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Rangers beat Tigers thanks to blown call

Apr 22, 2012, 4:55 PM EDT

Josh Hamilton, Michael Young Getty Images

Aided by a blown call that gave Texas a run in the top of the 11th, the Rangers edged the Tigers 3-2 on Sunday to claim the four-game series and maintain the game’s best record at 13-3.

The Rangers loaded the bases with no outs in the 11th versus reliever Thad Weber, who was making his major league debut. Alberto Gonzalez, who was starting in Adrian Beltre‘s place, then attempted a suicide squeeze, but the pitch was high and the bunt went straight down and hit him in the knee before bouncing into fair territory. Unfortunately, none of the umpires noticed the body contact, and the suicide proved successful. In fact, the Tigers didn’t even get an out on the play because no one covered first after Weber fielded the ball.

To home plate umpire Tim Welke’s credit, he did meet with the other umpires after Tigers manager Jim Leyland came out to complain. Still, the call stood. Instant replay would have made it obvious that the ball hit his knee and changed directions, but we can’t have that, can we?

Weber got out of the jam from there, but the damage was done, and the Tigers couldn’t score off Joe Nathan in the bottom of the 11th. They lost three out of four to Texas at home to drop to 10-6 on the year.

  1. Senor Cardgage - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    You make it sound like if that ball had been called a foul ball, there’s no way the Rangers could have pushed across a run with the bases loaded, no outs, and just an 0-1 count on the batter.

    • angrycorgi - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      Exactly my thought. Most overreacting article I’ve seen in a while. I’d understand if there were 2 outs, but this is nonsense. You could have just as easily said the Rangers won because Fielder hit his final shot only 298 feet instead of 300 feet in his last at bat. Makes as much sense.

      • djpostl - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:59 PM

        You’re the only one spouting off nonsense I see. Is it true that had the ball been called foul they might have very well gotten a run across? Yes, it is.

        But we would all like to have seen them actually do it rather than get a run they didn’t earn.

        Go ahead and argue otherwise, you’ll just look like a fool.

      • wondroushippo - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM

        True that the odds they would have scored are high, but they then did go and show exactly how it could be avoided: 5-2-3 double play from Moreland, then Kinsler grounds out to short to end the inning with just one run.

        Of course, being a Rangers fan, I’ll agree this is definitely a “we need replay” moment but I’ll revel in the victory nonetheless.

  2. artisan3m - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    While I agree with Corgi and Senor completely, in the interest of good sportsmanship and fair play the Rangers should do the same thing the Tigers would have done ~ take the W. Its early in a long season and Detroit will get a break before it is done. The odds of not scoring with bases loaded and no outs are better than making a squeeze play work, anyway.

  3. randygnyc - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Sure the article assumes too much, but the emphasis is on, and rightly so, that all four umpires blew the call, or they just deferred back to the homeplate up. I watched it live and the umpire huddle was less than 3 seconds, literally. Just seems wrong, when they get it so wrong. Especially when it’s so evident on first observation of replay.

  4. artisan3m - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Uh ~ ~ make that “odds of scoring” ~~~~~

  5. bigleagues - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    At 13-3, the Rangers have officially played 1/10 of the season. They are currently on pace to go 131-31 and become the first team in history to finish 100 games over .500.

    And let’s just say that would or could ever happen . . . couldn’t we just cancel the World Series and award the post-season title to a team like that out of respect for literally accomplishing the impossible?

    • addictedzone - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      Fuzzy math. Not 1/10th. They’ve only officially played 9.8765432% of the season thus far.

      • bigleagues - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        Nothing fuzzy about my math.

        13/16 is a .8125 winning percentage.

        .8125 X 162 = 131.625 wins

        I rounded down. Big deal.

        You FAIL.

    • pw38 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      Wouldn’t 131-31 be 51 games above .500, assuming you’re counting .500 ball at the end of the season as 81-81? Maybe I’m wrong but either way that’d be an isane record and I highly doubt they’ll get there. I could see this years Rangers team easily winning 100 games though no doubt. They seem to be on a mission. Yes they’ll have their slumps but they just seem too mentally tough to have any prolonged down periods.

      • pw38 - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM

        Meant 50 games above .500, oops.

      • bigleagues - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        I suppose from a literal standpoint you’d be right.

        But from the standpoint of math logic, you are incorrect. Figuratively, however, x-games above .500 is meant to convey the number games the team would have to lose to have an even number of Wins and Losses.

        Using your example, the Rangers would be 68-games under .500 at the moment.

