And That Happened

Indians 4, Athletics 3: Angel Hernandez said there was not enough evidence with which to overturn the original call of double on Adam Rosales’ would-be game-tying home run.  Of course, the replay clearly shows that it was a home run, with the ball hitting off the railing above the wall.  This is pretty simple: If Hernandez had the same view of the play that the Comcast Bay Area viewers had and still couldn’t reverse the call, he is incompetent. If he did not have that view available to him when reviewing the play, Major League Baseball’s home run review system is incompetent. Which is it?

Mariners 2, Pirates 1: Felix Hernandez was Felix Hernandez. He allowed one run over eight innings before making way for Tom Wilhelmsen. This despite only throwing 97 pitches. Maybe Eric Wedge and Ned Yost studied under the same sensei.

Braves 7, Reds 2: Three Braves homers including two from Dan Uggla. And for reasons that still aren’t clear to me, Dusty Baker had Mike Leake bat for himself with two men on and two men out in a one-run game in the bottom of the seventh. Guess that means Dusty figured Leake was going the distance or something. Nope: he allowed singles to his first two batters in the eighth, was pulled, and the game unraveled for Cincy. He shouldn’t have been at bat and he shouldn’t have been on the mound to begin that rally.

Orioles 5, Royals 3: The O’s are rolling. This one broke open in the fifth when Alcides Escobar tried to get an out at third instead of taking the easy out at first and made a throwing error, hitting the runner and opening up the floodgates. Ned Yost after the game:

“The key to that inning was if Escy just takes the out at first, they only get one run,” Yost said.

Yost was then fined $500 by the league office for calling a guy “Escy.” Yost has been Escobar’s manager for three frickin’ years. If he can be around this guy day-in, day-out for three years and still can’t come up with a better nickname than one of those lame name-shortening ones people use when they can’t remember someone’s full name, he’s simply not a fully-formed and plugged-in human being.

White Sox 6, Mets 3: Alejandro De Aza hit a leadoff homer and finished with three hits. Jake Peavy returned after missing two starts with a bum back and looked just fine. For this White Sox team, six runs is an outburst.

Nationals 3, Tigers 1: Bryce Harper hit his 10th home run and had a sac fly and Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run, breaking his 17-inning scoreless streak — but that’s all he allowed over seven innings as he notched his sixth win.

Giants 4, Phillies 3: Andres Torres with a 10th inning RBI single to help the Giants avoid the sweep. And while Barry Zito didn’t get the win, he pitched excellently. Zito in AT&T Park has become something of a lock for the Giants, who have won his last 11 starts at home.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 4: Jon Jay drove in two and finished the Cards’ road trip 10 for 20 with a homer and eight RBI. I’m gonna assume it was a performance borne of relief due to being able to leave town and thus escape the gangsters he double-crossed and the man whose woman he has swept off her feet as the found themselves thrown together in danger. But now he’s heading back with a new confidence and is ready for the final showdown with bad men and with his own conscience.  [note: I’m currently writing a book blurb for someone and I’m having trouble, so forgive me for trying to work it all out here].

Padres 1, Marlins 0: “In a world … where Jason Marquis can throw eight shutout innings …” I’m not working on movie trailers, but if I did I figure the Marlins’ season would be some sort of horror movie, so let’s feature it that way.

Astros 3, Angels 1: Bud Norris didn’t have to work too hard to pitch into the ninth inning. He threw only 84 pitches, in fact. Way to make ‘em work, Anaheim. This is turning ugly fast for the Angels. They quittin’ in May?

Rays 10, Blues Jays 4: Matt Moore won his sixth straight decision to start the season and the Rays decided to take a new approach and not blow a lead. Evan Longoria drove in three.

Twins 15, Red Sox: 8: A 20-hit outburst for Minnesota, including Pedro Florimon’s homer and two-run double in the big second inning. Not liking that there is now a Pedro Floriman in baseball. That was the name I always used to check in anonymously at hotels.

Rangers 4, Brewers 1: Derek Holland gave up 10 hits in seven innings yet allowed only one run. Not walking guys — and watching your opposition make multiple base running mistakes — is pretty cool.

Yankees 3, Rockies 2: Vernon Wells played third base in this game. But sure, the Yankees are better off without A-Rod. He also hit a two-run homer, though, so it’s not like the Yankees would be better off without him. Which is quite a statement.

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2: It seems like Paul Goldschmidt does something big every damn day. He homered twice and, for the third straight game, his homer broke a tie. He is absolutely destroying the Dodgers, hitting .458 with four homers and 11 RBIs in six games.

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  1. Jim G. said...

    My money’s on Angel Hernandez… But it’s not a no-brainer.

