FanDuel - WFBC

October 30, 2009

Yankees Even Series Behind Burnett, Rivera: A.J. Burnett gave up one run over seven innings and Mariano Rivera got a six-out save as the New York Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 in game 2, evening the World Series at one game apiece. Rivera notched his 38th postseason save, 22 more than anyone else in Major League history. Pitchers from Arkansas represented by Darek Braunecker are 2-0 this Series.

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:46 AM - 28 comments

Gee! A whole article about a game without any reference to umpire goofs. One would think that the first base umpire would have realized that Howard didn't catch Cano's liner when Howard threw to second to try and get the force out - rather than take 3 steps and step on first base to double-up Posada.

posted by pullmyfinger at 10:29 AM on October 30

The umps missed the call in the eighth when the Yanks turned an inning-ending double play. Utley was safe at first and Ryan Howard should have come to the plate with a chance to tie the game. At a minimum, they make Rivera work a little deeper and make it harder for the Yankees to use him again for a two-inning save. But that's baseball. It was a hard call to make.

posted by rcade at 10:35 AM on October 30

They're still not hitting. Scoring a whopping 3 runs is not going to get them to #27.

Really not good. If they don't start hitting, they're fucked. And they're heading for that foodcourt/bandbox now- so they better start pitching perfect games.

posted by JButton at 11:07 AM on October 30

Uhh, Yankee Stadium v1.5b is the most famous bandbox in baseball. The bandbox in Philly played closer to neutral than any other stadium in 2009, ranking 16th in HR factor. I'm just sayin'.

posted by cl at 11:21 AM on October 30

I'm with you, rcade. I liked how they replayed the Howard short-hop about 15 times and the Utley-out-at-first once ... on their way to commercial. I thought he was safe, also - but it was an infinitely tighter call than Howard's scoop.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:02 PM on October 30

Werth being picked off was huge. The game seemed to change from that point on. Inexcusable.

I've been waiting for Rivera to falter for 2 years now. The announcers are quick to point out that Pedro isn't the same pitcher and surviving on guile, but seem to be oblivious to Rivera now throwing his one pitch at a constant 89 mph, well off what he use to throw.

It would have been interesting to see what would have happened in the top of the 8th without the blow call.

posted by justgary at 12:09 PM on October 30

Great game, great pitching from both teams. Lot of batters on both sides were made to look really dumb at the plate.

The umps missed the call in the eighth when the Yanks turned an inning-ending double play. Utley was safe at first and Ryan Howard should have come to the plate with a chance to tie the game.

Got a video replay of this to back your claim up? He looked out to me.

posted by MKUltra at 12:39 PM on October 30

Got a video replay of this to back your claim up? He looked out to me.

I'm not going to scourge the internet for prove that the runner was safe, but the replay showed that the runner was safe. I saw no doubt. The announcers showed no doubt. Everything I've read today says the runner was out.

You're questioning the call. Not sure why you're not backing it up.

posted by justgary at 12:51 PM on October 30

Fox showed it after the commercial, and MLB.Com has it here. Skip to the 2:00 mark unless you want to see the earlier missed call on a double play.

As an aside, MLB.Com runs almost all highlights these days. It's an incredible site.

posted by rcade at 12:52 PM on October 30

Does anyone else feel like the Phillies have the edge here, based on how few runs the Yankees have scored and how dominant and unflappable Lee was in game 1?

posted by rcade at 12:54 PM on October 30

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel didn't argue the call when it happened, but it was clearly eating at him after the game. Without even being asked about the play, he blurted out, "I'll tell you something else: Utley was safe. Go look. Yeah, he was safe."

And it turns out he's right. After the game, the six-man umpiring crew took a look at the replay and conceded they didn't get the call right.

"On the freeze frame it looks like there's a little bit of the ball outside (Mark Teixeira's) glove when (Utley) hit the base," Gorman said.
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Does anyone else feel like the Phillies have the edge here, based on how few runs the Yankees have scored and how dominant and unflappable Lee was in game 1?

