Saturday, April 1, 2017

No-Pitch Intentional Walk Rule Used for First Time

MLB doled out the first no-pitch intentional walk in Major League history during the annual pre-season Battle of the Bay Bridge Series in San Francisco.

Melvin summons an intentional walk.
With one out and runners at second and third base in the bottom of the 8th inning of Friday's Athletics-Giants game, A's Manager Bob Melvin elected to use the no-pitch intentional walk rule now afforded to teams in order to load the bases.

Official Scoring: The walk was credited to A's relief pitcher Ryan Dull, whose pitch count remained unaffected as Giants batter Brandon Crawford simply jogged to first base.

Procedure: In order to issue the free pass, Melvin simply displayed a hand signal of "four" in the direction of HP Umpire Tom Woodring as Crawford approached the batter's box.

MLB formally announced the adoption of no-pitch intentional walks on March 2, alongside several other rules modifications for the 2017, which include:
> 30-Second time limit for Managers deciding whether to challenge a play;
> Two-minute guideline for Replay Officials in New York;
> Crew Chief Reviews will now begin in the 8th (as opposed to 7th) inning;
> Fielders may no longer make markings with foreign objects (e.g., tape) on the playing surface;
> Crow-hop deliveries and resetting of the pivot foot are now illegal (balk or illegal pitch);
> Base Coaches must stand within their box until play begins.

Alternate Link: A's use an intentional pass shortcut for the first time in Major League history (SF)


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