Monday, May 16, 2022

Ask a Teachable - Chris Segal Stays at the Florida Lodge

In this Ask the UEFL-Tmac's Teachable Moments hybrid analysis, we review HP Umpire Chris Segal's stuck ball call on a wild pitch to the backstop that lodged between the warning track ground and protective padding in Miami.

This sequence began when Marlins batter Brian Anderson attempted to check his swing on a 1-2 pitch from Milwaukee's Aaron Ashby, which bounced to the backstop.

HP Umpire Segal immediately (using his left arm) appealed to 1B Umpire Dan Merzel, who signaled with his first that the batter did indeed swing for strike three. Segal then indicated an uncaught third strike with his right hand and tracked the baseball to the backstop behind home plate, finding that the ball stuck between the ground and wall padding, calling the play dead due to the lodge, and awarding batter-runner Anderson first base.

The lodged ball call, which was confirmed via Replay Review, originates from Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(4), which includes the phrase "if it sticks in such fence, scoreboard, shrubbery or vines" in relation to the outcome of "Each runner including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out, advance." Whether or not the catcher or any fielder subsequently plays the ball is immaterial: the ball is dead the moment it is declared stuck and out of play.

To review, the general premise regarding balls going out of play (such as by being lodged or stuck) is to award two bases for a batted (from time of pitch) or thrown (time of pitch for a first play by an infielder, time of throw for most other cases) ball and one base for a pitched ball (from time of pitch).


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