Interference rule helps Mets turn two in first

Interference rule helps Mets turn two in first

NEW YORK -- The Mets benefited from an unorthodox double play in the first inning of Saturday night's 5-3 loss in Game 4 of the World Series, as interference was called on Royals batter Ben Zobrist, resulting in baserunner Alcides Escobar being ruled out on his attempted steal of second base.

With Escobar running on the pitch, Zobrist struck out against Mets left-hander Steven Matz and impeded the throwing lane of catcher Travis d'Arnaud in the estimation of home-plate umpire Jim Wolf.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 27 KC 5, NYM 4 (14)
Gm 2 Oct. 28 KC 7, NYM 1
Gm 3 Oct. 30 NYM 9, KC 3
Gm 4 Oct. 31 KC 5, NYM 3
Gm 5 Nov. 1 KC 7, NYM 2 (12)

d'Arnaud attempted to throw to second base, but with Zobrist leaning toward home plate, the catcher instead fell into the batter and did not release the ball. The Royals reviewed the play in their clubhouse, but manager Ned Yost did not challenge or argue the call.

The double play shorted out a budding Kansas City rally, erasing Escobar after he lined a two-strike single to center field to lead off the game.

Rule 6.01(1)(a) states that "it is interference by a batter or a runner when: (1) After a third strike he clearly hinders the catcher in his attempt to field the ball. Such batter-runner is out, the ball is dead, and all other runners return to the bases they occupied at the time of the pitch."

Because Zobrist struck out on the pitch, Rule 6.01(5) applies: "Any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.