    Dusty Baker – the anti-Yost

    Don’t forget that Yost coached Escobar a bit in Milwaukee, too.

    What was the over/under that the Astros would only be 1 1/2 games behind the Angels this far in?

  2. Shane Tourtellotte said...

    The strongest argument I’ve heard against expanded replay is that the broadcasters, symbiotic with their home teams if not effectively identical with them (e.g., YES, at least until News Corp bought its big chunk), could fail to make adverse replays available to the umpires, and thus tilt the game their own way.

    It is possible—only possible—that we have seen an example of this in Cleveland.  The best replay I saw made it clear this was a homer.  The second-best replay was not conclusive.  If Angel Hernandez only got to see the second-best replay, then he made the right call with the information he was given.

    I need to tread lightly and not make unfounded accusations.  Suspicions are another matter, and I am a little suspicious here.  This is a situation open to exploitation.  And as much of a replay advocate as I am, it’s something the league has to grapple with, not just before widening the scope of replay, but now.

  3. scott said...

    Shane, listening to the Indians’ radio broadcast as it happened last night, announcer Tom Hamilton concluded it was a home run and started talking about a blown save for Perez, a tie game, and who was coming up in the bottom of the 9th while the umps were still reviewing the play.  He then called the failure to call it a homer a “travesty.”  There used to be a disclaimer about announcers being employees of the stations and not the teams (and I’m assuming that is still the call, but Tom could not have been more against that call.

    I understand you aren’t accusing the Indians (or any other team) of wrong-doing but I cannot believe the video made available to the announcers (and thus the viewers) was not also made available to the umpires.  Besides, wouldn’t all footage made of the game be the property of MLB and not the individual teams?

  4. Paul G. said...

    I actually watched some of that White Sox/Mets game.  Hey, don’t judge me!  Anyway, the big 3-run 3rd inning was an anemic a 3-run inning as you will ever see:

    - bunt single
    – infield single (Ron Darling described as the “record for weakest hit single ever”)
    – a run scoring double (admittedly well hit)
    – a high pop up that somehow managed to fall between the infield and the outfield followed by Tejada kicking it somewhat further into the outfield plus no one covering second base, resulting in 2 runs scoring and Gillaspie being credited for a double

    Later in the 5th the Chisox got a runner on third with no one out and 2-3-4 coming up.  RESULT: Weak ground ball to first, strikeout, fly out.  No runs scored.  Even when they outburst they still look terrible.

  5. Jim Casey said...

    Being strongly opposed to, and a regular observer of, umpire incompetence, I’d add Angel Hernandez to the list of umps, along with the Hirschbeck brothers, Joe West, and C. B. Bucknor for starters, who need to be fired. Maybe he just didn’t feel like an extra inning game, since his $50/hour hooker was already on the clock back at his hotel room.

  6. Dave Cornutt said...

    Juan Francisco, known to Talking Choppers as John Frank, hit the first grand slam of his career in the Braves-Reds game.

  7. Shane Tourtellotte said...

    Scott:  First off, semi-official word via Ken Rosenthal is that the umpires had access to both feeds.  Didn’t know before how that was handled, and this mitigates much of my concern, though not quite all.

    We can see the best shots of the home run/double over at our sister site FanGraphs.  The Oakland feed makes it quite clear this was a homer.  The Cleveland feed takes more concentration and squinting, but yes, I’d call that conclusive evidence also.  The article raises the point of whether the umpires had a screen with sufficient resolution to render the play clearly.  Let us hope that is the problem here, as easily fixable as that is.

    Something I’d like answered now is, how much input did the other three umpires have in making this call?  Angel Hernandez was the crew chief, but his wasn’t the only pair of eyes in the room.  We may never learn, but it’s a serious point.  Hernandez may not be the only one to blame here.

    Paul G.:  You’re watching a baseball game with the best game-calling team there is (possibly excepting when Vin Scully works alone).  Our judgment will be that you have good taste.  Uh, you were watching the New York feed and not Hawk Harrelson, right?

  8. scott said...

    Shane, just wanted to make it clear I wasn’t arguing with you.  I agree completely – awful call.

  9. Jim said...

    I would like to hear from someone who was at the game and hear what they thought as the play developed.  Sure, you can look at hindsight (instant replay) all day and come to several conclusions, but as the play is happening is what the umpires have.  Oh, sure Selig introduced replay for the umpires on probably the two most useless plays in baseball – homerun and fair/foul.  In the ever-lasting steroid era, homeruns are a dime a dozen and if one is miscalled, wait a few minutes, there will be another to take its place. 

    I just wish Selig knew enough about baseball to have replays on more important hard calls.  Never gonna happen, though.

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