Watching the Astros/Mariners game last night, and I saw this:


There is a runner on second. I'm curious as to why this wasn't called as a balk. Looking up the balk rules, it appears to fall under the following:

while on the rubber, makes a motion associated with his pitch and does not complete the delivery

1 Answer 1


The rule you cite appears to cover the situation when the pitcher starts and then stops the pitching motion or completes the motion but does not throw the ball.

It is not explicit here, but it does not cover the situations where the pitcher begins a motion to throw to another base. Other rules (such as 6.02(a)(3) and 6.01(a)(4)) cover them.

In the video linked, the pitcher is in position on the rubber, picks up his forward foot, turns, and steps directly toward second base. This shouldn't be seen as violation of 6.02(a)(1).

Feints are specifically mentioned and not disallowed when the motion is to second base, so I see no reason for this to be a balk.

  • He does lift his foot, but this is the start of a normal pitching motion. I've never seen a pitcher lift his glove foot like that in a pick off for second.. So, it's kind of confusing.
    – PiousVenom
    Jul 20, 2017 at 13:46

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