Watch: Marlins' Bleier balks McNeil around bases in bizarre sequence
Miami Marlins reliever Richard Bleier entered Tuesday's game having never been called for a balk in 303 big-league appearances. It took him less than a full inning to triple his career total during one of the strangest sequences of the season.
The madness for Bleier started after he gave up a two-out single to New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil in the bottom of the eighth. Umpires then called balks on two of his next three pitches, giving McNeil free passage from first to second base and then on to third.
Later in the same at-bat, Bleier committed a third balk that brought McNeil home to cut Miami's lead to 6-4. Marlins manager Don Mattingly exploded on the umpires, leading to his ejection.
The sequence made Bleier just the sixth pitcher in history to record three balks in an inning and the first since Pittsburgh's Jim Gott in 1988, according to Baseball Almanac. He's also the first pitcher to commit three balks in a single game since the Mets' Mike Pelfrey on May 17, 2009, according to Christopher Kamka of NBC Sports Chicago.
Despite the mayhem, Miami held on to beat New York.