Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Triple Play Caps off Confusion in End to MiLB Game

Monday's Texas League matchup between the Double-A Arkansas Travelers and Springfield Cardinals ended in confusing-yet-dramatic fashion with a bases-loaded triple play in the top of the 9th inning, affirmed after a series of umpire conferences and correction to an appeal attempted while the ball was dead.

Umpire Kyle McCrady mechanizes an out.
The Play: With none out and three on in a game Springfield led 8-4, Travelers batter Chuck Taylor hit a line drive to second baseman Luke Dykstra, ruled a catch by 3B Umpire Kyle McCrady. F4 Dykstra threw to shortstop Edmundo Sosa, who tagged second base before Travelers baserunner R2 Jonathan Mendoza could tag up, resulting in a second out call from U3 McCrady.

Sosa then threw to first baseman John Nogowski, who tagged first base, resulting in an out call by 1B Umpire Brian Walsh, after which Nogowski threw to third base in attempt to conduct an appeal on Travelers baserunner R3 Joe DeCarlo; however, before the ball arrived at third base, HP Umpire Kyle Wallace called "Time," effectively killing the play.

Conference: Rule 8.03(c) mandates that umpires meet if conflicting calls are made during the same play: "If different decisions should be made on one play by different umpires, the umpire-in-chief shall call all the umpires into consultation, with no manager or player present."

Umpires conferred to correct any errant calls.
The umpires conferred and affirmed McCrady's initial "catch" call over Walsh's ruling that the ball had been trapped, thus preserving the double play and scoring R3's run, as no appeal on R3 occurred while the ball was live, making the score temporarily read, 8-5. When Wallace subsequently put the ball in play for the next batter, Springfield pitcher Hector Mendoza stepped off the mound and threw to third, completing the appeal play and resulting in the final out of the inning for R3's failure to tag up.

SIDEBAR: OBR and NCAA require appeals be made while the ball is live. NFHS allows dead ball appeals.

Scoring Who Was Out: There were three outs on this play, spanning two separate live ball periods, and an unsuccessful appeal at first base. In sum, the following offensive personnel held these dispositions:
Batter Chuck Taylor: Out #1 (air out/line drive caught by F4 Dykstra);
Baserunner R1 Braden Bishop: Safe (successfully returned to first base prior to appeal);
Baserunner R2 Jonathan Mendoza: Out #2 (appealed out for failing to timely tag up at second);
Baserunner R3 Joe DeCarlo: Out #3 (appealed out for failing to timely tag up at third).

Outcomes immediately after ump conference.
Analysis/What Happened: While U3 McCrady ruled batter Taylor out on the catch, and R2 Mendoza out on the live ball appeal at second base, U1 Walsh judged that F4 Dykstra's catch was a trap, meaning his mechanized out call at first base was a declaration that B1 Taylor was out, not that Bishop was out on appeal. In general, a play that takes the second baseman to his right is the second base umpire (or third base umpire in B/C position)'s call while a play that takes the second baseman to his left is the first baseman's call. The bell, as is said, cannot be unrung.

Plate umpire Wallace, sensing the conflicting calls, then called "Time" while the ball was on its way to third base, which killed play and obligated the defense to wait until the next live ball before appealing that R3 DeCarlo had left early, thus giving the temporary appearance that DeCarlo had scored Arkansas' fifth run. The umpires conferred, ruled on Springfield's subsequent appeal at third base, and ultimately exited the field, having made the correct ruling.

Recall the Official Baseball Rule's General Instruction to Umpires: "But remember! The first requisite is to get decisions correctly. If in doubt don’t hesitate to consult your associate. Umpire dignity is important but never as important as 'being right.'"

Wrap: Arkansas Travelers vs. Springfield Cardinals (Double-A), 4/30/18 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Delayed triple play ends Texas League game after confusion in Springfield (UEFL)
Second Link: Triple play, a conference, and upset visitors highlight Texas League game (SPR)


Post a Comment