bunt with Two Strikes. With two out and a 2-2 count in the 9th inning of the final game of the season, a pitcher throwing in his last career game is sitting on 1,999 career strikeouts. On his final pitch of the game, the batter pops up a bunt into foul territory that is caught behind home plate by the catcher, three outs and game over.

Does the pitcher finish his career with 2,000 strikeouts because a foul bunt is a strike pursuant to Rule 2.00 [Strike] ("a strike is a legal pitch...which (d) is bunted foul") or is he stuck at 1,999 because the fly ball was caught by a fielder pursuant to Rule 6.05(a) ("A batter is out when his fair or foul fly ball...is legally caught by a fielder")? Does the existence of Rule 6.05(d) change things ("he bunts foul on third strike")?

Related Play: Diamondbacks-Dodgers, 7/10/13, Cody Ross bunted a foul pop fly with a two-strike count.
Clue: Gary Rausch [from Arizona] would know the answer to this question. So would Don Hartack [from LA].

*A lightning case play is a "simple" scenario worth one point. This case play expires Thursday at 11:59 pm.

Correct Answer: The play is ruled a caught foul bunt, the pitcher is left with 1,999 career strikeouts. Rule 10.15(a)(4): "The official scorer shall score a strikeout whenever a batter: bunts foul on a third strike, unless such bunt on a third strike results in a foul fly caught by any fielder, in which case the official scorer shall not score a strikeout and shall credit the fielder who catcher such foul fly with a putout."

Correct Responses by: 2dub, Boredcravens, BT_Blue, BullMeechum, Cdbees, Chris Silvestri, cyclone14, DawgDays, DD4D, gkiewitt, Gregoryakoch, kickersrule, JaxRolo, majessa, Moe, NorthStarUmpire#2, RadioPearl, Red @ss Ump, RichMSN, rgoldar2, ryanrrobbins, SJR, toss 'em, Turducken, UmpsRule.

27 comments :

Gil Imber said...

There's no good way to choose, since no call is indicated for which we can choose correct or incorrect. Foul bunt would be an out, caught fly ball would be an out, and there's no indication which was the actual call. I would say he's stuck at 1,999, since a caught fly ball in foul territory is not a foul ball.

Gil Imber said...

F-2.

Gil Imber said...

I say no strike out!

Gil Imber said...

1999. This is a fly ball caught in foul territory, not a foul ball.

Gil Imber said...

But it is a foul ball as Rule 2.00 says, "...while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground."
The proper rule citation is 10.15(a)(4) which says, "The official scorer shall score a strikeout whenever a batter: ... bunts foul on third strike, unless such bunt on third strike results in a foul fly caught by any fielder, in which case the official scorer shall not score a strike-out and shall credit the fielder who catches such foul fly with a putout."

Gil Imber said...

This is a caught fly ball over foul territory no Strike out. He stays at 1999 K's.

Rule 6.05(a) is what applies here.

Rules 2.00 [Strike] & 6.05(d) - need to take Rule 2.00 [Foul] into consideration "A FOUL BALL is a batted ball that settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or that first falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or that, while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground."

In the scenario presented the ball never "settles on foul territory", "bounds past 1st or 3rd on or over foul territory", "falls on foul territory" or "touches any object foreign to the ground" therefore it was not technically a foul ball it was a caught fly ball over foul territory.

Here's another thought solidifying it is not a foul ball. Take a situation with 1 out and a runner aboard. With 2 strikes the batter pops up a bunt into foul territory that is caught behind home plate by the catcher. The ball is still live because it is not a foul ball and the catcher can attempt to make a put out on the runner if the situation warrants.

Gil Imber said...

It is not a foul ball. It is a foul out. It would be a foul ball if the catcher dropped it. Then it would be a strike out.

Gil Imber said...

I'm probably dead wrong on this, but I thought the (foul) fly all being caught nullifies the K from being recorded, so 6.05 would not apply?

Gil Imber said...

The catcher should have let it fall to the ground.

Gil Imber said...

2.00 (FOUL BALL) and 6.05(a) govern. It's a fly out, not a foul ball (or foul bunt.)

Gil Imber said...

Caught ball, not a foul tip, so its NOT a strikeout.

Gil Imber said...

caught ball, no strikeout. Stupid catcher.

Gil Imber said...

Stuck on 1,999 strikeouts. Caught foul fly. -SJR

Gil Imber said...

This is covered in the scoring section of the rule book.
In this case the pitcher would be stuck on 1,999 strikeouts.
10.15 STRIKEOUTS

A strikeout is a statistic credited to a pitcher and charged to a batter when the
umpire calls three strikes on a batter, as set forth in this Rule 10.15.

(a) The official scorer shall score a strikeout whenever a batter:

(4) bunts foul on third strike, unless such bunt on third strike results in a foul fly
caught by any fielder, in which case the official scorer shall not score a strikeout
and shall credit the fielder who catches such foul fly with a putout.

Gil Imber said...

Good (scoring) catch by the person who posted 10.15(4), BTW.

Gil Imber said...

The ball is not officially a foul until it comes to rest or contact with something not normally associated with foul territory (ex. another player). Sucks to be F1 in this case. Stuck at 1, 999.

Gil Imber said...

Stuck at 1,999 strikeouts

Gil Imber said...

For this we move away from the rules the umpire uses and on to the official scorer area of the OBR... 10.15(a)(4) .. "The official scorer shall score a strikeout whenever a batter: bunts foul on a third strike, unless such bunt on a third strike results in a foul fly caught by any fielder, in which case the official scorer shall not score a strikeout and shall credit the fielder who catcher such foul fly with a putout."

The pitcher ends his career with 1,999 Ks.

Gil Imber said...

No strikeout in this scenario!

Gil Imber said...

This is credited as a F-2, not a K....stuck at 1999!

Gil Imber said...

F2. Not a strikeout. Rule 605d just says batter is out.

Gil Imber said...

6.05(a) governs this. Recorded as a pop out. F1 remains at 1,999 punch outs.

Gil Imber said...

Boredcravens. No K. Ff2.

Gil Imber said...

Rule 6.05 (a) take precedent over the other rules in this scenario. The batter is out because of the caught fly ball. The pitcher will finish his career with 1,999 strikeouts. As ruled in the Diamondbacks-Dodgers game on 7/10/13: "C Ross bunt popped out foul to catcher."

Gil Imber said...

This is a caught fly ball over foul ground. The catch supersedes the bunt being foul since the ball is not yet foul as defined in rule 2.00. 10.15 (a) (4) instructs the official scorer of the game to credit F2 with a put out in this instance. Sorry F1, stuck at 1999.

Gil Imber said...

The scorer makes his decisions based on an umpire's call (the scorer cannot make a ruling that contradicts an umpire's decision). The umpire would not be calling a strikeout for this. See 6.05(a), 2.00 ("catch," "foul ball," "strike"), 10.01(b)(1), 10.15(a)(4)

Gil Imber said...

I will refer you to Gil's ruling on this case play. The official scorer makes his decisions based on both the umpire's call and the rule book, as per 10.01(b)(1). The umpire will call 'out' on this play, he will not distinguish between fly out or strike out as that is irrelevant to him in this specific situation (being the 3rd out). It is up to the official scorer to use 10.15(a)(4) to determine whether or not to rule a strikeout.

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