Jim Joyce's Blown Call on Armando Galarraga Not the Only One That Day
While Jim Joyce's blown call that ruined Armando Galarraga's perfect game is becoming the poster child for expanding instant replay in Major League Baseball, it was hardly the only major blown call that day.
There were two other blown calls that, if not for the blown perfecto, probably would've been forgotten by now.
The first one happened in Toronto.
In the top of the sixth inning with one out, Sean Rodriguez of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a double. In the following at-bat, Ben Zobrist hit a single that apparently scored Rodriguez. However, on an appeal play to third, Rodriguez was called out, being ruled that he did not touch third base.
Replay showed that the back heel of his left foot did indeed touch third base.
Third-base umpire Angel Hernandez, who made the call, was already having a bad series. He was chewed out over not giving Carlos Peña time in the previous game by Rays manager Joe Maddon. He had no comment after the game. Crew chief Joe West restated the claim that Rodriguez didn't touch third.
Obviously he hadn't heard about Jim Joyce's blunder yet.
At least the Rays didn't lose in the end. A Carl Crawford grand slam in the top of the ninth allowed them to beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-2.
But the next one did, in fact, screw somebody and turn the result of a game.
There were two on base and two out in the bottom of the 10th inning when Ichiro Suzuki stepped up to the plate in Seattle. After several fouls, Ichiro hit a dribbler up the middle to Minnesota Twins second baseman Matt Tolbert, who flipped it to J.J. Hardy to force out Josh Wilson for what would've extended the game to the 11th inning.
Wilson was called safe. Ryan Langerhans scored from second, winning the game for the Seattle Mariners, 2-1.
In that case, replay showed that Hardy did indeed get the ball in time for the force-out. There was no comment after the game by second-base umpire Dale Scott.
While being the least talked about of the officiating gaffes yesterday, this one is the most damaging. A team actually got screwed by a blown call, losing when the game should've continued. If the Twins end up losing the American League Central by one game or end up in a one-game playoff, they can look back at this as the game where they were screwed.
This should be a literal case of, as the song goes, "One, two, three strikes, you're out!" Proponents of expanded instant replay have more ammunition than ever. Although the error against Armando Galarraga will be the most glaring because it messes with history, the other two blown calls of the day show that its time has come.
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