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Not so fast! Ump calls automatic ball on Chen’s ‘quick pitch’Bruce Chen(notes) tried pulling a fast one, and the home-plate umpire had a message for him.

Slow it down, slick. This ain't fast-pitch softball.

Chen complained and Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost argued to no avail after ump Mike Everitt called an automatic ball on a pitch to Brent Morel(notes) of the White Sox in the fourth inning Friday night.

After nodding in agreement to a sign from his catcher, Chen failed to pause before beginning a sped-up windup toward the plate. The delivery looked like something a pitcher might try with a runner attempting to steal home. Only, nobody was on base.

Everitt didn't hesitate to call out Chen, saying he didn't give Morel a reasonable chance to get set in the batter's box. In an MLB.com story, Yost said Chen did nothing illegal or unusual — for him.

"You look at the rulebook and it's the umpire's judgment. [Even though] other umpires haven't called it all year long and we've been doing it all year long, it was his judgment it was a quick pitch," Yost said.

If Yost is right and umps haven't been calling Chen for it all season, he's been getting away with shenanigans:

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That's not normal in the least, skipper! However, here's an example of Luke Hochevar(notes) striking out Jose Bautista(notes) by using a similar tactic. Seems shady to me.

Morel later reached on an error, but Chen limited the damage to that. He otherwise had his way with the White Sox (as Chen often does, curiously), throwing six shutout innings in K.C.'s 5-1 victory. And further, despite being caught by Everitt this time, Chen said he would quick-pitch again.

"Whatever it takes," Chen said. "I'm going to use everything I can. I've already dropped down my arm angle, and I'm more ready to quick pitch people. It's part of the game. They know that, and they know I'm going to do everything I can to win the ballgame."

You hear that, American League? Chen's gonna Chen.

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