Jerry Layne May Have Cost the Nationals Their Season

Let’s set the scene here. Top of the fifth inning, two out, two on. Your ace has come into the game, and given up the lead. All you’re looking to do is to minimize the damage. Just when it looks like you’re out of the jam with a big strikeout from Scherzer, the ball scoots between Wieters’ legs, and heads to the backstop. The one wrinkle, you might ask? Oh yeah, Wieters gets hit on the backswing by Baez. Now, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Baez hit Wieters, or so we think. The average casual baseball fan might be wondering if something could be called.

Some more experienced baseball fans may be inclined to say that was unintentional backswing interference, but in this scenario, that is wrong. Some may think that since Baez didn’t hit him intentionally, there should be no penalty.

Now for the good stuff. In the Official 2017 MLB Rulebook, the comment under rule 6,01 a) states:

“If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire‚Äôs judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.”

and the PBUC manual even goes slightly further to elaborate on this. On top of the official MLB ruling, it adds, “If this infraction should occur in a situation where the batter would normally become a runner because of a third strike not caught, the ball should be dead and the batter declared out.”

So was Wieters right to be frustrated with the non-call? Absolutely. Should Dusty have tried his case a bit further? Probably. Jerry Layne and his crew missed a call that ended up costing the Nationals two runs in a game that they ended up losing by a single run. If Layne gets this call right, does Scherzer get another inning? Does getting out of a jam wake up the Nationals’ bats for a big inning to propel them to the NLCS? I guess we’ll never know.

We hoped you liked reading Jerry Layne May Have Cost the Nationals Their Season by Mike Ozga!

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1st Baseman- University of Calgary Dinos Statistics Major

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Skin Blues
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Skin Blues

I also find it interesting that the Indians’ season ended on a drop third strike in which the batter (Austin Jackson) was never tagged, and never attempted to run to first base even after the immediate mound celebration when he surely could have made it safely. Not as egregious as the blown call in the Nats’ game, since being down 5-2 with one runner on base against Aroldis Chapman is not likely to turn out well. But ya never know!

Uwashington
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Uwashington

Craig did write about the very play, but also noted another rule in section 6.01(a)(1) which allowed the umpire to exercise his judgement to determine whether the batter intentionally hinders the catcher’s ability to field the ball. Still worth questioning Layne’s judgement, but it’s clear he didn’t “missed” a call.

Mike Ozga's Biggest Fan
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Mike Ozga's Biggest Fan

This dude probably wrote this 4 beers deep.

MichaelOzgaSux
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MichaelOzgaSux

hmm

BanMikeOzga2017
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BanMikeOzga2017

I agree with @MikeOzgayCantWrite the rule he interpreted was clearly seen wrong. Mike’s opinion should be banned from discussing baseball from this website and from baseball.

MichaelOzgaSux
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MichaelOzgaSux

Coming out of my cage And I’ve been doing just fine Gotta gotta be down Because I want it all It started out with a kiss How did it end up like this It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss Now I’m falling asleep And she’s calling a cab While he’s having a smoke And she’s taking a drag Now they’re going to bed And my stomach is sick And it’s all in my head But she’s touching his chest Now, he takes off her dress Now, let me go I just can’t look its killing me… Read more »

Piazza Subs
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Piazza Subs

This song choice describes the situation perfectly.

Mike Ozga's Biggest Fan
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Mike Ozga's Biggest Fan

I agree