Friday, July 29, 2016

Humility - Hirschbeck Admits Overturning Balk in Error

After chief John Hirschbeck's crew reversed umpire DJ Reyburn's balk call in Miami on Thursday night, the veteran crew chief himself purportedly admitted to a pool reporter that the reversed call was incorrect, according to's Jenifer Langosch.

Fernandez starts, then stops, his motion.
With two outs and runners at second and third in the top of the 2nd inning of a scoreless Cardinals-Marlins game, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez prepared to dish out an intentional walk before stepping off the rubber in an illegal fashion, according to 3B Umpire Reyburn, who called the balk, which was mirrored by HP Umpire Vic Carapazza and 2B Umpire Bill Welke.

Reyburn ruled Fernandez had violated Rule 6.02(a)(1), which states it is a balk when, "The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery."

Upon consultation amongst the crew, the balk call was incorrectly reversed and crew chief Hirschbeck walked to the visiting dugout to explain the crew's no-balk ruling to Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny.

Mattingly waits in the distance for a decision.
According to Matheny, two umpires on the crew saw Fernandez move his front/left/free foot prior to disengaging the rubber with his back/right/pivot foot, which would signify a balk for having started his natural pitching motion and failed to complete such delivery. Matheny, in postgame comments, said a third umpire saw Fernandez properly disengage the pitcher's plate with his back foot first, which, had this occurred, would have made the play legal. When pressed on the matter, Matheny declined to further implicate Hirschbeck as the overturning umpire.

Red Herring: Marlins 2B Dee Gordon attempting to call "Time" in the background is irrelevant as replays indicate none of the four umpires on the field acknowledged nor granted Gordon's request.

Hirscheck, according to Langosch, took responsibility for the error after the game and stated the balk should have stood, and St. Louis should have scored as a result. No matter, the Redbirds won the contest, 5-4.

Video available via "Read more"
Alternate Link: Balk call is reversed, preventing a Cardinals run in the second inning (MIA)


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