Tigers-Indians, bottom of the 13th. Bases loaded. And the pit- wait, there's not going to be a pitch, because Al Albuquerque committed a balk before throwing a pitch, leading to a rare walk-off balk and an Indians win.
It's rather unfair, since all Albuquerque did was just slightly jostle his body, but slightly jostling your body is, by rule, starting your motion, which could hypothetically throw off runners, and therefore they gotta call this a balk. It's a silly, silly way for a game to end, but seemingly, accurate.
Here are our WALK-OFF BALK thoughts.
1. What do we call this? it's not SHRIMP. Crayfish? Scampi? I'll settle for just yelling BALK-OFF.
2. It's tough to say how often walk-off balks occur -- even when the omniscient Baseball Reference tried to find a list using their play index, they couldn't -- but it does seem to happen extremely rarely. Because there needs to be a runner on third with a tie game in the ninth inning or later, and the pitcher has to be stupid enough to balk, which already happens relatively rarely. The last example in the big leagues was in 2011.
3. That said, the Tigers really need to work on their runner-on-third-in-tie-games-in-the-ninth-inning-or-later composure. They also gave up a walk-off balk in spring training, which rookie manager Brad Ausmus took the blame for.
Ausmus on walkoff balk: "It was my fault. I actually gave a [pickoff] sign by accident."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 8, 2014
4. It's very silly to see people celebrating a win when the pitcher is still holding the ball: