Monday, September 26, 2022

Ask - Washington Loses Run on Miami's Chaser Appeal

Already 43 games behind first place in the NL East, the Washington Nationals lost an apparent run in Miami after Marlins catcher Nick Fortes successfully appealed to HP Umpire Bill Miller that Nats baserunner CJ Abrams failed to touch home plate, a call affirmed via Replay Review.

With none out and two on (R1 Vargas, R3 Abrams) in the 2nd inning of Sunday's affair in Miami, Nationals batter Victor Robles hit a ground ball to Marlins pitcher Edward Cabrera, who threw home to catcher Fortes as runner R3 Abrams slid toward home plate. HP Umpire Miller made no signal, only ruling R3 Abrams out after catcher Fortes pursued Abrams to the visitor's first-base dugout at Marlins Park to apply a tag.

The Appeal Rule: Pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 5.09(c)(2), a runner is out on appeal when "they fail to touch each base in order before they, or a missed base, are tagged."

Furthermore, the MLB Umpire Manual advises what to do when both the runner misses their base touch and the fielder misses their tag of the runner, as Miller ruled occurred in Miami: "the umpire shall make no signal on the play...the runner must then be tagged if they attempt to return to the plate; if they continue on their way to the bench, the defense may make an appeal."

If the runner returns to the plate before being tagged, the umpire may then signal the runner safe.

If the runner makes no attempt to return to the plate, as occurred in Miami, the catcher has two options to appeal. For this play, F2 Fortes could have either tagged home plate or tagged the runner Abrams; so-called "accidental" appeals wherein the fielder inadvertently steps on the base with the ball don't count, meaning that Fortes would have to make it clear to HP Umpire Miller that stepping on the base was an intentional act alleging that runner Abrams failed to legally touch it—pursuing the runner to the warning track in front of their dugout in order to apply a tag, while time-consuming, is also a valid appeal option, meaning that Miller properly ruled on Fortes' appeal, declaring runner Abrams out for failing to touch a base. 

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Mechanics review of Miller's no-call on double-miss at home plate (CCS)


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