Ellsbury Provides Signature Play, Marazzi Provides Expert Analysis

ellsburyJacoby Ellsbury’s steal of home plate against the Yankees provided the signature play and the enduring image of the first Red Sox-Yankees series of 2009.  Whether this play will effect the long-term success of the two clubs remains to be seen.  Nevertheless, Ellsbury’s play brought up an interesting issue:

What would have happened had Ellsbury been struck by Andy Pettitte’s pitch while stealing home?  Only an expert could explain such a scenario.  Enter Rich Marazzi, baseball rules expert and founder of RULEBALL.  Here is Marazzi’s explanation:

If a runner breaking for home is struck by the pitch, the ball becomes dead immediately and all runners, including the struck runner who is advancing home, automatically advance one base  from the last legal base they occupied at the time of the pitch. The umpire must call the pitch a “ball” or a “strike.” If the call is “strike three” and there are less than two outs, the batter is out but the run scores; if the call is “strike three” and it is the third out, the batter is out and the run does not score.

marazzi1Thank you to Rich Marazzi for sharing his baseball expertise and shedding some light on one of the signature plays of this young baseball season. 

A native of Ansonia, Connecticut, Rich Marazzi is a rules consultant for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros.  He has authored five baseball books and is a national columnist for Baseball Digest, Collegiate Baseball and Sports Collectors Digest.  Marazzi is considered by many as the country’s foremost rules expert in applying the rules to game situations for players, coaches and managers.  In addition, Marazzi is the anchor for “Inside Yankee Baseball” on ESPN Radio 1300, airing on Saturday mornings.


  1. Darren Armstrong says:

    Although the season is over, I want to say that your explanation is thorough, easy to comprehend, and much appreciated. I was searching for site related to baseball rules and came across this. I was quite interested to see your name attached to the piece. Years have passed, and you probably don’t remember me. I was one of your students at O’Brien Tech, in 1974, 1975. Keep up the great work.

    Darren Armstrong

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