Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Early in the Season

Tonight's game was a yawner. The Raniers had a hot prospect named Hernandez- who is 19 and threw for 5 good innings. His speed was pretty impressive - although one of the Rivercats pitchers recorded a C (100 mph) late in the game. The night was cold - about 60 degrees and the crowd was small. The Rivercats just could not get it together - losing 4-0. The most excitement of the game came before it - when we both got some all-star paraphrenalia and when I went and got coffee - which raised the temperature in the section by a couple of degrees. Dan Johnson got thrown out on a very lousy call. But umpires are relatively human.

Also saw two relatively rare calls -

The infield fly rule is a rule used to prevent a team from letting a pop-up drop in order to get two outs instead of the one that catching the ball would accomplish. It is called when a pop-up is hit on the infield (judgment call by the umpire) and there are less than 2 outs and runners on first and second base, or the bases are loaded. The reason is that a player could let the ball drop and because all of the baserunners return to the bases assuming the ball will be caught, the fielder could presumably throw to two bases for a double play as if it were a ground ball. Once the rule has been called by the umpire (done by pointing to the sky) the batter is out, and the runners can advance at their own risk after tagging up like they would on a fly ball.

There are a couple requirements for a balk. When the pitcher is on the rubber and comes to a set position, which is when they plant their lead foot into the position they throw from they must then make a movement toward their throwing direction. If they are going to throw to a base they have to step in the direction of the base. Once in a set postion a pitcher can't move his body without throwing to the plate or a base, if they do it is a balk. A pitcher can also balk if they do not come to a complete stop when they go into their set position, There is not time limit on the stop as long as they come to a complete stop. A pitcher can also commit a balk if they got to their mouth while on the dirt of the pitchers mound. If a balk is issue each runner on base gets to move up one base and the play is dead. If there are not runners on base then the batter is issued a ball.

I always have to remind myself about both rules.

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