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Justin Verlander made an interesting pitch on Saturday night

Apr 18, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT

Verlander quick pitch.bmp

I’ve gone on record recently saying that I really don’t know what a balk is anymore. But after my brain processed it for a minute, yeah, I think what Justin Verlander did on Saturday night against the A’s was a balk.  Verlander explained the play afterwards:

“I went to go pick one and I didn’t get my body turned,” Verlander said. “The way I thought — and this was all in milliseconds — if I just throw it home, they won’t call anything.”

Nice try!

  1. The Common Man/ - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    That’s pretty crazy. The weirdest part is that he clearly hits the batter, but since it’s not technically a pitch, the batter shouldn’t get 1B. Of all the bad outcomes, this was least bad, it seems like.

  2. chrisdtx - Apr 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    That was a…I don’t know what that was. Can it really be a balk if his foot wasn’t on the rubber? Can it be a HBP if it wasn’t technically a pitch? I think they initially called it an E1, but then the official scorer changed it to a balk. Anyway…weird.

  3. dcburden - Apr 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    If memory serves, it’s a balk to throw to a base unless there’s already a runner there or on the base behind. So yeah, this or a throw to third would have been a balk.

    • dcburden - Apr 18, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      Nope, I’m wrong.

      8.01(c) (c) At any time during the pitcher’s preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw.

      So, I guess this was a balk because of the way he stepped back off the rubber first?

  4. dcburden - Apr 18, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Or did the runner just advance under this rule?

    (e) If the pitcher removes his pivot foot from contact with the pitcher’s plate by stepping backward with that foot, he thereby becomes an infielder and if he makes a wild throw from that position, it shall be considered the same as a wild throw by any other infielder.
    Rule 8.01(e) Comment: The pitcher, while off the rubber, may throw to any base. If he makes a wild throw, such throw is the throw of an infielder and what follows is governed by the rules covering a ball thrown by a fielder.

    • cur68 - Apr 18, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      dc I’ve had a long hard weekend hurting my head thinking. All this rulifying, while commendable on your part to get to the bottom of this, is making it hurt again. I can’t tell for certain what the infraction was and I saw the highlight a few times but I thought initially it’s wild pitch/hit batter, take your base Mr. DeJesus. But on slo mo I see the left foot going backwards while his right, the pivot foot, goes to towards 3rd. Hence a balk, resume your at bat Mr. De Jesus, and get thee to 2nd Mr. Barton. Isn’t that correct?

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