In the bottom of the eighth inning, Marlins relief pitcher Richard Bleier was called for three balks by first-base umpire John Tumpane, all during the same Pete Alonso plate appearance. The third balk walked in a run.
Richard Bleier gets called on a balk three times in a single at-bat.
(via r/baseball) pic.twitter.com/i8KbygXaBA
— Baseball GIFs (@gifs_baseball) September 28, 2022
Marlins manager Don Mattingly came out to argue the call and was ejected. Bleier was also ejected after the inning ended.
Mets play-by-play man Gary Cohen of SNY couldn’t believe Bleier was called for the three balks: “I have never seen anything like that in my life!”
Marlins pitcher Richard Bleier was called for three balks in the same at-bat.
"I have never seen anything like that in my life!"- Mets play-by-play man Gary Cohen https://t.co/lZ8Gvhm8wn
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 28, 2022
Bleier had zero balks in his career over 303 appearances before the Alonso at-bat.
Bleier, a seven year Major League veteran (303 career appearances), had zero career balks before the eighth inning tonight in New York. https://t.co/YG9S3I7QGM
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) September 28, 2022
The left-hander is the first pitcher to have three balks in a game since Mike Pelfrey had three in 2009. And he’s the first to have a three-balk inning since Jim Gott in 1988.
Bleier is the first pitcher with a 3-balk inning since Jim Gott on August 6, 1988.
1988 was the year of the balk (they changed the balk rule for 1988).
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) September 28, 2022
Were these balk calls correct, or did we have yet another ump show on our hands?
Most of the reaction from baseball fans leans toward the latter, and that the calls were quite nitpicky at the very least. Here’s a sampling of the reaction on Twitter:
There were zero real balks in this video. Imagine if this was the postseason. So stupid https://t.co/cgSqgsmBQF
— RushingBaseball (@RushingBaseball) September 28, 2022
Watching the replays I am baffled.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) September 28, 2022
Three balks in a single inning for Richard Bleier who is doing the same exact thing mechanically that he has done for seven years out of the stretch.
Absolutely embarrassing ump show in Queens right now.
— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) September 28, 2022
Here’s video. If this is a balk literally every reliever in baseball balks multiple times per inning pic.twitter.com/uXQA343x4x
— Scott Coleman (@scottcoleman55) September 28, 2022
What's really weird about the Bleier balking thing is that he's already got nearly 300 big league innings behind him. Umps as a collective decided he wasn't breaking the rules. It's too late to just go rogue as a single ump and call him on what hasn't been a balk for him!
— Marc Normandin (@Marc_Normandin) September 28, 2022
Richard Bleier three balks in one at bat! Who even knows what a balk is?
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) September 28, 2022
ah you see kids a balk is
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) September 28, 2022
Note out of the Marlins clubhouse: Richard Bleier is believed to be the first Jewish player to be called for 3 balks in one inning on Rosh Hashanah
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 28, 2022
Despite being called for three balks in one plate appearance, the Marlins came away with a 6-4 win over the Mets. And the Mets fall into a first-place tie with the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.