    • bigleagues - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      19 people thus far don’t understand a lampooning when they see one.

      Each year some team gets off to a hot start and ESPN and other media outlets invariably proclaim that fast starting team is on pace to win 1xx+ wins.

      In other words, I was being absurd. Glad some people got it. The rest of you are chuckleheads.

  6. stevem7 - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Another very fine example of why Bud Selig really needs to be replaced as Commissioner. An instand replay official in the booth would have taken less time to get the call right than 4 umpires getting together to get the call wrong took. There is just no excuse left for not getting these calls right and when it costs teams ballgames it is just flat out wrong.

  7. detiger69 - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    I think you are missing Matt’s main point: “Instant replay would have made it obvious that the ball hit his knee and changed directions, but we can’t have that, can we?” Sure, Texas could have easily score numerous runs after it been correctly called a foul ball.
    On a weekend when a perfect game was pitched, to have the Tigers once again victimized by a blown call that is so easily corrected with instant replay, Matt’s point stand. Why do we have to put up with no instant replay?

    • angrycorgi - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      I understand your point and empathize with you, but assigning the win to one blown call is ludicrous. Change the idiot title of this article and I’d be more likely to side with it.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      OK, I’ll explain to detiger and stevem and others why we can never have replays. It would destroy the integrity of the sport to get the calls right and make sure the results are fair. Baseball is a game of great traditions and we cannot change any of them or it will be ruined forever. That is why we also must never allow these newfangled electric lights into our ballparks, or have teams travel by these newfangled airplanes, or allow Negro players into the Major Leagues, or have any teams west of the Mississippi. I’m sure you will agree that the sport would simply not survive any such changes. I hope this clears it up for you.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        It would destroy the integrity of the sport to get the calls right and make sure the results are fair.

        Well done, /slowclap

        [10/1 odds on people missing your sarcasm btw]

  8. randygnyc - Apr 22, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    I agree. Just because a situation assumes that the team would likely score, it doesn’t mean that they would have. And in the meantime, that shouldn’t be an excuse for not getting the call right.

    When a call is so clearly obvious, I find getting it right so much more acceptable, even if the call goes against who I’m rooting for. It’s hard to have hard feelings when the call is indisputably obvious.

  9. randygnyc - Apr 22, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    And btw, the only competitive team the rangers have played so far are the tigers. Twins, red sox and mariners are the worst 3 teams in baseball. They won’t play them all year. Although they have an AL west heavy schedule (read, easy), wait till they play the AL east teams.

    • angrycorgi - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      Like the Yankees? Since they couldn’t even manage to sweep the awful twins at NY?? Yeah, consider me unimpressed with the vastly overrated AL lEast.

  10. sportsguygerald - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Bad calls are a part of the fabric of the game. This wasn’t the first, won’t be the last and instant replay isn’t the be all, end all that it’s made out to be. Calls are easy to make from the Lazy Boy while downing a cold beer. Slowing down the game even more for every close call would be ludicrous, or do you propose that each manager gets 2 challenges like in the NFL? No game is called perfectly and never will be. Leave the game as it is. The limited instant replay that is in place now, is often inconclusive.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      Interesting logic there gerald… because we can’t make it perfect, we should settle for mediocrity and not try to improve it at all? I disagree. With a system similar to that of the NHL, on a close play, a manager could use one of his 2 or 3 challenges, officials in a central office would review it from various angles in super slow-mo, and in less time than is often wasted with a heated argument, the umps would learn if their call was upheld, and we’d all know the best possible call was made. (Some replays would indeed be unclear, in which case, the umps’ call stands.) Play ball.

  11. bbk1000 - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Just an opinion but Tim and Bill are not the best umps…this does not surprise me…

  12. nflfollower - Apr 22, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    I don’t think they won “thanks to a blown call”. As a tigers fan, I see it as them winning by loading the bases with no outs. Make no mistake, Texas has it all—–starting pitching, bullpen, and a wicked lineup. But they will go thru down stretches like every other team this year.

  13. billymc75 - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    That’s how baseball go

  14. dctrfan - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Hey, this goes both ways. Anyone remember this? http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/foxs-infrared-hot-spot-camera-proves-beltre-right-about-dispute?urn=mlb,wp24742

    Like billymc75, that’s how baseball go.

  15. sportsguygerald - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    So, nothanks would you suggest that every called strike or ball be reviewable since we shouldn’t have to settle for the mediocrity of possible missed calls? Where do you draw the line?

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