It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s major sports news: a baseball team winning on a “balk.”
In fact, this instance may be the most famous yet. It happened Wednesday night when the Cleveland Indians won a game 11-10, and the series, against the Detroit Tigers when pitcher Al Albuquerque was called for a balk with bases loaded in the 13th inning.
A balk is a very nuanced transgression, but basically it’s an illegal motion by the pitcher. He moves as if he is going to pitch, but does not intend to.
This results in an immediate dead ball, and runners are each awarded a base. This resulted in a run in this week’s case, and therefore a win for the Indians, also known as a “walk-off balk.” “Walk-offs” are feats, usually home runs, that immediately end a game.
Want to see a balk? (Don’t feel bad–I barely can.) Here is Albuquerque’s unfortunate flinch (around 36 seconds in):