Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Marlins Come Up Just Short in Frustrating Loss to Pirates

The Marlins lost 3-2 today at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, snapping a 3 game winning streak and marking their first one-run loss of the season.

Today's game was not all bad as Ricky Nolasco pitched for 7 innings, allowing just 3 runs on 5 hits through 6 innings. He had great command of his fast ball and curve ball, and for the first 5 innings, Pirates hitters found themselves constantly staring at called strikes over the plate. Also, the Marlins offense was not asleep as it managed to push across 10 hits including a 3-4 day with a HR from Jorge Cantu (the Marlin worshiped by many TSFF writers including Jay Warman, JSponge, and myself; but not by ASponge until recently). But the Marlins found themselves abandoning runners at crucial times and finished with 8 LOB. In the 9th inning the Marlins were able to get Jeremy Hermida to 2nd with 1 out but Mike Rabelo and Hanley couldn't come through with the much-needed single.

However, the breaking point for me came in the Top of the 7th with the Marlins trailing 3-2. With 2 outs, Hanley Ramirez came up with Amezaga on 3rd and Luis Gonzalez (after a pinch hit) on 1st. Hanley hit a slow rolling ground ball to Pittsburgh 3rd baseman Doug Mientkiewicz who skillfully picked up the ball and threw a dart to 1st. With Hanley's speed it appeared that he easily beat out the throw but 1st base Umpire, Mike Winters, begged to differ. In watching the replay it was clear to me that Hanley beat the throw and the Pirates announcers concurred. So did Fredi Gonzalez as he immediately protested and got tossed from the game.

What angers me is not the fact that the Umpire botched the call (you see, part of the game of baseball is Umpire interpretation). What does is that he called Hanley out to reverse a previous decision in the bottom of the 6th, where Nate McClouth was thrown out at 2nd and was clearly safe. The Pirates ended up converting in that inning anyway with 3 runs. I don't feel it is fair for an official to appease the other team by making a later call at a point in the game where everything is on the line.

Nevertheless, the Marlins lost and have fallen to 12-8 on the year. I guess I shouldn't be so upset, after all, I would have taken 12-8 any day of the week before the season.


ASponge said...

Just as I thought. That was a horrible call. I'm still furious just thinking about it. Total garbage.

MLB needs instant replay.

Squathole said...

"Umpires aren't umpires because they're always right, Umpires are always right because they're umpires." -- Gene F. Mauch

It's part of the game, and over a course of season, it works out. Doesn't make it not sting when it happens, though.

PS Wanna ask this Phillies fan what the "F" stands for?