Rangers/Rays, Game 2: Texas's Michael Young goes around on a pitch for strike three with one out in the fifth, but 1B umpire Jerry Meals says Young checked his swing. Young hits the next pitch for a three-run dong, boosting the Rangers' lead to 5-0. They win 6-0.Afterwards, Young says he would not have argued if Meals had rung him up, which sounds like an admission that he had whiffed.
Yankees/Twins, Game 1: New York RF Greg Golson catches Delmon Young's sinking line drive for what should have been the final out of a 6-4 win for the Yankees. RF umpire Chris Guccione has the play directly in front of him and he rules Golson trapped the ball. And so Jim Thome bats as the potential tying run in a game that should have been over. Thome pops up, saving the umpires further embarrassment.
Yankees/Twins, Game 2: Carl Pavano struck out Lance Berkman in the seventh inning, but plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called it a ball (pitch 4 below).Berkman hit a double to deep left-center on the next pitch to break a tie and give New York a 3-2 lead. Berkman later scored -- and the Yankees won 5-2.
Wendlestedt also ejected Twins manager Ron Gardenhire shortly after the Berkman at-bat. I am going to assume this Gardy rant from 2009 was in the back of Wendlestedt's mind yesterday.
Atlanta/Giants, Game 1: San Francisco's Buster Posey is thrown out trying to steal second base, but umpire Paul Emmel -- positioned so he can't see either the tag or Posey's foot at the bag (off to the right-hand side of this picture) -- called him safe. Posey scored the only run of the game as the Giants won 1-0.A less than obvious blown call happened in game 1 of the Rangers/Rays series. After Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the first inning, Carlos Pena appeared to have been hit by a pitch. Plate umpire Tim Welke said the ball hit Pena's bat and called a foul ball. Pena eventually struck out, as did Rocco Baldelli, and the Rays did not score. They lost the game 6-1. (Some replays indicated the pitch may have not hit anything.)
I have no idea what has to happen to make MLB adopt the technology that it already uses to make sure that calls are made correctly and umpires are held accountable. Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan wrote about the wonders of pitchf/x, which provides data on every pitch thrown in the major leagues:
Pitchf/x is the enemy of umpires because it holds them accountable and highlights their mistakes. And Thursday night, Hunter Wendelstedt made an unconscionable number of errors for a playoff umpire. ...Red are called strikes, green are balls. Luuuuuv that Jeter pitch!
The Berkman pitch was one of 31 wrong calls by Wendelstedt. Thirteen other times he called a ball on a pitch inside the strike zone, one of them on a cutter to Derek Jeter that literally was in the center of the strike zone, at the belt, halving the plate. And 17 times -– most of them actually benefitting Pavano -– Wendelstedt called a strike on a pitch outside the zone.