The Marlins’ Richard Bleier becomes the first pitcher to be called for three bars in an inning since 1988

Baseball can get weird at times, and Tuesday night at Citi Field certainly got weird. Miami Marlins left Richard Bleier was called out for three – three! — recoils in a single at-bat on New York Mets’ Pete Alonso. Jeff McNeil singled earlier in the inning and went home on Bleier’s three bars from first to second, second to third and third.

First base umpire John Tumpane called all three bars and, as you might have guessed, Bleier wasn’t happy. You can’t fight back, it’s an automatic ejection like arguing balls and shots, but Tumpane gave Bleier plenty of leeway to speak his mind before throwing it. Marlin’s manager, Don Mattingly, was also kicked out after the third bar.

Here’s the video. Bleier, a seven-year veteran with more than 300 career appearances, had never committed a fault prior to Tuesday.

The Balk rule (8.05 in the rule book) is complex. It lists 13 different actions that constitute a balk, including the pitcher starting his delivery without clearing the field, faking a throw to first base, and dropping the ball while it’s on the rubber. Essentially, the balk rule is designed to prevent the pitcher from fooling the runner and potentially picking him up.

The beams were probably called because Bleier failed to get a stop before delivering the pitch and boy, which were three ticky tock calls. Some bars are evident. These aren’t. They’re borderline at best, and that’s generous. You almost have to search for a reason to call Bleier about this proposal, three – three again! – Times in a single inning.

Bleier is the first pitcher with three blocks in a game since former Mets right-back Mike Pelfrey on May 17, 2009, although Pelfrey had a blocker in three different innings. The last pitcher to fail three times in a single inning was Jim Gott of the Pirates on August 8, 1988. He failed three times in the eighth inning, coincidentally against the Mets.

Ultimately, the beams and McNeil’s run didn’t matter. The Marlins beat the Mets (MIA 6, NYM 4) while the Braves beat the Nationals (ATL 8, WAS 2). The Mets and Braves now lead the NL East 97-58 with seven games left. The two teams will open a three-game series in Atlanta on Friday, although MLB could move the series to a neutral venue due to Hurricane Ian. The Marlins’ Richard Bleier becomes the first pitcher to be called for three bars in an inning since 1988

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