Friday, August 30, 2019

Chris Segal's KC Catch & Carry Scores Game Winner

Lack of rules knowledge led to a game-winning run in Kansas City when 3B Umpire Chris Segal awarded A's runners a base after Royals third baseman Chelsor Cuthbert caught batter Corban Joseph's fly ball, only to step with it into the third base dugout—what's known as a catch and carry and whose penalty is "Time" and a one-base award (batter is out).

Oakland won the game by a single run—the one that was awarded on the catch-and-carry, making it all the more painful and preventable when Cuthbert said after the game that he didn't know the rule.

The Play: With one out and runners on second and third base in the top of the 9th inning of Thursday's Athletics-Royals game, Athletics batter Joseph hit a fly ball in foul territory near Oakland's third-base dugout. Kansas City fielder Cheslor Cuthbert reached over the dugout to make the catch and then jumped into the dugout so as not to fall.

Segal calls Cuthbert's catch in Kansas City.
The Call: 3B Umpire Chris Segal called the batter out on Cuthbert's legal catch (both feet were on the playing field at the time of the catch, as the top step or lip of the dugout is considered part of the live ball territory) and then called "Time" as a result of Cuthbert stepping fully into the dugout. Segal then awarded A's baserunner R3 Seth Brown home plate (from his origin at third base) and runner R2 Jurickson Profar third base (from his origin at second base).

The Rule: Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(3) states, "Each runner, other than the batter, may without liability to be put out, advance one base when—A fielder, after catching a fly ball, steps or falls into any out-of-play area" while 5.06(b)(3)(C) Comment states, "If a fielder, after having made a legal catch, should step or fall into any out-of-play area, the ball is dead and each runner shall advance one base, without liability to be put out, from his last legally touched base at the time the fielder entered such out-of-play area."

Finally, to cover all our bases, OBR 5.09(a)(1) Comment indicates, "A fielder may reach into, but not step into, a dugout to make a catch, and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed. A fielder, in order to make a catch on a foul ball nearing a dugout or other out-of-play area (such as the stands), must have one or both feet on or over the playing surface (including the lip of the dugout) and neither foot on the ground inside the dugout or in any other out-of-play area."
Related PostCase Play 2019-1 - Modified Catch & Carry [Solved] (5/6/19).

Cuthbert looks on as Segal enforces the rule.
Player Admits Not Knowing Rule: After the game, Cuthbert told the media that he didn't know the rule: "The umpire said the runners were going to advance a base. I didn't know that rule. Every day you learn something in baseball." With Oakland winning by a 9-8 final score, that lack of rules knowledge very likely hurt Kansas City's chances to win the game.

BONUS: Watch HP Umpire Bill Welke explain to Ned Yost and the Royals dugout the reason for Segal's call. This is what we mean by backing up a crewmate on a rudimentary rules-related play or call.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Catch & Carry - Umpire Awards Base in Kansas City (CCS)


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