Twice in the last three weeks we have had this call made, and I am genuinely irritated by it. Batter gets an inside pitch, once a curveball, other a knuckle, both were struck near centerline after taking an inward turn and a slight move back.
In both cases the hitter was instructed to stay in the box, with the explanation that they had not done enough to get out of the way. In both situations the umpires stated that the contact could not have been avoided, but that the players needed to do more. (BTW, each demonstrated the technique they would have preferred, and they both put their heads right over the plate.) I stated that the hitter has to stay in the the breaking/off-speed pitch longer to avoid being fooled. If they can not avoid being hit, shouldn't they find the place to get hit and not hurt?
Are they making the right call, and if so, why?