Opening Day saw the first application of MLB’s new slide rule.
During Monday’s game against the Nationals, Braves outfielder Nick Markakis was called out for taking out Daniel Murphy as Murphy attempted to turn a double play.
The so-called “Chase Utley rule” was inspired in part by Utley’s slide during last year’s playoffs that broke the leg of Mets infielder Ruben Tejada. The revised rule “will require runners to make a bona fide attempt to reach and remain on the base,” MLB said when the move was announced in February. The runner may not alter the path of his slide “for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder,” the rule says.
Markakis took out Murphy’s legs with a slide as the Nationals attempted to turn a 5-4-3 double play. The batter was also called out after the second base umpire ruled that Markakis had attempted to initiate contact with Murphy.
The Nationals went on to win the game 4–3 in 10 innings.