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Chicken Dinner
04-13-2009, 02:05 PM
Makes sense to me. You have to get the 4th out to keep the run from scoring.

http://arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090412&content_id=4239682&vkey=news_ari&fext=.jsp&c_id=ari

Eddo144
04-13-2009, 02:13 PM
This sounds correct, based on the way the article is worded. It says the Diamondbacks tagged out Pierre, who had failed to return to second. If Ethier crossed home plate before the tag was applied, then his run counts unless the Diamondbacks double him off third (or appeal).

Now, I'm not sure what happens if Pierre had been put out by tagging second base instead. Is that considered a force out for run-scoring purposes? Just like, how the run will count if another runner is tagged out elsewhere, but not if the other runner is forced out.

ChiSoxFan81
04-13-2009, 02:16 PM
This is just weird. I've never heard of this before. I guess if its in the rule book, shame on the Dbacks for not knowing it.

HawkDJ
04-13-2009, 02:30 PM
I confused.

Eddo144
04-13-2009, 03:04 PM
Upon further thought, calling this the "fourth-out rule" is misleading.

Think of this situation:

With one out, Fields is on third base, Quentin is on second, and Thome is at the plate. Thome hits a long fly ball to CF. Both Fields and Quentin tag up. Quentin is thrown out at third base, but not before Fields crosses the plate. The runs counts.

However, replays show that Fields left third base early. Unless the opposing team appeals to third base, Fields's run will count.

What happened in the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game is very similar, except instead of a long fly ball, it was a line drive, so it was very obvious that the runner on third left early.


Now, I believe that if, instead of tagging Pierre himself, the Diamondbacks had tagged second base, it would have been a force out and the run would not have counted. On this point, however, I am not sure.

TDog
04-13-2009, 06:42 PM
This sounds correct, based on the way the article is worded. It says the Diamondbacks tagged out Pierre, who had failed to return to second. If Ethier crossed home plate before the tag was applied, then his run counts unless the Diamondbacks double him off third (or appeal).

Now, I'm not sure what happens if Pierre had been put out by tagging second base instead. Is that considered a force out for run-scoring purposes? Just like, how the run will count if another runner is tagged out elsewhere, but not if the other runner is forced out.

In deference to Ken Gurnick, this wasn't a gift run.

As I heard a professional umpire explain a similar situation in a non-professional game a couple of years ago, it's a timing play. Without the appeal for the runner who cross the plate, it's the same as if the last out was recorded in a rundown. The run scored before the third out was recorded. On a tag play, it's always a timing play. People equate an appeal out with a force, which is where the confusion comes in. A team with a solid manager and/or bench coach would with his/their head/s in the game would not have allowed that run to score.

About 30 years ago, I read a newspaper story about the Expos being awarded a run a couple of innings after it was scored, due to poor umpiring. Expos manager Gene Mauch was screaming after the half inning that the run should have counted, but the umpiring crew didn't give the Expos the run until they clarified the rule by telephone.

In case anyone wonders, in a "fourth out" situation, the apparent third out is replaced in the fielding stats by the fourth out. Only up to three putouts can be recorded in any-half inning. So, if a first baseman gets an unassisted triple play with the bases loaded, the last out coming by racing to second base before the runner tags up and if a runner to third has crossed the plate before the first baseman tags second, the run would count unless a play was made to third base to get the "fourth out." If anyone but the first baseman steps on third, the first baseman will only get two putouts on the play.

It's not rocket science.

AZChiSoxFan
04-14-2009, 12:36 PM
Upon further thought, calling this the "fourth-out rule" is misleading.

Think of this situation:

With one out, Fields is on third base, Quentin is on second, and Thome is at the plate. Thome hits a long fly ball to CF. Both Fields and Quentin tag up. Quentin is thrown out at third base, but not before Fields crosses the plate. The runs counts.

However, replays show that Fields left third base early. Unless the opposing team appeals to third base, Fields's run will count.

What happened in the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game is very similar, except instead of a long fly ball, it was a line drive, so it was very obvious that the runner on third left early.


Now, I believe that if, instead of tagging Pierre himself, the Diamondbacks had tagged second base, it would have been a force out and the run would not have counted. On this point, however, I am not sure.

