The Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in 19 innings on July 26th, thanks to a blown call by the home plate umpire. The replay speaks for itself:
As bad as this call was, and it was pretty bad, even Julio Lugo was shocked that he was safe (watch his reaction at 1:36), it wasn’t the worst call in MLB history. It wasn’t even the worst call in past 5 years… actually it wasn’t even the worst call in the past two seasons.
Let us not forget, the blown call in the ninth inning with two outs during Armando Galarraga’s should-be-perfect game. Watch this replay, with Jim Joyce explaining how he couldn’t believe he missed it.
Yes, the Pirates lost the game as a result of the play (they are appealing the call), but there was no guarantee that they would win the game had the call been correct. Yes, it cost them first place, but there are plenty of games left.
Joyce didn’t cost the Tigers the game, he didn’t miss a call in the fourth inning of an otherwise perfect game, he missed a call that literally would have completed the perfect game. A perfect game is much harder to come by, and poor Galarraga will never come that close again. The Pirates lost a game, but one out of 162 is small compared to once in a lifetime. Let’s keep things in perspective.
This leads to the discussion that MLB needs to expand instant replay to include game ending plays… which is another post in itself.
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images via ESPN