Why Didn’t Austin Jackson Run To First Base?

If you’ve watched Mets games long enough, you will at one point or another hear Keith Hernandez bemoan the lack of “Good Fundies.”  Seemingly, this is something he decries more and more.  And it’s not just because the Mets played some terrible baseball this year.  Rather, throughout baseball, we have seen a number of players fail to make the fundamentally correct play.

Most of the time, the lack of “Good Fundies” can really be attributed to a general lack of hustle and will.  That was no more evident than on the last out of Game 5 of the ALDS between the Yankees and the Indians (Warning: It’s a Sterling call, so you may want to mute it):

Considering how his skills behind the plate have been lambasted most of the year, it should be of no surprise Gary Sanchez dropped the third strike from Aroldis Chapman.  What should be a surprise is how Austin Jackson initially just stood there, and then he walked back to the dugout.


Look at the play again.  Sanchez drops the ball on what was a questionable third strike call.  While he’s picking it up, Jackson voices his displeasure at the call.  While this is happening, Sanchez picks up the baseball, and he makes sure to put it in his back pocket.  Meanwhile, Jackson is still in the batter’s box.

According to MLB Rule 6.09(b): “The batter becomes a runner when – (b) The third strike called by the umpire is not caught, providing (1) first base is unoccupied, or (2) first base is occupied with two out.”

Now there are limits to the rule as provided in the comments to said rule: “A batter who does not realize his situation on a third strike not caught, and who is not in the process of running to first base, shall be declared out once he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate.”

This could have left the matter up to interpretation by the umpire.  Arguably, by turning to argue first, Jackson may be been ruled out regardless of whether he attempted to go to first base or not.  However, we’ll never know if an umpire would have had the absolute gaul to invoke such a technicality because Jackson never bothered to go to first base.

Think about it. Sanchez looked at Jackson briefly as if he was going to tag him.  He chose not to and instead went to the mound to celebrate.

Looking at the play again, who knows how far Jackson could have gotten if he decided to go to first base.  The Yankees weren’t paying attention because they were celebrating.  The same goes for Jose Ramirez who we did not see touch home plate at any time during the Yankees celebration.

Instead of Jackson doing everything he could do to try to extend that game by busting it down to first base regardless of what the odds were, he instead chose to accept defeat and go back to his dugout.  Instead of seeing Jay Bruce at the plate with a berth to the ALCS on the line, we got to see the Yankees celebrate on the mound.

One last note is it’s strange we haven’t seen much discussion on this topic.  Sure, we’ll see Carlos Beltran striking out looking against Adam Wainwright, but we won’t see this discussed.  For how much Beltran was killed for that play, his knees were buckled by a great curveball.  Jackson just didn’t even bother.

As a fan, I’d rather see a player get beat like Beltran did than see a player give up like Jackson did any game of the week.  Honestly, I cannot possibly fathom how this isn’t a bigger issue.

21 thoughts on “Why Didn’t Austin Jackson Run To First Base?”

  1. Five Tool Ownership it is not! says:

    Trey Turner’s tag in the first inning from second is ghe oppositeof what the Mets do.

    Was it Reyes who could not figure out that a line drive hit to the warning track that he could score from standing on second?

    What did Will Farrell say to Owen Wilson about crashing funerals, well specifically about the guy who died in a glider accident?

    1. Gothamist says:

      I think Will Ferrell said :

      “What an idiot!!!”

      What about Adam Eaton and Trey Turner for Rosario, Smith and our leadoff man?

      I honestly do not remember who leads off.
      But throw him in.


      Rosario and Smith and Travis

      For Cub’s Baez and Contreras?

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Mets and Nationals will never trade. The Wilpons will make sure of that.

        Mets don’t have nearly enough to get Contreras.

        1. Five Tool Ownership says:

          What do they have in the farm, low Ks, high BBs to set the table for Cespedes, Cabrera, Plawecki and Smith?

          A one two punch!!!!

          Bring in those mid lineup big boppers?!

