Sunday, June 4, 2023

Aaron Judge's Bullpen Crashing Catch & Carry

After Dodgers batter Max Muncy demonstrated how to legally run within the runner's lane and was therefore safe when hit in the back by Yankees catcher Jose Trevino's throw, New York outfielder Aaron Judge crashed through the bullpen fence and gate in right field while catching JD Martinez's fly ball.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone soon left the dugout to argue as the umpires awarded R1 Muncy second base on the play, and Crew Chief Marvin Hudson had to explain baseball's catch-and-carry rule to the New York skipper, who had originally sought to challenge the boundary and runner placement call. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chuckled when told Boone was not challenging the play after all.

Official Baseball Rule 5.09(a)(1) states that a batter is out when their "fair or foul fly ball (other than a foul tip) is legally caught by a fielder." In order for the catch to be legal, the fielder "must have one or both feet on or over the playing surface and neither foot inside the dugout or in any other out-of-play area."

OBR 5.06(b)(3)(C) states that each runner (other than the batter) may advance one base when "A fielder, after catching a fly ball, steps or falls into any out-of-play area." The one base award is made from the runner's "last legally touched base at the time the fielder entered such out of play area."

Accordingly, fielder Judge legally caught the fly ball while still on the playing surface, but then stepped into the bullpen and out of play, resulting in a dead ball. Pursuant to the rules, that meant R1 Muncy—obliged to remain on or go back to first base to tag up on the caught fly ball—was awarded second base on Judge's catch and carry.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Muncy's legal runner's lane jaunt to first precedes Judge's crashing catch and carry


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