May 21, 2024

Umpire Loses the Count on the Batter

What happens when the umpires lose the count on the batter?

Umpire Loses the Count on the Batter

The Mets hosted the Phillies on May 13, 2024. In the top of the tenth, the Phils had Bryce Harper on third and no outs. Nick Castellanos was at bat facing Sean Reid-Foley. It appeared that Castellanos walked following a 3-2 count but there was disagreement among the umpires regarding the count. As Castellanos headed to first base for a “Ball Four” call by plate ump Gabe Morales, Castellanos was called back because there was confusion about the count. Mets manager Carlos Mendoza barked from the dugout claiming it was only “Ball Three.”

The umpires huddled and decided it was “Ball Four” and Castellanos was properly awarded first base.

Ruleball Comments

It’s hard to believe that with four umpires working the game, that they would have to huddle to get the count corrected. But they did get it right which is most important.

Did any of them have an indicator? The count on the scoreboard is not official and umpires, players, coaches, managers, and broadcasters should not deem the scoreboard as the official count. 

When there is a question about the count, this can be a Crew Chief review to the Command Center. 

According to rule 8.02 (c), the correction of a missed ball/strike count shall not be permitted after a pitch is thrown to a subsequent batter, or in the case of the final batter of an inning or game, after all infielders of the defensive team leave fair territory.

In the above situation, if the umpires allowed Castellanos to walk after only three balls were called, once a pitch was thrown to Bryson Stott, the following batter, the count could not be corrected.

Rich Marazzi

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

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