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Ryan Howard missed hitting for the cycle due to a questionable scoring decision

Apr 20, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT

Ryan Howard Ryan Howard

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was a double short of the cycle when he stepped to the plate against Rockies reliever Boone Logan in the seventh inning of Sunday’s series finale in Colorado. To that point, he had singled in the first, hit a two-run home run in the third, and tripled in the sixth.

The Phillies had just tied the game up at 6-6 and Jimmy Rollins was on third base with one out. Logan threw an 0-2 breaking ball and Howard pulled it to right field. Brandon Barnes charged in on it and tried to play it on a hop, but the ball skipped under his glove. Rollins scored and Howard pulled into second with what could have been a double, giving him the cycle. But the scorer ruled it a single and a fielding error on Barnes.

( again is being stingy with embedding video, so here’s the direct link if the above video doesn’t show up for you.)

Howard finished the day 4-for-5 — tying a career-high in hits in a single game — with three runs scored and three runs batted in as the Phillies won 10-9.

  1. kevinbnyc - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Wait…Ryan Howard hit a triple????????

    • baseballisboring - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      Seriously, let’s not gloss over that…

  2. eagles512 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Definitely should have been a double. There was a somewhat similar play earlier and the same scorekeeper called it a double.

  3. straightouttavtown - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    That BS call cost me a category in my fantasy league. We have hitting for cycle as a category. FML

    • tuberippin - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:10 AM


  4. phillyphannnn83 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    Didn’t watch the game, didn’t watch the video, but your description of what happened actually sounds exactly like how it was scored, a single with a fielding error. The way you determine that is to assume the ball IS fielded, where would Howard then be? If that answer is first base, then the play was scored correctly.

    • dan1111 - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:53 AM

      I don’t think there is a correct scoring decision in a case like this. It is very much a judgement call, based on the scorer’s opinion of whether the fielder should have been able to make the play. In this case, Barnes was on the run, probably initially hoping to catch the ball, and it bounced right in front of him. That’s not an easy play to make.

      I don’t have a problem with this being scored an error, but it really could have gone either way.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:28 AM

      Watch the video. I would not call it the crime of the century, but the “error” was essentially running too far in and not keeping it to a single. Happens all the time, and they don’t give errors. And really, how is it different than any other misplay in the outfield?

      Again, I don’t think this is the worst thing I have seen, but it should have been a double.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      I haven’t watched the video yet, I’m going to, but commenting on a fielding play you haven’t seen isn’t the best way to go about it…

      Many things SOUND one way, but are actually MUCH different from how they sound/appear to be at first glance…

  5. tsi431 - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    Where is the video of the triple? That should have its own headline.

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    I saw the play and some of the game, it should have been a single and an error that allowed Ryan to get to second. A good outfielder would have made the catch but at the very least a big league outfielder should have been able to hold Ryan to a single, I honestly can’t believe this article is here today I don’t get what was questionable about it except to maybe phillie fans.

    • sumkat - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Watch the play Revere made in the 3rd, where he dove for a fly ball (and came up about 10 feet short), but it was called a double. Like the guy said above, not a major crime here, but definitely a bad call. Those kinds of things change from city to city, and sometimes even game to game. But they are NOT supposed to change inning by inning, depending on if the home player gets credit for a double or not.

  7. doctornature - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Even little leaguers are expected to make that play. It was a blooper, not a hard hit ball. Error all the way.

  8. greymares - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    The big news is Howard got 4 hits and no K’s that’s a week’s production for the big guy.

    • deepstblu - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      And then he was pulled for defensive replacement John Mayberry Jr., who made a game-saving play to get the final out. Makes Ryne look like a genius.

  9. skeleteeth - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Correct call was made.

  10. eagles512 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Agree that most outfielders should keep it in front but that isn’t what determines an error. That’s like saying a slow 3rd baseman should get an error for not getting to a ball in the hole that most would get to. Not that big a deal but I think a double is the correct ruling.

  11. gloccamorra - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    This isn’t the ideal situation for hanging an official scorer, but the fact it’s one of a rotation of sports writers hired by the local club to record the “official records of Major League Baseball” makes it a good time to argue there should be professional scorers. Writers who might have a conflict of interest in assessing hits, errors, etc. on players they know and write about should not be at the scorer’s table.

    • macjacmccoy - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:25 AM

      I agree. A lot of people argue that their shouldnt be official score keepers because it doesnt effect the game. There is something to say for that argument. Claiming Ryan hit a single and then advanced to second on a fielding error instead of saying he simply hit a double doesnt change the fact that he is still on 2nd. People who subscribe to that rational arent taking into account the effect that it has outside of the game. Put simply, money. Stats if not the biggest, is at least one of the biggest factors used to determine a players value in contract negotiations. A player advancing on an error instead of a single or double etc. shows up in the stats and not in a positive way. Also don’t forget escalators and bonuses. If Ryan Howard gets say $500,000 if he hits 30 doubles this year, 1 or 2 scoring mistakes could have a huge effect on whether he hits that goal or not.

      In any situation where the stakes are so high every effort should be made to make sure the outcome is as accurate as possible. In this case, having official well trained score keepers would lessen the chance of bias and incompetence effecting the results. That is something so basic and simple to remedy, you would think common sense would have kicked in decades ago and MLB would have already made it law.

      But no they were obviously to busy watering down the playoffs and trying to figure out how to use player safety as a ruse to destroy the art of catching.

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