Here's why White Sox' Dylan Cease intentionally balked Alex Bregman

·2 min read

Here's why Dylan Cease intentionally balked Alex Bregman originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Dylan Cease dropped the ball last night. Literally.

He got in his set position on the mound at the top of the fifth inning and dropped the ball out of his glove onto the mound. He looked around and then proceeded to pick up the ball while the home plate umpire sent Astros' Alex Bregman to third base.

Wait, what just happened?

Cease intentionally balked to put Bregman on third base. Why would he do this? The Astros already had two runs more than the White Sox and Kyle Tucker -- who's hit 21 home runs and 77 RBIs this season -- was up to bat.

Unfortunately, Bregman is one of the best sign stealers in the league. Coincidentally, it's not the illegal way the Astros used technology in 2017. Bregman can read the grip Cease is putting on the baseball while it's in his glove and signal over to the batter what pitch Cease is going to throw. The Texas Rangers balked Bregman away from second base intentionally during a series on Aug. 11 too. 

This is not illegal, it's just good baseball. Unfortunately for Cease, rather than giving away his arsenal to Tucker, he was forced to send Bregman to third to keep the batter on his feet.

The intentional balk to third is a risky move. Any hit past the infield scores Bregman with ease. Plus, Cease's slider is frequently in the dirt because of its nasty spin. Therefore, Cease had to rely heavily on catcher Seby Zavala to block any pitch in the dirt that would allow Bregman to score from third base.

Luckily, Tucker flew out to center field to end the inning. Not before, however, an interesting baseball tactic was applied by Cease to get out of the jam.

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