Sandoval walks all the way to first ... on ball 3

July 6th, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- Over the course of the five perfect innings that began 's night in Thursday's 11-2 Cardinals win at AT&T Park, no hitter put up more of a fight than . The Giants' third baseman fouled off six consecutive pitches before seemingly working a walk, accounting for Weaver's first baserunner of the evening with two outs in the fifth.
But shortly after Sandoval reached first, he was called back.
Sandoval had already removed his protective elbow and shin gear and jogged entirely down the baseline before the Cardinals' dugout noticed a vital detail. The 10th pitch of the at-bat -- a curveball from Weaver that hung up and away -- was only the third ball of the sequence, not the fourth.
"I asked the bench," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I whistled and had the umpire stop for a second. The replay phone rang and by that point, they figured it out on the field."
Given another chance to retire Sandoval, Weaver struck him out on another curve -- the 12th pitch of the at-bat -- to remain flawless through five.
But it did not come without delay. Sandoval took considerable time returning to the plate, so much so that home-plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth allotted Weaver a warmup pitch. Weaver followed that with a 94.2 mph four-seam fastball that Sandoval spoiled, before getting him on a curve below the zone.
"He wears a lot of gear," Weaver said. "It left me in a weird state of mind there … it became about trying to lock back in and make a big pitch. I was pretty emotional afterwards because it was a pretty big pitch. I tried not to worry about what was going on with the [perfect game]. I was focusing on executing a pitch that I had just walked him on, so to speak."