The Phillies got mad at the Mets for a quick pitch last night

44 Comments

Mentioned this in the recaps but it deserves its own post, if for no other reason than because watching Larry Bowa in vintage arguing form is so satisfying.

In the seventh, Mets reliever Hansel Robles quick-pitched Darin Ruf, who clearly wasn’t ready for the ball. Robles said after the game that the ump had pointed at him which means “go ahead.” You can’t see that in this replay as the ump is already in the crouch, but the ump does sorta try to stop the pitch with the hands-up “time out” motion. Not that he was too emphatic about it:

 

Quick pitches often get lumped in with the so-called “unwritten rules.” Even Mets manager Terry Collins thinks they are, it seems, as after the game he said “Until they make the (quick) pitch illegal, you can do it.” But the fact is, they are illegal. From Rule 8 of the MLB rules:

Rule 8.01(b) Comment: With no runners on base, the pitcher is not required to come to a complete stop when using the Set Position. If, however, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball. See Rule 8.05(e) Comment.

. . .

Rule 8.05(e) Comment: A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.

Of course the rule is rarely enforced. I can’t ever remember seeing a ball or a balk called due to a quick pitch. And, as my Mets fan friends tell me this morning, Mets pitchers have been doing it a lot this year.

If it is becoming more common, baseball needs to enforce the rule. Because while, yes, they want the pace of the game sped up and for batters to quit farting around in the box, it’s not at all safe for pitchers to throw a 90 m.p.h.+ fastball in the direction of a guy who is not looking for it.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.