Saturday, August 10, 2019

Heads Up - D-Backs & Dodgers Clear Benches

Chief Jeff Nelson's crew may want to send MLB an alert after Arizona defeated Los Angeles Friday night. That's because the Diamondbacks and Dodgers cleared the benches after D-Backs pitcher Archie Bradley struck out LA's Will Smith to end the extra-inning game, an exchange between the celebrating club and the team that just lost in 11 innings.

Earlier in the inning, Bradley induced a foul air out from former teammate AJ Pollock, who rallied against HP Umpire Ramon De Jesus' foul ball call so vehemently (he thought the pitch struck his wrist and not the bat) that the Dodgers unsuccessfully challenged the play, which stood upon Replay Review.

Gil's Call: For what it's worth, I believe the pitched ball first struck the knob of Pollock's bat before traveling up his wrist and into the air. Without any initial ruling, my instinct would be toward "foul ball" & dead ball by virtue of the foul ball touching the batter's person while he was in the batter's box (certainly not a hit-by-pitch). With the on-field ruling of foul fly out, I do believe the evidence was not clear and convincing to overturn the call, so "call stands" does appear to be the proper outcome.

Bradley expressed disproval with Pollock's continued argument of the call—Pollock continued to argue after slowly walking from first base to the Dodgers' third-base dugout—and tensions grew through to the final out of the game.

The Verdict: Pollock felt he was struck on the hand by the pitch, which he was not—he may very well have been touched by the batted ball, however. Bradley got involved in the Pollock vs De Jesus conversation—an overstep of boundaries—and things escalated from there. If Pollock was indeed arguing a Replay Review, De Jesus could have warned or ejected him. Either way, it was the umpire's decision to make, not Bradley's...a dispute that clearly carried over through the final out of the game.

Video as follows:

MLB's Last Forfeit - Bob's Baseball Story

On this anniversary of MLB's last forfeit, we travel back to Los Angeles on August 10, 1995 when 1B Umpire Bob Davidson's Crew Chief Jim Quick forfeited the Cardinals-Dodgers game to St. Louis. As Bob tells the story, it all started with an ill-advised pre-game Dodger Stadium promotional giveaway as LA sought to bolster rookie pitcher Hideo Nomo's season.

As fate would have it, Nomo—who did win the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year Award—wound up taking the loss in the forfeit-shortened ballgame.

During our inaugural episode of The Plate Meeting, guest Bob Davidson recalled that summer's night at Chavez Ravine working with umpires Quick, Bill Hohn, and Larry Poncino, which featured a few LAD ejections (Eric Karros, Tommy Lasorda, Raul Mondesi) while a packed stadium fanbase threw souvenir baseballs onto the field throughout the later innings despite warnings—to the fans and the team itself—to stop.
Related PostPlate Meeting Podcast Episode 1 - Bob Davidson (7/17/18).

Now, in video storyteller form, here's Bob Davidson's account of the last time Rule 7.03 (then-Rule 4.15, "A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team—after warning by the umpire, willfully and persistently violates any rules of the game"; also Rule 4.07(b)'s "The home team shall provide police protection sufficient to preserve order") was enforced in Major League Baseball, as well as a postgame phone conversation with NL President Len Coleman and how his crew was received the next day in San Francisco:

Friday, August 9, 2019

MLB Ejection 158 - John Tumpane (1; Don Mattingly)

2B Umpire John Tumpane ejected Marlins Manager Don Mattingly (balk call; QOCN) in the top of the 5th inning of the #Braves-#Marlins game. With none out and two on (R1, R2), Marlins pitcher Caleb Smith was called for a balk prior to the 1-1 pitch during Julio Teheran's at-bat, advancing both runners. Replays indicate Smith appeared to call for another round of signs with his catcher and did not make a motion naturally associated with his motion to come set, the call was incorrect. Original Ruling was challenged and affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (5-1), the call was incorrectNote, we previously covered how Balk Rule 6.02(a)(1) and Set Position Rule 5.07(a)(2) interact in the following related post.* At the time of the ejection, the Braves were leading, 1-0. The Braves ultimately won the contest, 8-4.

This is John Tumpane (74)'s first ejection of 2019.
John Tumpane now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2 MLB - 4 I Call = 0).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 15 points in Crew Division (15 Previous + 0 InCorrect Call = 15).
*Related PostBalk Sensitivity in Atlanta - Thin Line of a Start-Stop (8/30/18).

