Angels Gave Up a Run to Phillies Thanks to Brutal Balk Mistake by Pitcher

Griffin Canning disengaged one too many times.
Apr 29, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning (47)
Apr 29, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning (47) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-5, on Monday. The Angels had to overcome a unique mistake by pitcher Griffin Canning to get the win. During the top of the fifth Canning, who gave up four earned runs on three hits, was called for a balk that scored a run to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead.

But it wasn't because he flinched, as is often the situation. Griffin was called for a disengagement balk.

For anyone who forgot what exactly that is, the disengagement balk was one of the rule changes approved for the 2023 season that was meant to speed up the game. Under the new rules a pitcher is only allowed two pick off throws per plate appearance. If you throw over three times and don't pick off the runner, it's a balk. It doesn't matter how good your footwork is and in Canning's case, Trae Turner was just too enticing to ignore.

The rule has led to a few intersting sequences so far and this was no exception. Canning's disengagement balk advanced Turner to second and scored Kyle Schwarber, robbing fans of a chance to see the Phillies designated hitter run at full speed, which was the true crime here.

Despite all that, the Angels were able to snap a four game losing streak. They had dropped nine of their last ten games and currently have the third-worst record in the American League, meaning they are no closer to realizing Mike Trout's dream of a second playoff appearance.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.