Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Dave Martinez's Nats Lose on Walk Off RLI No-Call

In a flashback to the 2019 World Series Nationals manager Dave Martinez argued with a plate umpire in Houston, this time as the Astros walked off Washington on a throwing error and runner's lane interference no-call at first base. So, was the call correct or not?

With one out and the bases loaded, Astros batter Jake Meyers grounded to Nats shortstop CJ Abrams, who threw to catcher Keibert Ruiz to force out Astros R3 Kyle Tucker at home. Nationals catcher Ruiz's throw to first base to attempt an inning-ending double play got away from first baseman Michael Chavis, no-called by HP Umpire Jeremy Riggs...but was this no-call correct?

Official Baseball Rule 5.09(a)(11) states, "A batter is out when, in running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, they run outside (to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul line, and in the umpire’s judgment in so doing interfere with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case the ball is dead."

Replays indicate batter-runner Meyers failed to run within the runner's lane and—by virtue of the fielder's mitt making contact with Meyers' helmet as the the fielder attempted to field the catcher's throw—likely interfered pursuant to OBR 5.09(a)(11). Therefore, this appeared to be an incorrect runner's lane interference no-call.


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