June 19, 2023

McCutchen Creates Time Play

Andrew McCutchen played smart Ruleball to help the Pirates win the game

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McCutchen Creates Time Play

The A’s and Pirates played at PNC Park on June 5, 2023 when the Bucs’ Andrew McCutchen played smart Ruleball to help the Pirates win the game. Here’s what happened.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates had Austin Hedges on third, McCutchen on second, and Bryan Reynolds on first and one out when Jack Suwinski lofted a fly ball to Seth Brown in right field. The runners tagged. Brown fired the ball to Jonah Bride at third base in an attempt to erase McCutchen. But McCutchen wisely stopped and got into a rundown. By doing so, he gave Hedges a precious few seconds to cross the plate before McCutchen was tagged for the third out.

Plate umpire Jansen Visconti scored the run that gave the Bucs a 4-3 lead in a game they eventually won, 5-4.

Ruleball Comments

  1. Because the inning didn’t end in a force out, the run counted.
  2. McCutchen was clearly aware of the “Time Play” rule by getting in a rundown which gave Hedges more time to cross the plate.
  3. In such inning-ending plays, the lead runner heading to the plate must RUN THROUGH THE PLATE, while the trail run should get into a rundown or retreat to the previous base, or fall to the ground to buy time for the lead runner. Using the backpedal is an effective reversal technique in such situations.

Rich Marazzi

Rules consultant/analyst:  Angels, D’backs, Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Bally Sports, YES, and NBC Sports Chicago.  

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