I like the Phillies chances. If they can take game 3, I think they're in the drivers seat, though I guess that's not going out on a limb.

I thought the Yankees bullpen would be an advantage, but Hughes being hit hard lately and Joba being relegated to playing with his etch n sketch I'm not so sure anymore.

posted by justgary at 01:03 PM on October 30

Werth being picked off was huge. The game seemed to change from that point on. Inexcusable.

That was one boneheaded move by Werth. What was he thinking? My Junior division kids (13-14) know that a lead while the ball is in the catcher's mitt is pointless. Not sure it changed the game though...Just embarrassing for Jason.

posted by lab at 01:12 PM on October 30

Gorman also was involved in another close call, the double play that ended the bottom of the seventh ... The umpires reviewed the video on that play and said they got it right.

That's scary (and a surprise that NY paper just let that slide). Here I was joining the complaints about the call against Utley - but to my eye, the Howard "line drive" was even more of a blown call. For 6 umps to stand behind it, still after replay? Wow. These jokers are making me rethink my stance against instant replay.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:22 PM on October 30

I think Howard got it on the hop, but even in the replay it's hard to tell with total confidence. Could it have hopped on leather, rather than dirt? I think so. If the NFL's replay standards were applied, I'm not sure that the cameras showed irrefutable evidence that the call on the field was wrong.

posted by cl at 01:44 PM on October 30

I'm not going to scourge the internet for prove that the runner was safe, but the replay showed that the runner was safe. I saw no doubt. The announcers showed no doubt. Everything I've read today says the runner was out.

Wow, you're right. Couple of crazy close calls there.

posted by MKUltra at 01:44 PM on October 30

Not sure it changed the game though...Just embarrassing for Jason.

Well, of course it changes the game. The only question is to what extent, which is impossible to tell.

I agree with Joe Posnanski when he said something along the lines of 'I don't know if I believe in momentum, but it seemed to shift after that play".

posted by justgary at 01:45 PM on October 30

If Howard caught it, he would simply have touched first base to complete the double play. The fact that he threw to second to get the forceout pretty much proves that he knew he got it on the hop. Personally, I don't need any more confirmation than that. The first baseman knew he didn't catch it on the fly.

posted by pullmyfinger at 01:51 PM on October 30

I think Howard got it on the hop, but even in the replay it's hard to tell with total confidence.

Yeah, it's tough to tell on the replay. But I would think that Howard would know if he caught it on a hop or not. So why would he throw to second if he caught it on a fly? All he had to do was step on first.

Edit: what pmf said.

posted by goddam at 01:53 PM on October 30

Maybe he knew it was close enough to go either way, so he tried to throw to second to get the lead runner just in case it was ruled a trap. As long as he doesn't throw the ball away (which is what he almost did), the double play is still on if it's ruled a catch, so why not cover all his bases?

Of course, due to the bad throw, he wouldn't have gotten even one out if it were ruled a trap. He should have kept running to the bag for the guaranteed out regardless of the catch/trap call.

posted by cl at 02:01 PM on October 30

Plus, I tend to think that an umpire shouldn't use the players' reactions as the basis for a call.

posted by cl at 02:05 PM on October 30

Well, of course it changes the game. The only question is to what extent, which is impossible to tell.

Agreed. What I failed to say is that I did not think it changed the outcome of the game. Burnett had the Phillies in handcuffs all night.

posted by lab at 02:08 PM on October 30

Plus, I tend to think that an umpire shouldn't use the players' reactions as the basis for a call.

