Thursday, March 30, 2023

Baserunner Pete Alonso Called for Pitch Clock Violation in Miami

MLB's new pitch clock took no time to make an appearance on Opening Day, with a violation in Boston striking out Red Sox batter Rafael Devers. In Miami, however, baserunner Pete Alonso was called for a clock violation by HP Umpire Larry Vanover, batter Jeff McNeil incurring an automatic strike penalty as a result of his teammate's infraction...which was...what exactly?

The Devers play at Fenway Park is fairly simple: batters must be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher by the eight-second mark of the pitch clock. Devers wasn't, and HP Umpire Lance Barksdale assessed the automatic strike, resulting in the third strike of Devers' at-bat and a clock-induced strikeout.

But at the Mets-Marlins game, Vanover called the violation not because batter McNeil wasn't ready to go by the eight-second mark, but because New York baserunner R1 Alonso apparently took too long to return to first base after a foul ball by McNeil. Replays indicate Alonso walking back to first base after the foul, with Vanover eventually signaling "Time" and pointing to Alonso before assessing a pitch clock violation and auto-strike to McNeil.

The rules do allow umpires to call violations based on baserunners employing tactics to delay the game or hinder pace of play, such as by intentionally delaying their return to a base on a foul ball or other disruption in order to prevent the pitch timer from starting (the timer starts when all players return to their positions).

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Pair of Pitch Clock violations in Miami and Boston...including a runner who causes one! (CCS)


Post a Comment