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Aw, Farquhar! Seattle reliever balks in go-ahead run yet can’t believe umpire’s call

David Brown
Big League Stew

After the game, after watching closely on video replay, Danny Farquhar admitted that umpire C.B. Bucknor was right: He had committed a balk. At the moment of the infraction, in the top of the ninth inning, Farquhar said he "had no idea." All he knew was that the ump had called it and, in excruciating fashion, the Seattle Mariners had fallen behind the Texas Rangers by a run, with Ian Kinsler scoring from third base. Farquhar was one out away from getting out of the jam, too.

After the M's couldn't score in their half of the ninth, the Rangers had come away with a 4-3 victory. The Mariners, at least for themselves, found a new way to lose. Via the Associated Press:

''It was a balk. Very minor, but it was a balk,'' Farquar said. ''I had to go back and look at the video to see it, because at the time I had no idea. It was the slightest flinch.''

Flinching is not allowed once a pitcher has toed the rubber, which Farquhar had. Ever so subtly, manager Eric Wedge said. "Enough" for the call to be made. Good eyes on Bucknor.

Texas manager Ron Washington gave Kinsler credit for noticing Farquar was using a high leg kick and then stealing third to be in position to score on the balk - a violation which Washington didn't notice.

''I just saw CB yelling balk, and started smiling,'' Washington said.

Oh, sure, he'll take it. Here's another angle, where you might be able to tell:

Wash 'n' Wedge are right. The run might not have scored until the balk, but good on Kinsler to get himself in position to score in the first place. Next time, Farquhar will be more still. Or maybe the ump won't notice.

It's not the first time in history a go-ahead run has scored on a balk; On occasion, it's even happened in the bottom of the ninth, or later, with the home team celebrating on the spot. That would be the only thing more indignant to a team that loses on a balk. At least the M's have that going, which is nice.

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