View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



May 2009



Hey Chicago waddaya say

Written by , Posted in General

The Cubs are gonna win today! Today’s game was the normal Cubs roller-coaster. Real frustration through the first two-thirds, particularly the sixth. How in the world did we put a guy on third with nobody out and not get him in?

My big frustration with the 2009 Cubs is that we don’t do too well if we don’t: 1. Have a lead in the 9th or 2. Score at least 4 runs.

So there we went into the 7th inning with a big old goose egg on the scoreboard. Things were not looking good at all. Fortunately things took a right turn in the seventh; the Cubs won and we got to sing the song.

That notwithstanding I have a question for some of the more learned readers of this site. In the 8th inning there was an interesting interference call at the plate – the ball struck Pierre in the left knee and it was called a strike. Pierre squared up to bunt and his left leg was clearly out of the box and in the strikezone. I felt it was a bad call – my understanding of the interference call on a pitch in play is similar to what Wikipedia has posted under “catcher interference:”

The most common incidence of interference is when a member of the offensive team physically hinders the defensive team, decreasing their chances to make an out or increasing the chance that a baserunner will advance. Whenever this offensive interference occurs, the ball becomes dead. If the interference was committed by a batter or a baserunner, that player is called out and all other runners must return to the bases they occupied at the time of the interference.

Pierre was given a strike after being hit and he was thrown out at first afterwards on a questionable call (of course there is no such thing as a make-up call.) But is my understanding of this call correct pursuant to the rulebook? I’m hoping somebody such as Dave or MJ can check this out and clarify it for me as well as other readers.

I also want to tip my hat to the Dodgers on their aggressive baseball style and pitching. Billingsley was a bad boy and the Dodgers remind me of the 2003 Cubs. It’s gonna be a real fight against LA and they are the best team in the NL right now.

Hopefully we can take take 3 out of 4 against these guys – tomorrow we face Randy Stutz and his 4-1 record. Three out of four since the losing streak isn’t bad, we just have to keep the streak going.

Say Anything… release

Behind the Wall dvd Legally Blonde download

  • Doc Raker

    I don’t know the rule number but if a batter is positioned in the strike zone and is hit by a pitch it is a strike, not a hit batsman. Also, if the batter does not make an effort to get out of the way of a pitch the hit by pitch can be nullified.

    Looked like both Pierre and Fontenot were safe at first on the bang bangs.

  • lizzie

    That makes more sense to me now. I thought Len and Bob were implying that he actually swung (well, bunted at) the pitch and it was clear from the replay that he didn’t.

  • I also noticed that Len said Pierre was clearly out of the batters’ box and I don’t think he was. I believe the rule is clear that if the foot is ON the line the batter is IN the box — it looked to me that part of his foot was out but part was in. If so, the box was jsut not a factor in the call.

  • Doc Raker

    Also, if a batter swings at a ball and get’s hit it can not be a hit batsman it is a foulball. It looked like Pierre did offer to bunt on the pitch (making it a swing)and had his knee sticking out in the strike zone. I don’t know which reason made the umps call it a strike but it was the correct call either way. The umps got it right.

  • lizzie

    Oh, did he offer at it? I thought he pulled back. As you said, though, seems it doesn’t matter either way.

  • mastrick (at work)

    Hmmm wonder if being out of the batter’s box changes anything insofar as the rule is concerned. I had a customer tell me today of a scenario where an outfielder threw his glove at a ball that was going over his head; the runner was awarded third because of the play…

  • Here is what the rulebook says:
    Rule 2.00 (Definitions)

    A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which—
    (a) Is struck at by the batter and is missed;
    (b) Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone;
    (c) Is fouled by the batter when he has less than two strikes;
    (d) Is bunted foul;
    (e) Touches the batter as he strikes at it;
    (f) Touches the batter in flight in the strike zone; or
    (g) Becomes a foul tip.

    I didn’t see the pitch in question, but as described, I would say that it could/would fall under both (a) and (f). (a) would obviously assume that he actually attempted to strike at the pitch, and (b) would assume that the ball was in the strike zone when it hit Pierre.

    Rule 6.08(b) also says this:

    He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;
    If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.

    This again states that if the ball was in the strike zone, or if Pierre made no attempt to get out of the way of being hit, then it would be a strike.

  • Mastrick

    Dave that’s great stuff, exactly what I was looking for. What is your interpretation if a ball strikes the batter if a foot is out of the batter’s box?

  • Doc Raker

    I don’t think a foot out of the batter box means anything in that situation. If you bat a ball while out of the batters box the batter is out. On a hit batsman it is were the ball is relative to the strike zone when it hits the batter, not necassarily were the batters feet are.

  • silk

    Huge effort by Dempster there…we needed that bigtime

  • MJ

    Dave’s go the rule right on. Pierre offered at the pitch, and was struck. That’s a strike. I had a similiar incident yesterday whil umping. A guy swung at the pitch, and the ball actually struck his hands. It went down as a strike.

    Did anyone notice the shot the other day of (I think it was Loney) who was clearly not in the batter’s box, he hit a HR (I think), and all I could think of was, if they actually enforeced that rule it would have been a very long strike.

  • Doc Raker

    If the batter hits the ball while out of the batter box the batter is out, not just a strike.

  • MJ

    ^ You’re correct. I was thinking one thing, and wrote another. I’m blaming my cold meds. 😉