The balk is an underrated baseball play. It’s almost always funny, in some way, because it’s a glitch in the baseball matrix. 99.9% of the time, with runners on base, a pitcher will properly come set and deliver the ball to the plate without issue, or else complete a valid pick-off attempt.
The remainder of the time, he’ll do something different, and unless it costs your favorite team a run in a big moment, it’s never not entertaining. There are subtle balks, of course, the knee buckle, the slight flinch. Those are typically what we think of when it comes to balk theater. Tonight, Marlins starter Elieser Hernandez did something much broader, but it definitely still played.
The Marlins are facing the Diamondbacks tonight in Miami, a game inexplicably being carried nationally on FS1. With two on and two out in the top of the second inning, Hernandez attempted to pitch to opposing starter Zack Godley. It did not go as planned:
A few more looks:
That can’t be fun! At least it happened in Miami and not at a ballpark where there are tens of thousands of fans in attendance, though. And hey, nobody’s perfect! I almost knocked over my can of Coke Zero Sugar (still an incredibly stupid name and a much worse formula than Coke Zero) and while I saved it, I still grabbed the tipping can hard enough to spray some all over the desk.
That’s probably as close as I’ll get to a balk tonight, and while Hernandez came back from his balk to strike out Godley and end the inning, I’m coming back from mine just to publish this blog post. So it’s pretty apparent he’s having a better night than I am, even if he did then give up two runs and get pulled after four innings.