Yes Virginia, one-pitch strikeouts do exist. Just ask Corpus Christi Hooks pitcher Nick Tropeano, who pulled off the ultra rare feat against the Midland Rockhounds in Double-A action this past Thursday night.
Tonight I might have made history with a "One Pitch Strikeout". I'll take it haha!!!
— Nick Tropeano (@PaPaTropeano) August 2, 2013
How you ask? Hooks media relations coordinator Chris Blake breaks it down for us…
.@JustinWhiteTCU Batter argued strike one call, and when he refused to get back in the box ump called strike two. Repeat for strike three.
— Chris Blake (@ChrisCBlake) August 2, 2013
That must have been some argument. Maybe the batter said something derogatory about the ump’s wife or mother. Or maybe they had differing political views. Either way, the umpire was well within the rules to ring up the hitter after only one strike.
Here’s the exact rule, as per MLB…
Rule 6.02 (c) If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter’s box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. After the penalty, the batter may take his proper position and the regular ball and strike count shall continue. If the batter does not take his proper position before three strikes have been called, the batter shall be declared out
Comment: The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position in the batter’s box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c) and before the umpire calls a successive strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c).
Tropeano would strike out nine other batters in the 5-4 win over the Rockhounds at Whataburger Field to run his season record to 6-7.
UPDATE: Here’s video of Tropeano striking out Midland batter Vinnie Catricala on one-pitch, thanks to umpire Ron Teague and his disdain for Catricala’s antics…