Wednesday, April 28, 2021

MLB Ejection 020 - Marty Foster (1; Pat Murphy)

Two innings after Brewers manager Craig Counsel argued an obstruction call at first base, 1B Umpire Marty Foster ejected Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy (check swing) in the top of the 4th inning of the #Brewers-#Marlins game. With two out and none on, Marlins batter Sandy Alcantara squared to bunt a first-pitch sinker from Brewers pitcher Eric Yardley for a called first ball by HP Umpire Mike Muchlinski, affirmed as no swing on appeal by 1B Umpire Foster. Play was reviewed and adjudicated by the UEFL Appeals Board (8-0), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 2-2. The Marlins ultimately won the contest, 6-2.

As for the 2nd inning obstruction call when Marlins batter-runner Isan Diaz reached on an error by Brewers pitcher Zack Godley, by the letter of the rule, this was obstruction. The definition of obstruction is "the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner." After fielding the ball, as soon as Godley threw/lobbed the ball to first base, the pitcher was no longer in possession of the ball nor in the act of fielding the ball.

Because runner Diaz had to slow down or modify a stride to first base as a result of Godley standing ahead of him, this is an act of impeding the progress of the runner and, thus, obstruction. There is no "common sense says Diaz would have been out at first base anyway" provision for this brand of obstruction; because a play was being made on Diaz at the time of obstruction (and Diaz was also a batter-runner prior to reaching first base), Official Baseball Rule 6.01(h)(1) [Obstruction Type 1 or Type A] requires the umpire to award the obstructed runner "at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction" (in this case, Diaz was awarded one base [first base]).

Had this been a case of a runner obstructed while no play was being made on said runner (including a batter-runner who had already reached first base), it would have qualified for OBR 6.01(h)(2) [OBS Type 2 or Type B]'s enforcement, which allows umpires to "nullify the act" using judgment and common sense: if this was a Type 2/B call, all else equal, Foster could have "nullified the act" and, having adjudged that Diaz would likely be out had the obstruction not occurred, called Diaz out; however, OBS Type 1/A does not allow for this manner of judgment call. Finally, the runner is permitted to establish their own base path: whether the runner is running to the left of the foul line/on the infield grass does not apply to this play as this is not a case of potential runner's lane interference.

This is Marty Foster (60)'s 1st ejection of 2021.
Marty Foster now has -3 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = -3).
Crew Chief Sam Holbrook now has 3 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 0 Incorrect = 3).

This is the 20th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is Milwaukee's 1st ejection of 2021, 3rd in the NL Central (CIN 3; CHC 2; MIL 1; PIT, STL 0).
This is Pat Murphy's 1st ejection since Sept 15, 2015 (Alfonso Marquez; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Marty Foster's 1st ejection since May 7, 2019 (Rick Renteria; QOC = N [Check Swing]).

Wrap: Miami Marlins vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 4/28/21 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: After obstruction, errors, and check swing bunt, Foster ejects Murphy (MIL/CCS)


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