The Boston Red Sox prevailed over the Kansas City Royals Monday night in Fenway Park, 6-2. This would be one of those cases where simply looking at the score or even studying the box score wouldn't replicate seeing actual visuals. I say this because the game should have gone to the 10th inning still tied at two.
With the score knotted, 2-2, in the bottom of the ninth with two on and two out, Red Sox second baseman Luis Urías came to the plate. On a 3-2 count, he appeared to strike out on an attempted check swing. Just watch his reaction here, as he looks like he knew he struck out.
Instead, the home plate umpire decided to check with the first-base umpire -- an entirely reasonable move from behind the plate, as it was close and he needs to deal with the location of the pitch -- and then we see a safe call, as if Urías didn't swing.
Again, that was with a 3-2 count and two outs in the ninth of a tie game.
You already read the headline, so you know what came next. Pablo Reyes came to the plate and ...
Let's take a moment for Reyes. That's an incredibly cool moment that most people don't even experience at the Little League level, much less in Fenway Park winning the game for a team in contention. It was only his seventh career home run, his first since 2021, his first grand slam and his first walk-off homer. Look at all that fun. Good for him.
It just shouldn't have come to that.
Of course, there is one caveat and that would be the fact that Major League Baseball still doesn't have a rulebook definition of a swing.and it's insanity that they've never attempted to define a so-called "check swing" or "checked swing" in words.
Here's a snippet of something I wrote in 2019:
Scour the rulebook yourself if you want. It's 188 pages with zero mention of how to call a swing. The only mention about the situation comes here, in Rule 8.02c's comment:
Appeals on a half swing may be made only on the call of ball and when asked to appeal, the home plate umpire must refer to a base umpire for his judgment on the half swing. Should the base umpire call the pitch a strike, the strike call shall prevail. Appeals on a half swing must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the half swing occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the appeal must be made before all infielders of the defensive team leave fair territory.
There hasn't been a change.
One of the main reasons there isn't a rule is it's kind of accepted by, well, everyone that a player can essentially go "halfway" or so without having it count as a swing, but once he goes past halfway, that's a swing.
Still, in the case of Monday's Red Sox win, even Urías knew he went too far. Again, just watch his reaction on the replay.
Regardless, the Red Sox win the game and move to 58-54 on the season.