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Matt Kemp got boned on that pickoff play last night

Jun 24, 2010, 9:24 AM EDT

Balk, balk, balk, balk, Bakawk!

I said in the recaps this morning that the Dodgers-Angels game ended on base running screwups. And make no mistake, Russell Martin’s game-ender was a screwup.  But upon further review of the video tape (i.e. initial review, as I was merely working off game stories earlier) reveals that the Dodgers got boned on the Matt Kemp pickoff play that resulted in out number two.

Check it out here.  How is that not a balk by Brian Fuentes? He’s moving towards home, stops, pivots and then turns around and nails Kemp.  You see way less obvious re-directs called as balks all the damn time.

Maybe it wasn’t the difference maker because of Russell Martin’s deal, but man, that was just a whiff by the ump.

  1. canofcorn66 - Jun 24, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    From the books…

    8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when—
    (a) The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery;
    Rule 8.05(a) Comment: If a lefthanded or righthanded pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

  2. Dan W - Jun 24, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    Craig –
    That is a balk – but not for the reason you suggest. If you watch his leg is moving in a straight, up and down, motion. He was not moving toward the plate. He is allowed to do that, and still turn to second.
    However, it is a balk because if you watch, his left leg hops, when it does, he disengages from the rubber BEFORE his right leg touches the ground. That is a balk.
    I will say though that the leg part is quite close, but I do not see that as a balk.

  3. aleskel - Jun 24, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    well, looking at the replay the Martin play would not have mattered if Juan Rivera didn’t take a freakin’ awful route to Carroll’s pop-up. That’s a catchable ball.

  4. Paper Lions - Jun 24, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    It also looks like Martin got back to the bag before he was tagged.

  5. TomTom - Jun 24, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    I was going to say the same thing…

  6. nps6724 - Jun 24, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Martin was definitely safe. Hand is on the bag when the tag is applied.

  7. Anon - Jun 24, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    I can’t even fathom why that’s not a balk. Very weird non-call. Best part is the Angels’ announcers praising of Fuestes’ “great spin move.”

  8. adam - Jun 24, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    That was awful and blatant. The guys foot is coming down in his natural motion when he suddenly turns around? Yeah, that’s a balk.
    And Russell Martin should call Denard Span because there’s no way he was 1000% out on that call, which means you can’t make it.

  9. CosmoJr - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    As a former umpire, yes, I think that was a bad call. I would have c alled a balk. In fact, it’s one of the worst violations I have ever seen. So that would have been a run, but what bothers me more was the late tag at second on Martin. He was clearly safe. So, weknow it now takes two blown calls to cost the Dodgers a game. I wonder if they belong to the same union as the wonderful referees that blew 2 calls against the USA almost costing them a spot in the round of16?

  10. CosmoJr - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    P.S.- And then Martin gets tossed to “boot”…sorry pun intended.

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