Did Julio Urias Commit A Balk When He Picked Off Bryce Harper?

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Julio Urias got out of the fifth inning of tonight’s game against the Nationals with a brilliant pickoff of Bryce Harper. He spent most of Jayson Werth’s at-bat trying to get Bryce Harper out at first, and after a few tries, he finally got him.

Thing is, it might have been a balk.

Harold Reynolds repeatedly insisted that it was a balk because Urias’s foot had crossed the plane of the rubber. He’s right! As the MLB rulebook states:

Rule 6.02(a )(1) Comment (Rule 8.05(a) Comment): If a lefthanded or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.


That’s a balk. Additionally: