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Was Dee Gordon safe or out?

Oct 5, 2013, 8:58 AM EDT

Andrelton Simmons Getty Getty Images

The Braves defeated the Dodgers 4-3 last night to even things up at 1-1 in the NLDS, but the win wasn’t without some controversy, as Dee Gordon was called out on a bang-bang play while trying to steal second base in the ninth inning.

Gordon entered the ballgame as a pinch-runner after A.J. Ellis drew a walk against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. Included on the Dodgers’ NLDS roster for his speed, Gordon quickly took off for second base with pinch-hitter Andre Ethier at the plate. However, he ruled out by second base umpire Bill Miller after Andrelton Simmons was able to catch a throw from Gerald Laird on the short hop and apply the tag in one motion. Ethier would go on to draw a walk, but Carl Crawford struck out swinging to end the ballgame.

Much of the focus after the game was naturally on Gordon being thrown out at second base. Watching the play in real time, it certainly appeared that he was safe. However, if you slow it down, it appears that Simmons may have tagged Gordon on his backside before he was able to reach the base. Granted, Miller wasn’t in the best position to judge where Gordon’s hand may have been. The picture (captured by Scott Cunningham of Getty Images) in this post indicates the same thing, though it’s unclear whether the ball is in Gordon’s glove at this time. Check out the play below:

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly undoubtedly would have used one of his replay challenges if this was 2014, but I’m not sure there would have been enough evidence here to help him. MLB will likely have more angles available than TBS did on this particular play, but I don’t see anything definitive here that would have overturned the call.

  1. scubagolfjim - Oct 5, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    To churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged:

    Many thanks for the link to the excellent images!!!

    To everyone still arguing about the call: Some of you seem to think that a player has to “slap” a tag on someone for it to be considered a “tag.” Not so. The ball in the glove, all that has to happen is for the glove to touch the runner. Here it does. Why did Gordon argue? Because he probably didn’t feel the tag. The butt-tag grazed Gordon. He felt the second tag on the leg, but not the initial tag on his posterior. His reaction was clearly to the secondary tag on his leg. But the ball was caught while Simmons’ glove was touching (grazing) the gluteus maximus of Gordon. Yes, it was tight (the PLAY,) but it does appear to have been the correct call.

    (Okay, yeah, I did that on purpose. I could have easily used “close” but I wanted something for the usual few homophobes on this board to scream about.)

  2. wpjohnson - Oct 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    The umpire said he was out so, even if he is a Dodger, he is out.

  3. brianc6234 - Oct 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    He looks out but this kind of call is no big deal. It definitely isn’t worth crying over. No ump could be positioned right to see it perfectly. That’s just baseball. There have been plenty of horrible calls in the playoffs the last few years. This one wouldn’t even make the top 100 list.

    • davidly - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      This time the ump was positioned perfectly to see it perfectly. And it was a perfect throw and catch.

      Now let’s go D-blue!

  4. crackersnap - Oct 5, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    One thing is for certain, Andre Simmons and Brian McCann go into some serious in-your-face showboating right there. Somebody needs to be policing that violation of The Unwritten Rules.

  5. spc7ray - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    It doesn’t matter-Though he was safe we had 3 other chanse to score-Talking about this doesn’t help anyone–we just have to win 2 more games period

  6. scdocal - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    @aomsis. Dodgers got every check swing call and braves got none. Not even an appeal. Ca

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