You Make the Call


Mark and I made the trip up to the Yards today for a most satisfactory Baltimore win over St. Louis 8-5. Ubaldo Jimenez pitched one of his better games as an Orioles and the O’s hitters came up with four homeruns (Smith, Trumbo Mancini, Castillo) and a couple of triples (Jones, Mancini). The Cards also had four homeruns and one great catch (Fowler) plus we got to see most of the Cardinal relief pitchers at various points in the game. In the photo you see various father-child combos who were allowed to play catch on the field.

Now for the puzzler. Bottom of the 3rd inning. Smith on first base. None out. Count is three balls, two strikes on Machado. On the next pitch, Smith breaks for second base for an attempted steal. Machado checks his swing. Catcher Molina throws to second base even as umpire calls ball four. Base on balls. Runner automatically advances to second base. Smith eases up and jogs into second, secure in the knowledge that ball four advances him to second base. The second baseman tags him before he reaches the base. Meanwhile Molina asks ump to check with the first base umpire to see if Machado actually swung. Fortunately the first base ump says ‘no, he did not swing,’ and the walk stands.

Got that? OK, my question is,

Suppose the 1st base umpire called it a strike. No walk. No automatic advancement. Is the runner out? He was tagged out. However the reason he stopped running was because of the original home plate umpire’s call. Neither Mark nor I are quite sure how this would be ruled.

Any ideas?

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