In the second inning of the Nationals’ marathon 4-2 win over the Brewers on Tuesday, Carlos Gomez, who swings as hard as anyone in baseball, foul-tipped a 2-2 Jordan Zimmermann pitch into the facemask of Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton.
The ball was lodged in Lobaton’s mask and had to be pried out by the umpire.
“Look at that,” MASN’s Bob Carpenter said. “Is that a catch? It’s in his mask. Ball never hit the ground on a foul tip, two strikes.”
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that before,” F.P. Santangelo said.
Gomez wasn’t called out, at least not until he swung through the next pitch. According to baseball rule 5.09(g), the ball was dead when it became lodged in Lobaton’s mask.
The ball becomes dead and runners advance one base, or return to their bases, without liability to be put out, when –
(g) A pitched ball lodges in the umpires or catchers mask or paraphernalia, and remains out of play, runners advance one base;
Rule 5.09(g) Comment: If a foul tip hits the umpire and is caught by a fielder on the rebound, the ball is dead and the batsman cannot be called out. The same shall apply where such foul tip lodges in the umpires mask or other paraphernalia.
If a pitched ball lodges in the umpires or catchers mask or paraphernalia, and remains out of play, on the third strike or fourth ball, then the batter is entitled to first base and all runners advance one base. If the count on the batter is less than three balls, runners advance one base.
In other Lobaton news, he wore some great pants last night.