The Ole Ball Game

3RD STRIKE CALL

Scott asked: WHEN AN UMPIRE CALLS A BATTER OUT ON 3 STRIKES, BUT THE BALL IS DROPPED, NO RUNNER ON 1ST.


IS HE STILL ALLOWED TO RUN TO 1ST EVEN IF THE UMPIRE CALLS HIM OUT?

Rick answered: Scott, thank you for your question!

The rule covering this situation is Rule 7-3 Sec 4 Batter is out when:

Art 1b: A third strike is not caught, provided a runner occupies first base and there are less than two outs;

1. If there are two outs or if no runner occupies first base, the batter is not out unless the third strike is caught. He is entitled to try and reach first base before being tagged out, or thrown out.

Whether the umpire called the batter out or not, he can attempt to run to first base. The umpire in the case you described made an improper call, one which can be challenged as soon as the play becomes dead.

If the runner attempts to get to first base, whether thrown or tagged out, or actually makes it to the base, the umpire's "out call" should get reversed on appeal.

While coaches are not allowed to argue balls and strikes, they are able to question the application of a rule, if they feel it has been interpreted incorrectly. In this case, it was an incorrect call.

Once determined to be the incorrect call, and if that call resulted in the batter not attempting to go to first base and walking back to the dugout, the umpire might not reverse his call, as he could then determine that the batter gave up on the play, even though he would have given up due to the umpire's call. Big mess!

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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Feb 15, 2013
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How would the scorekeeper score this?
by: Anonymous

If the thrid strike is dropped and the runner advances to 1st safely. Would this be scored as
a strikeout with an error on the catcher (E2)?

Rick answered: The rule which covers the situation described is 9-5-Art 5...An error is charged against a fielder or a team for each misplay that prolongs the time at bat of the batter or the time a player continues to be a runner, or permits the runner to advance one or more bases.

The batter became a runner as soon as the third strike was dropped by the catcher. Reaching first base safely would complete the portion where the player becomes a runner.

You are correct, strikeout, with an E-2 in the book.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

Jun 18, 2012
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called strike or swing and miss on 3rd strike
by: Anonymous

Anonymous asked: Doesn't the batter have to swing at the 3rd strike? A called 3rd strike doesnt allow the batter advance it has to be a swing and miss by the batter.

Rick answered: A third strike is a third strike, whether the batter swings or not.

Rule 8: When a batter becomes a runner: Art 1...A batter becomes a runner with the right to attempt to score by advancing to first, second, third and home bases in the listed order when:

b. He is charged with a third strike.

1. If the third strike is caught, he is out the moment he becomes a runner.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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