This is the 158th ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 75th Manager ejection of 2019.
This is Miami's 4th ejection of 2019, 5th in the NL East (WAS 7; PHI 6; ATL, NYM 5; MIA 4).
This is Don Mattingly's 3rd ejection of 2019, 1st since June 25 (Mike Estabrook; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is John Tumpane's 1st ejection since June 17, 2018 (Danny Duffy; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins, 8/9/19 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 157 - Chris Segal (1; Brett Gardner)

HP Umpire Chris Segal ejected Yankees CF Brett Gardner (strike one call; QOCY) in the top of the 4th inning of the Yankees-Blue Jays game. With two out and none on, Yankees batter Mike Tauchman took a 0-0 changeup from Blue Jays pitcher Sean Reid-Foley for a called first strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the heart of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px 0.22, pz 1.47 1.46 [sz_bot 1.66 / RAD 1.54 / MOE 1.45]), the call was correct.* Original Ruling was challenged and affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (6-0), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Blue Jays were leading, 3-0. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 8-2.

This is Chris Segal (96)'s first ejection of 2019.
Chris Segal now has 11 points in the UEFL Standings (7 Prev + 2 AAA + 2 Correct Call = 11).
Crew Chief Dan Iassogna now has 0 points in Crew Division (-1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 0).
*This pitch was located 0.24 0.12 vertical inches from being deemed an incorrect call.
MLBAM overnight data processing changed QOC margin from 0.24 to 0.12 vertical inches.

This is the 157th ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 75th player ejection of 2019. Prior to ejection, Gardner was 1-2 (SO) in the contest.
This is New York's 4th ejection of 2019, T-2nd in the AL East (BOS 5; BAL, NYY, TOR 4; TB 1).
This is Brett Gardner's 1st ejection since Sept 9, 2018 (Jeremie Rehak; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Chris Segal's 1st ejection since July 8, 2018 (Jeff Banister; QOC = Y [RLI]).

Wrap: New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 8/9/19 | Video as follows:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Injury Scout - Guccione Leaves DH

Chris Guccione left the second game of Wednesday's Rangers-Indians doubleheader in Cleveland after a foul ball off the mask.

With two out and one on in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Indians batter Jason Kipnis fouled a 96-mph 0-1 fastball from Rangers pitcher Lance Lynn into Guccione's traditional-style facemask; Guccione remained in the contest until the middle of the fourth inning, upon which time he left the field.

3B Umpire John Libka assumed duties behind home plate with 1B Umpire/Crew Chief Brian O'Nora remaining at first base and 2B Umpire Mark Ripperger sliding over to third.

Relevant Injury History: Guccione has a history of head trauma as a plate umpire.

On August 1, 2018, Guccione left the Cubs-Pirates game after a foul ball to the jaw.
Related PostInjury Scout - Guccione Leaves Game on Foul to Mask (8/1/18).

On May 25, 2016, Guccione left the D'Backs-Pirates game following a first-inning foul to the mask.
Related PostInjury - Chris Guccione Exits After Foul to Mask (5/26/16).

Last Game: August 7 | Return to Play: August 20 | Time Absent: 12 Days | Video as follows:

Video Teachable - One-Out Time Play in LA

This Tmac's Teachable Moments video concerns time plays, and specifically a play that occurred with one out and runners at the corners at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Chief Tom Hallion's Crew with HP Umpire Todd Tichenor and 2B Umpire Sean Barber officiated this inning-ending double play as a well-oiled machine, with a run-cancelling call that was affirmed via Replay Review.

The Play: With one out and runners at first and third (R1, R3), Padres batter Greg Garcia hit a ground ball down the right field line to first baseman Max Muncy, who stepped on the base and threw to Chris Taylor at second base as Padres baserunner R1 Franmil Reyes slid into the bag, tagged by infielder Taylor as R3 attempted to score from third base.

The Call: 1B Umpire Tom Hallion signaled batter-runner Garcia out on Muncy's tag of first base following the fair ground ball and 2B Umpire Sean Barber called runner Reyes out at second base as HP Umpire Todd Tichenor waved that R3's run did not score prior to the third out at second base.

Tichenor voids the run for a tardy touch.
Analysis: With a runner at third base, a HP Umpire should generally be afforded the opportunity to get into position for a potential play at home plate on a ground ball to the infield. Different crews may employ different mechanics, and for Hallion's crew, this could mean that 1B Umpire Hallion or 3B Umpire Adam Hamari would be enabled to rule on a fair/foul ground ball in front of the bag (even though, ordinarily, the plate umpire has that responsibility...umpiring is all about adjusting to situations; sometimes it isn't possible to stick with cookie-cutter procedure).

As F3 Muncy touches the ball over fair territory, he steps on first base—it's a nearly simultaneous "fair" and "out" call, which U1 Hallion motions as Muncy throws down to Taylor covering second base.

F3's BR out removes the force on R1 at 2B.
Hallion's out call on the batter-runner indicates to U2 Barber that the force play on San Diego runner R1 Reyes has been removed by virtue of the batter-runner's retirement, and the Dodgers will need to tag the remaining runner for the final out. Barber officiates the tag for the third out of the inning as PU Tichenor observes the base touch of home plate relative to the timing of the tag-out at second base by lining up home plate with second base.

UIC Tichenor lines up the potential time play.
Satisfied that the run did not score prior to the third out of the inning, Tichenor signals that the run should not count by waving his arms above his shoulders. It's important to raise both arms above the shoulders so as not to confuse teams or players with the "safe" mechanic, which is generally effected at shoulder-height or below.

Video as follows:

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hunter & Laz's Unusual Crew Consultation

After 2B Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called Braves runner Charlie Culberson out at second base to end Atlanta's top of the 9th inning in Minnesota, Twins broadcasters noted that 3B Umpire and Crew Chief Laz Diaz had come over to consult with Hunter, ultimately resulting in a reversed ruling and safe call, keeping the inning alive and bringing Rocco Baldelli out from the home dugout to discuss the play.

This play is part of our "Ask the UEFL" series. Johnnyg08 saw this play in Minnesota and asked for a CCS analysis.

The Play: With two outs and one on (R1 Culberson), Braves batter Ronald Acuna hit a ground ball to Twins shortstop Luis Arraez, who threw to second baseman Jonathan Schoop as Culberson slid into the base, ruled an out by 2B Umpire Wendelstedt, as F4 Schoop threw onward to first baseman CJ Cron.

Replays indicate the runner was safe at 2B.
The Call: After Wendelstedt ruled Culberson out for the final out of the frame, Diaz came in from third base and after a brief discussion, the out call turned into that of "safe."

Analysis: Although the MLB Umpire Manual (and PBUC/MiLB Umpire Development book) allows for "Crew Consultation and Getting the Play Right," that section of MLBUM specifies a very narrow variety of plays subject to a non-calling umpire initiating a consultation to inform the calling umpire of information critical to the call at hand: those limited circumstances include HR/not HR (fair/foul or HR/in play) calls, foul tip vs foul ball, a dropped ball (catch/drop), spectator interference, and erroneous balk calls when the pitcher is off the rubber.

MLBUM specifically excludes force plays from this brand of crew conference in accordance with Official Baseball Rule 8.02(c), which states, "No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire's decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it," so why did Diaz approach Wendelstedt?
An example of consult's purpose? This out call.

Here's a hint: In May 2012, 1B Umpire Tim Welke missed a call at first base, ruling Dodgers batter Jerry Hairston out on a play during which Rockies first baseman Todd Helton appeared to have never tagged first base.

Laz tells the Twins that F4 was off the base.
Thus, a narrow exception applies to MLBUM's force play exclusion. If a calling umpire misses a dropped ball or pulled foot situation, a non-calling umpire is permitted to provide this intel in a conference in order to get the call right. Per the manual, "When a partner is certain that the umpire making the call could benefit from [limited] additional information, the partner should alert the other umpire that there is additional, important information that should be shared...Nevertheless, the ultimate decision to change a call rests with the umpire who made the call."

That is what appears to have happened here: Diaz indicates the fielder was off the base, and this was the impetus for consultation based on the concept that "crucial, potential call-changing information should not be withheld on a play that has clearly been missed." Unfortunately, replays indicate the fielder did not appear to pull his foot, although oddly enough and fortuitously for the umps, video evidence indicates the runner was safe by virtue of beating the out by the slimmest of margins.

Deem it a correct call for a most unusual reason. | Video as follows:

Joe West's Pittsburgh Rundown Obstruction

HP Umpire Joe West enforced Official Baseball Rule 6.01(h)(1) regarding obstruction during a rundown in Pittsburgh as Pirates catcher Elias Diaz, without the ball, obstructed Brewers runner Trent Grisham between third base and home plate. Though no contact was made, this rules myth is easily debunked: impeding the runner is all that is required for this call, and there are several ways to impede short of making contact.

In this situation, the rundown occurred during a pickoff and stolen base attempt in the top of the 9th inning of Tuesday's Milwaukee-Pittsburgh game. R3 Grisham found himself in a pickle, caught between third and home. As catcher Diaz ran Grisham back toward third and threw the ball to third baseman Colin Moran, he failed to leave the baseline, impeding Grisham as Grisham had to alter his base path in order to avoid the illegally placed catcher. HP Umpire West thus awarded baserunner Grisham home plate as a result of Diaz's obstruction (officially a caught stealing error by catcher Diaz).

The Rule: "Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner (Definition of Terms)."
Related LabelObstruction (UEFL University).
Related PostObstruction in Chicago - Fielder Must Avoid Runner (7/25/19).

The Penalty: "If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter-runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead...The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction (6.01(h)(1))."

Video as follows:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

MLB Ejection 156 - Mark Wegner (3; Daniel Vogelbach)

HP Umpire Mark Wegner ejected Mariners 1B Daniel Vogelbach (strike three call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Padres-Mariners game. With none out and none on, Vogelbach took a 3-2 slider from Padres pitcher Dinelson Lamet for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and thigh-high (px 0.88, pz 2.14) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Padres were leading, 5-0. The Padres ultimately won the contest, 9-4.

This is Mark Wegner (14)'s third ejection of 2019.
Mark Wegner now has 7 points in the UEFL Standings (3 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 7).
Crew Chief Mark Wegner now has -1 points in Crew Division (-2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -1).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 0.41 horizontal inches from being deemed an incorrect call.

This is the 156th ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 74th player ejection of 2019. Prior to ejection, Vogelbach was 0-2 (SO) in the contest.
This is Seattle's 3rd ejection of 2019, T-3rd in the AL West (OAK 6; TEX 4; HOU, LAA, SEA 3).
This is Daniel Vogelbach's first career MLB ejection.
This is Mark Wegner's 3rd ejection of 2019, 1st since June 29 (David Bell; QOC = U [Warnings]).

Wrap: San Diego Padres vs. Seattle Mariners, 8/6/19 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 155 - Tom Hallion (2; Jarrod Dyson)

HP Umpire Tom Hallion ejected Diamondbacks CF Jarrod Dyson (strike two call; QOCN) in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Phillies-Diamondbacks game. With one out and none on, Dyson took a 0-1 slider from Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin for a called second strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px -1.17, pz 1.59 [sz_bot 1.63 / RAD 1.51]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Diamondbacks were leading, 8-4. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the contest, 8-4.

This is Tom Hallion (20)'s second ejection of 2019.
Tom Hallion now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (6 Prev + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = 4).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 11 points in Crew Division (11 Previous + 0 QOCN = 11).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 3.07 horizontal inches from being deemed a correct call.

This is the 155th ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 73rd player ejection of 2019. Prior to ejection, Dyson was 2-5 (SO) in the contest.
This is Arizona's 4th ejection of 2019, 3rd in the NL West (SD, SF 5; ARI 4; COL, LAD 3).
This is Jarrod Dyson's first career MLB ejection.
This is Tom Hallion's 2nd ejection of 2019, 1st since July 16 (Jorge Soler; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 8/6/19 | Video as follows:

2019 No-Hitter 3, Jim Wolf (2; HOU [Combo])

HP Umpire Jim Wolf called Astros pitchers Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini, and Chris Devenski's combined no-hitter against the Mariners, the second consecutive no-no against Seattle.

Wolf's crewmates for Saturday's game at Minute Maid Park included 1B Umpire Nick Mahrley, 2B Umpire Cory Blaser, and 3B Umpire/Crew Chief Jeff Nelson.

This is Wolf's second career no-hitter and the third overall no-hit game of the 2019 season. Wolf previously officiated Dallas Braden's perfect game on May 9, 2010.
Related Post: 2019 No-Hitter 1, Mark Ripperger (1; Mike Fiers) (5/7/19).
Related Post2019 No-Hitter 2, Paul Nauert (1; LAA [Tyler Skaggs x2]) (7/12/19).

Wolf received 86 callable pitches from Houston pitching, 58 balls and 28 called strikes. The look:

Balls: 58 called balls outside of strike zone / 0 called balls within strike zone = 58/58 = 100.0% Accuracy.
Strikes: 26 called strikes inside strike zone / 2 called strikes outside strike zone = 26/28 = 92.9% Accuracy.
Total Raw Accuracy Score for HOU = 84/86 = 97.7% Accuracy (+2 HOU).
Overall Game Score: 119/120 Balls + 57/59 Strikes = 176/179 = 98.3%. +2 HOU.