No, it wasn't 22-year-old "King Felix" who blew his top in tonight's game. He pitched last night and pitched quite well, before the Red Sox blew things open in the eighth inning.
Tonight's story has to do with someone on the field who absolutely should NOT play a large part in the outcome of a baseball game. Yes, you guessed it—a man in stripes is the culprit.
Umpire Angel Hernandez did something the Fox Sports announcer had never seen before in a game. Mr. Hernandez ejected a defender from the game in the middle of an inning.
The Red Sox player on the raw end of the deal was shortstop Julio Lugo. Nobody at Safeco Field saw this one coming!
Raul Ibanez had a questionable check swing on the play, which was called to question by Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, as well as the home plate umpire. When called upon, Angel Hernandez responded by signaling the batter did not swing.
Just when it seemed like the play was over, the fiery umpire turned to his left and pumped his arm to signal the ejection of Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo.
Normally, as a Red Sox fan, I wouldn't complain about something like this because Julio Lugo's defense this season has been atrocious—but as a pure baseball fan this play struck a huge nerve. This umpire stepped out of the role given to him, and played a large part in the outcome of this game.
Before any of this happened, things were looking good for the Mariners. Miguel Batista was throwing great and seemed to be fighting his way through a Red Sox lineup that seemed a little down on themselves as a result of their horrible showing on the road thus far.
Not only that, the Mariners offense had even mustered three runs off of Japanese flamethrower Daisuke Matsuzaka before he left the game with an undisclosed injury after four innings.
After this excursion, in which Red Sox manager Terry Francona was also thrown out for the first time this season, something changed in the Red Sox dugout. When the Red Sox came out to bat in the top half of the sixth inning Dustin Pedroia reached on an error, David Ortiz singled to right field, and then Manny Ramirez homered to right center field.
This might just seem like some good players getting hits with a "not so good" pitcher on the mound, but that didn't seem like the case to me.
I think Big Papi and Manny wanted to take a stand for their Latin American teammate and friend! Not only did both Ortiz and Manny get hits in the next half inning to tie the game, but Manny made a great outfield play throwing out Adrian Beltre at third base the next time he went out to play defense.
I'll let you answer this question for yourself. Should umpires play that large of a part in deciding who wins a baseball game?
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