Friday, July 5, 2019

Case Play 2019-5 - Batter Causes HBP [Solved]

A batter cannot cause a pitcher to balk, but can he induce a HBP? Giants player Kevin Pillar's errant "Time" request during Padres hurler Luis Perdomo's delivery seemed to cause a hit batsman as HP Umpire Jeff Nelson properly declined Pillar's late request for "Time," resulting in a slowly thrown pitch that bounced into Pillar's left foot on its way to the backstop. Was Nelson's subsequent hit-by-pitch ruling the correct call or should Nelson have reset the play "from scratch"?

The Play: With one out and none on in the top of the 6th inning of July 4's Giants-Padres game, San Francisco batter Pillar requested "Time" from HP Umpire Nelson as San Diego pitcher Perdomo began his delivery; replays indicate Perdomo was into his leg kick as Pillar signaled his timeout request.

Is this disrupted delivery a true HBP?
Nelson properly invoked Official Baseball Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment and ignored Pillar's untimely request as Perdomo, perhaps thinking "Time" had been called, slowed his delivery and half-heartedly threw a slow pitch that bounced into Pillar's foot.

Case Play Question: As the ball bounced into and away from Pillar, Nelson ruled the pitch a hit batsman and awarded Pillar first base. Was this the correct call and if not, what should the call have been? No pitch? Ball? .... Strike?
Article of NoteEven if Time Not Granted, Batter Cannot Cause a Balk (7/14/18).
Article of NoteStarting From Scratch - Batter Disrupts Pitcher's Delivery (6/29/16).

Case Play Answer: Rule 5.04(b)(2) protects the pitcher from balking as a result of a batter's action, including a batter's late request for "Time" that is denied by the umpire; if the pitcher stops his motion or otherwise balks (with a runner aboard, obviously) as a result of the batter's act, the balk is disregarded and play starts from scratch, one of baseball's only true "do-over" remedies.

However, Rule 5.04(b)(2) does not protect a pitcher from throwing a ball. To better illustrate, consider this timeline of protection: If the batter inadvertently causes the pitcher to disrupt delivery, the pitcher is protected from an infraction of the rules from an illegal delivery (e.g., any balk is nullified). However, if the delivery is not illegal, then the result of the pitcher's delivery shall stand because once the pitch becomes a ball or strike, the umpire shall call it a ball or a strike (or HBP in this case). Protection extends to the conclusion of the balk/illegal pitch rule and does not include the pitch itself, which shall be called 'Ball' or 'Strike,' as the case may be.

Official Baseball Rules Library
OBR 5.04(b)(2) Comment: "Umpires will not call 'Time' at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims 'dust in his eyes,' 'steamed glasses,' 'didn’t get the sign' or for any other cause."
OBR 5.04(b)(2) Comment [Cont'd]: "If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a 'set position' with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch because the batter has inadvertently caused the pitcher to interrupt his delivery, it shall not be called a balk. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule and the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from 'scratch.'"
OBR 5.04(b)(2): "The batter shall not leave his position in the batter’s box after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts his windup. PENALTY: If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call 'Ball' or 'Strike,' as the case may be."
OBR 5.05(b)(2): "The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out when—He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (A) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball."

Video as follows:
Alternate Link: Pillar's bad 'Time'-ing throws off Perdomo, who hits him with a pitch (SF)


Post a Comment