          1. metsdaddy says:

            They won’t have anyone for quite some time unless Cecchini fixes his swing

          2. Five Tool Ownership says:

            Cecchini has stolen 27 bases, has good minor OBP, has very good double power and potential to hit more triples.

            Number two or number seven in the lineup candidate…..?

          3. metsdaddy says:

            He was bad last year. Until he gets good again, he’s not a factor

          4. Gothamist says:

            I think the Mets have two minor league Billy Hamilton potential copies, yet hitting below .230 is a losing proposition at leadoff no matter how many SBs and outfield defense.

            What’s up w Juan Lagares, he has such speed and a quick bat?
            We should pay the Yankees to evaluate him and expidite whatever they say quickly.

          5. Press Box Opinion says:

            Cecchini may only have to May and nothing more.

            What go back to AAA 2.5 years?
            They have a sparkling 2nd baseman, great hands, great fielder who catches flying bats as well as anyone to start at Syracuse, I mean LV.

          6. metsdaddy says:

            Another year in Triple-A won’t kill him

      2. Five Tool Ownership says:

        Honestly, Familia is not my man for a long term deal unless it is team friendly and highly tradable.

        WADE DAVIS IS NOT THE WADE DAVIS OF 2015 anyway…


        But can he be a David Robertson or Andrew Miller to eat innings and not necessarily save games?

        Well, if he is going into free agency next fall, the Mets not competing in July do not rule out the Dodgers or Astros buying in as a non closer.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Familia is better than Robertson.

          1. Gothamist says:


            The Yankees dealt Chapman and Miller two FAs who spent little or nil time there before.

            Did they sign Robertson or did the Sox give him
            $13 per x 4 and did the Yankees thus get a sandwich pick?

            Sign Familia and have the option to deal him. What does it matter if the Dodgers want him to set up Jensen?

            It is not a question not Familia or Robertson (does he lose his confidence sometimes and walks the bases loaded?) but is the contract exploitable (vs Cespedes or Wright’s from day one which were not)

          2. Five Tool Ownership it is not! says:

            The Yankee Miller and Chapman deals….

            They gave the Reds journeyman minor leaguers or minus WAR MLBers.

            They got the Clint Frasier and Adam Warrens who are great trade bait plus a plethora of quality of minor league relievers under 25 (one Sheffield a top 80 prospect) who all seem to have low HR rates, plus a couple of very speedy outfielder candidates for late inning subbing.

            Plus Torres, a Cub latin smerica free agent signee who is rated the #5 prospect in the MLB. (I do not agree)

    2. Five Tool Ownership it is not! says:

      Contreras got the save!

      How does a back up catcher get picked off at first.
      Not even the tying run?????

      Joe Maddon’s secret weapon!
      Joe Lobaton

      Contreras got the save!

  2. Five Tool Ownership it is not! says:

    Reyes went half way and when it was caught on or near the warning track he could not tag…. wonderlic excellence!

    1. Gothamist says:

      Reyes as a young player when there was a quick inning, two outs fast before him, with for example Glavine hitting after him would rush up and swing at the first pitch.

      I hope they fired every manager who he played under.

      Like a first date who orders the most expensive dish at dinner.

  3. Press Box Opinion says:

    What difference does any of this make!

    Sandy Alderson’s previous Mets tenure was just a stop gap.
    His responsibilities was negotiated by Bud Selig.

    Now Sandy gave the owners an ultimatum.


    Met nation is on a one month reset…..

    Give it a few more years and trust in Sandy…

  4. Press Box Opinion says:

    Poor balls and strike umpiring again!

    Scherzer had one strike on Zobrist.
    Strike two became a ball.
    Great pitch!
    The next pitch Zobrist whiffed.
    Inning over…


    Then Montgomery had strike two on Murphy but it became ball two…

    It discourages a great pitcher to go there again.

    Now you can say the ump was not calling the inside pitches on the plate edge with Scherzer yet Monthomery was on tbe outside….

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