From all that I have read and heard from this game, you are correct, the run would NOT have counted if Lopez (Dbacks 2nd baseman) would have either stepped on 2nd base or tagged Pierre prior to Ethier crossing home plate. What's really interesting about this is that when Lopez took the throw from the pitcher, he was right at 2nd base (or even a little bit to the RF side of 2nd base) and he had to basically step over or right next to the bag on his way to tag Pierre. From the replay I saw, if he would have just stepped on the bag, the 3rd out would have been recorded prior to Ethier crossing home plate and the run would not have counted.

AZChiSoxFan
04-14-2009, 12:42 PM
Here's my question on the play, that I can't seem to find an answer to: Think about a "normal" play when a guy on third tags up and comes home on a flyout to the outfield. If the team in the field thinks the runner left too early, they will appeal to third. However, don't they have to wait until the next batter comes up, the pitcher comes to a set position, then step off the rubber and throws to third? It seems like that's they way they always do the appeal (that's another whole issue I don't understand, but that's not my question for now).

So, thinking about the D-backs on Sunday, would they have had to have done the same thing? Even with 3 outs already recorded, were they supposed to wait for the next batter to come up, then have the pitcher come set, step off and throw to third? That would seem REALLY wierd, given that there were already 3 outs.

TDog
04-14-2009, 03:14 PM
Here's my question on the play, that I can't seem to find an answer to: Think about a "normal" play when a guy on third tags up and comes home on a flyout to the outfield. If the team in the field thinks the runner left too early, they will appeal to third. However, don't they have to wait until the next batter comes up, the pitcher comes to a set position, then step off the rubber and throws to third? It seems like that's they way they always do the appeal (that's another whole issue I don't understand, but that's not my question for now).

So, thinking about the D-backs on Sunday, would they have had to have done the same thing? Even with 3 outs already recorded, were they supposed to wait for the next batter to come up, then have the pitcher come set, step off and throw to third? That would seem REALLY wierd, given that there were already 3 outs.

If you leave a base too soon, there doesn't need to be a formal appeal, just getting someone to tag the base before the runner returns. More runners are called out in such situations as part of the flow of the game rather than from formal appeals. The third out in the game in question didn't come from a formal appeal. The formal appeal comes into play when the play is over and must be done before a pitch to the next batter. If the inning is over, someone from the team leaving the field needs to get the ball and tag third base to erase the run.

A "fourth out" play only applies if the runner has crossed the plate before the third out has been recorded by any means other than a fly out or force out. That includes a runner not getting back to tag up, which is not a force out.

The bench coach on the defensive team, if not the manager, needs to be watching the play to see if a play needs to be made at third to erase the run that would have scored. It's a situation where the runner has scored the run because he crossed the plate before the third out was made, but the team on defense still has a chance to get him out to prevent the run from scoring. A runner is only out for leaving a base too soon if there is a play made at the base he left, just as a runner is only out for missing a base (except first) if there is an appeal made by the team on defense.

I can see where there would be a formal appeal-from-the-mound situation on a "fourth out" play. Say there are runners on second and third who leave early, perhaps both score after the second out is recorded by an outfielder, the pitcher might feel he has only to appeal at second after the play is over to get the third out. But he would then have to formally appeal to third to prevent either runner from scoring.

The fourth out, of course, replaces the third out. The pitcher in that situation should have appealled to third in the first place. And if he had slipped and thrown the ball out of play, the run would count because he doesn't get a do-over appeal.

Hokiesox
04-15-2009, 12:17 PM
If he had merely stepped on second base instead of tagging the runner, that would have been a force out and run does not score. Getting cute with the ball cost the Dbacks a run. That's really rule book 101. Probably wasn't a tough call for the umpires either.

TheVulture
04-15-2009, 12:51 PM
This sounds correct, based on the way the article is worded. It says the Diamondbacks tagged out Pierre, who had failed to return to second. If Ethier crossed home plate before the tag was applied, then his run counts unless the Diamondbacks double him off third (or appeal).

Now, I'm not sure what happens if Pierre had been put out by tagging second base instead. Is that considered a force out for run-scoring purposes? Just like, how the run will count if another runner is tagged out elsewhere, but not if the other runner is forced out.

I don't know, Ethier advanced illegally.

TheVulture
04-15-2009, 12:56 PM
I don't know, Ethier advanced illegally.

I take it back:
[Any runner is out when] He fails to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder. He shall not be called out for failure to retouch his base after the first following pitch, or any play or attempted play. This is an appeal play;

Then again, I'm not sure returning to your dugout would qualify as a play.