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#pounditMonday, July 22, 2024

Were Home Run Derby results impacted by scoring errors?

Kyle Schwarber at the Home Run Derby

Albert Pujols put together a memorable performance at the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby on Monday night, but the 42-year-old slugger may have had a big scoring error go in his favor.

Pujols, the No. 8 seed in the bracket, defeated No. 1 seed Kyle Schwarber in the first round. Upon closer review, however, it appears that Pujols and Schwarber actually tied and should have gone to sudden death. Pujols and Schwarber each hit 13 home runs in the initial three minutes plus bonus time, sending them to a swing-off. Pujols hit seven more homers in the swing-off to give him 20 total. Schwarber was credited with six additional big flies to finish with 19. But was one of Schwarber’s homers missed?

Schwarber did not hit a home run in the first 20 seconds of the 1-minute swing-off. He then caught fired and appeared to hit seven in a 38-second span, but viewers noticed that No. 18 may not have been counted. Here’s a video of the sequence in question:

Adam Herman of NBC Sports Philadelphia closely examined the ESPN broadcast. He, like many others, saw seven home runs from Schwarber in the OT period. To make matters more confusing, MLB’s Statcast tracker seemingly missed Schwarber’s 15th homer. The ball was not shown on the graphic even though it snuck inside the right field pole and over the fence, according to Herman.

That was not the only scoring issue. Juan Soto, who beat Julio Rodriguez in the final to win the Home Run Derby, may have gotten credit for some illegal swings. Home Run Derby rules state that pitchers must wait until the previous ball has landed before throwing another pitch. Soto’s pitcher appeared to ignore that rule multiple times as the Washington Nationals star hit 19 homers in the final round. As Outkick’s Anthony Farris noted, the home plate umpire was seen multiple times holding up his hand telling Soto’s pitcher to wait. The swings were allowed, however. Soto edged out Rodriguez, who hit 18 homers.

While the Home Run Derby may seem like a meaningless event, a lot of people gambled on it. Many of them probably feel they were robbed.

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