Things got hot in Philadelphia this past Tuesday night after the Mets’ Hansel Robles “quick pitched” Darin Ruf of the Phillies.
- Per rule 6.02 (a) (5), 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 the pitcher is charged with a “ball” unless the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base-on-balls, a hit batter or otherwise.
- It seems that more-and-more relief pitchers are employing this tactic with no runners on base. It’s smart baseball but dangerous if the ball is delivered and the batter is not set. It might even trigger a bench-clearing brawl!
- In that play, even though plate umpire Dan Bellino tried to protect the batter by calling “Time,” the pitch was delivered and a “Ball” should have been charged to Robles.
- Although timing would be virtually impossible, a quick pitch could result in a free swing for the batter if he was sure the umpire was going to call a quick pitch. It would be the same as swinging at a pitch delivered following a balk because if the batter reaches base the violation is nullified. If he doesn’t reach base, he remains at bat.
- There are some who say that the rule should be changed. They argue, for safety reasons, if a pitcher pitches from a set position, he should come to a stop with or without runners on base. What do you think?
- Others say that it is the responsibility of the team at bat and the batter to know who the pitchers are who employ this tactic and to be ready. What do you think?
- I would identify the “Quick Pitchers” on every staff and alert the players and the plate umpire when that pitcher enters the game of his style of pitching. It would not hurt to plant a seed.