True. I'm not nearly as pissed about it as I was last night. Once I got home and saw the replays I saw that it wasn't an easy call to make. I was glad to see that the umpires had a conference about it instead of just letting it go.

posted by goddam at 02:10 PM on October 30

There are many calls that are not easy to make. Should we be upset when the ump gets it wrong? Probably not, but we should think about how to fix the problem. Instant replay is the only way that I am aware of to correct human mistakes. It won't be perfect but it will be better. I am more concerned about the calls of balls and strikes. Players train for years to find the edges of the strike zone. Umpires miss these calls very frequently. In fact the better the pitcher is at throwing to the edges of the strike zone, the more errors will be made on ball/strike calls. The technology exists to precisely determine if a pitch is a ball or strike. Why isn't it being used? Do we really think that a human can make repeatedly accurate judgements on the location of a ball travelling at 100mph and is breaking? It would be simple to automate this task and the decision would come faster than an umpire's.

posted by lab at 02:22 PM on October 30

I heard a great take about the trap call this morning on the radio. Assuming replay over-turned the prior ruling, what do you do with the runners? They did what they did based on that initial out call. Baseball is unlike football in that many "live calls" are made which influence decisions by baserunners in the moment.

I am not against replay, but remain unconvinced it is the panacea for bad calls by the officials. I mean, assuming they had replay for the trap call, & the 1st base ump's call had been overturned, would either side really have been pleased with how the baseruners were repositioned? I doubt both sides would be happy.

posted by brainofdtrain at 03:18 PM on October 30

In this particular case, the result would have been correct. The runner, Posada, would have been safe at second base because of Howards terrible throw. Likewise, Damon would have been safe at first for the same reason. However, your reasoning is correct. Baserunners and fielders continue, or stop, a play based on what the umpire initially rules. Instant replay can't decide what would have happened if ruled differently by the ump.

In the case at hand, the runners and fielders continued the play exactly as they would have had it been correctly ruled as a trap. The runner at first ran to second base, and the firstbaseman tried to get the lead runner at second. A good throw would have easily gotten Posada at second, but Howard made a very bad throw.

posted by pullmyfinger at 04:44 PM on October 30

I didn't think the Howard play was even close. The first replay showed the scuff of the dirt where the ball hit in front of Howard's glove. The fact that Howard immediately went to second base is completely telling as well.

The only arguement that I can see against instant replay after this postseason is that it makes these games longer (and these games are looooooong). Buit at this point it's just getting where that can't be more important anymore. These calls are brutal.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:42 PM on October 30

Like was discussed on ESPN this morning, baseball umpires refusing to use replay is making them look foolish, and I'm not just talking about the calls from last night. We're living in the age of high definition television and scoreboards, where every single person in the stadium, as well as every person watching the game around the world, see replays from all angles instantly, in many cases proving the call the umpires make was wrong. Why should the guys in charge be the only ones not able to utilize today's technology to try to make sure the calls are correct? It just makes the umpires look foolish, and will wind up costing teams a championship in the future.

As for last night's game, Burnett showed when he doesn't walk (or hit) batters at an alarming rate, he's one of the toughest pitchers in baseball. As for the Yankees not hitting, all I can say is the series is tied 1-1. How it got there is irrelevant. Lee was outstanding, and Pedro was damn good. Sabathia struggled with location, but it's not like he was destroyed. It's just excellent pitching by some of the top pitchers in the game. Anyone who thinks Pedro can't still win in this league is crazy. Health permitting, he's competitive and smart enough to beat most teams in baseball any day. His quick-pitch to Jeter, striking him out with a pitch right down the middle, was brilliant. Not many pitchers can pull the wool over Jeter's eyes like that.

posted by dyams at 05:49 PM on October 30

Agreed. What I failed to say is that I did not think it changed the outcome of the game. Burnett had the Phillies in handcuffs all night.

Yep, I agree with that. Chances are Burnett get a double play ball the way he was pitching last night. But any time a pitcher is pitching well base running mistakes, any mistakes, take on greater importance. If the phillies have 10 hits, werth's mistake is probably a footnote. But with just 4 hits, giving one back is a back breaker.

Especially with someone like Burnett who can look like a hall of famer in one instance and a little leaguer in the next.

posted by justgary at 10:34 PM on October 30

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