Chaos reigned at Great American Ballpark on Wednesday afternoon. The New York Mets batted out of order in the first inning of their game against the Cincinnati Reds, which meant that for over an inning, no one really knew how many outs there were or who was supposed to be batting. A double was erased, and Jay Bruce got charged with an out before even taking an at-bat. It might be the most Mets thing to ever happen, and that’s saying a lot.
How did this train wreck start?
It all began with the lineup. Or lineups, since there was more than one. Here’s the Mets’ lineup, which they gave to the media.
You might notice that it has Wilmer Flores batting second and Asdrubal Cabrera batting third. But that didn’t match what was given to the umpire at the start of the game. According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, that lineup card had Cabrera batting second and Flores batting third.
The lineup the Mets wanted is the one they gave to the media. Flores hit second and struck out, and Cabrera hit third and doubled. But it doesn’t matter what batting order is on the jumbotron or Twitter, the one the team gives to the umpires is what counts.
The umpires acted quickly, but everyone was confused
Once the umpires were notified of what happened, the Mets were charged with an out, and since they had two, the top of the first inning just ended. But it wasn’t totally clear which player was out and what was going to happen with Cabrera’s double. The beat writers and the TV announcers for both teams were utterly puzzled.
And it didn’t become clear even when the Mets came up to bat in the top of the second inning. Jay Bruce was batting fourth, but he didn’t step into the box — he stayed in the dugout. Adrian Gonzalez, fifth in the order, came up to bat instead. It almost seemed like the Mets had batted out of order for a second time, since Bruce had just been completely skipped.
What’s the penalty for batting out of order?
Because Cabrera batted out of turn, the next batter, Jay Bruce, was called out. That’s why Gonzalez was up to start the second. It’s silly that Bruce was charged with an out before he even came up to bat, especially since he didn’t do anything wrong, but those are the rules. And as for Cabrera, his double no longer exists. It’s been wiped off the face of the planet. It’s like his entire at-bat never happened.
MLB rule 6.03(b) deals with batting out of turn. Here’s the most relevant section that explains most of what the umpires did.
When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the first pitch to the next batter of either team, or before any play or attempted play, the umpire shall (1) declare the proper batter out; and (2) nullify any advance or score made because of a ball batted by the improper batter or because of the improper batter’s advance to first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise.
Is this the most Mets thing ever?
The Mets have a 56 year history of being the Mets, but this might take the cake.
Can someone send this down to the third base dugout? https://t.co/htjvJss5k1
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 9, 2018
The Reds, who fired their manager after a 3-15 start and currently own the worst record in baseball, are dunking on the Mets. It doesn’t matter who the manager is or who’s on the team, the Mets are still the Mets.
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