Oakland Athletics Turn Strange Double Play against Detroit Tigers

Friday night’s Oakland Athletics-Detroit Tigers game featured what has to be one of the strangest plays to ever occur during a baseball game, and surely made the official scorer rethink his career path.

It started with Ian Kinsler on third base and Victor Martinez at the plate. Martinez flew out behind first base and Kinsler took a few steps towards the plate, hoping to draw a throw.

He did draw a throw, but instead of it reaching the catcher, it hit the leg of Martinez, who was walking back to the dugout. Kinsler then jogged to the plate, thinking that he was going to score a run, but home plate umpire Joe West had other ideas.

After consultation, it was ruled that Kinsler was out due to batter’s interference on Martinez. Here is what the sequence looks like in a scorebook.

Kinsler –  3-2 DP (BI)

Martinez –  P3

One common question being asked on Twitter is, “Why was Kinsler ruled out if he wasn’t actually trying to score? Why not just send him back to third?”

The answer is found in the Official Rules of Baseball, specifically 6.01 (a) (3), which states, “Before two are out and a runner on third base, the batter hinders a fielder in making a play at home base; the runner is out”

In this case, the umpires got the call right, although the official scorer had to be hoping they would change the call. The Tigers went on to win the game, making the play a moot point.

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