Inside Baseball: Explaining how Orioles' Nick Markakis was called out on baserunning appeal

CLEVELAND – When Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis was called out on an appeal play in the second inning of the Orioles’ 7-2 win over Cleveland on Monday, manager Buck Showalter couldn’t argue much because he was following the path of Nate McLouth’s double into the right-center field gap.

Markakis was watching the play too – as were apparently the TV cameras from the home TV feed in the press box – so few saw whether Markakis missed second base on his way to third base after watching McLouth’s RBI double fall.

No replays were shown, so Showalter went on Markakis’ word. I was looking at the ball too, but noticed Markakis hesitantly shuffling past second base after the ball dropped.

“I could tell by the umpire body language, I thought what he said happened might have happened,” Showalter said. “It was basically run, hit the bag, go by it, hit the bag going back and going the backside and then the third time didn’t touch it. Nobody’s got an overhead. Nicky said he didn’t. The guy who it matters said he didn’t, but I’ll chose to believe Nicky.”

But when the Indians appealed at second second-base umpire Mike DiMuro called Markakis out.

The Orioles still went on to score two more runs in the inning on Brian Roberts’ two-run double, but it could have been an even bigger inning.

McLouth got the worst of it, because of the ruling, his double was taken away and instead given a Fielder’s Choice because of Rule 10.05, Section B2, which says:

“A base hit is not awarded when a batter apparently hits safely and a runner who is forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner fails to touch the first base to which such runner is advancing and is called out on appeal. The official scorer shall charge the batter with a time at bat but no hit.”

Showalter argued that once Markakis crossed the bag the first time, McLouth should have been awarded the hit regardless of the appeal.

“The scoring is wrong,” Showalter said. “Once you hit the bag you can’t give a fielder’s choice on that. … He had the bag, so it’s not a fielder’s choice.”

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