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Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani was called for a balk, and absolutely hated the call.
Ohtani gave up his first of only two runs he’d surrender through five innings of play via balk. One of the strangest rules in modern baseball, a balk is best explained as an abnormal motion once the pitcher sets to throw towards home.
The official rule, per MLB.com, is as follows: “A balk occurs when a pitcher makes an illegal motion on the mound that the umpire deems to be deceitful to the runner(s). As a result, any men on base are awarded the next base, and the pitch (if it was thrown in the first place) is waved off for a dead ball.”
Now we’re all in the know.
So, could Ohtani’s delivery as follows be considered a balk? If so, I’ve seen plenty of uncalled balks.
Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani goes viral for reaction to balk
Ohtani’s reaction to both umpires — Greg Gibson behind home plate and Dan Merzel at third — says it all. While balks are typically tough to detect, it’s easy to see them in slow-motion replay.
Friday night’s tough call is very much in question.
Ohtani recorded two balks on back-to-back hitters. Apparently he has flaws after all.