Saturday, March 23, 2024

Shohei's Blunder & Bogaerts Strikes Out on Pitch Clock Violation in Seoul

After Dodgers acquisition Shohei Ohtani's baserunning blunder during MLB's Seoul Series, Padres batter Xander Bogaerts struck out on a pitch timer violation when HP Umpire Andy Fletcher called an automatic strike on the San Diego slugger, leading to an argument over who said what and when.

In Game 1 of the LA vs San Diego season opening series in Korea, baserunner R1 Ohtani ran toward second base on a deep fly ball off Freddie Freeman's bat that was eventually caught for a fly-out. When retreating to first base, Ohtani—who had rounded second base—failed to retouch on his last time by the bag. San Diego successfully appealed the base-running error for the inning-ending double play. Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(1) requires all runners forced to return to "retouch all bases in reverse order."

With two out and none on in the top of the 8th inning of Game 2, Bogaerts took a 1-0 changeup from Dodgers pitcher JP Feyereisen for a called first strike. Bogaerts, who appeared to disagree with HP Umpire Fletcher's strike call (pitch QOC for those curious: px 0.68, pz 1.54 [sz_bot 1.58 / RAD 1.46]...the call was correct), stepped toward the umpire and said something, to which HP Umpire Fletcher signaled "Time" and pointed at the batter to indicate Bogaerts had taken his offensive timeout.

After a later strike two call (px 0.31, pz 1.64 [sz_bot 1.58]—call was correct), Bogaerts again said something to Fletcher, who then signaled Bogaerts out for a clock/time violation, resulting in an argument during which it became clear the disagreement concerned how many times Bogaerts had requested time out. Bogaerts maintained it was his first time out request of the at-bat while Fletcher had it as the batter's second.

With a 15-second bases-empty pitch clock (18-seconds with runners on base [down from 20-seconds in 2023]), the timer can work very quickly, leaving little time to argue about an umpire's call between pitches. The pace of play procedure states that each batter is allowed one time out request per at-bat, meaning that Fletcher's determination that Bogaerts had requested two time outs also meant that Bogaerts had violated the pitch timer rules by requesting an excessive timeout, the penalty for which is an automatic strike.

With a two-strike count, the auto-K resulted in a strikeout. | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Padres catch Ohtani's mistake on the bases, Bogaerts strikes out on excess timeout rule


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