The umpires strike back: two more bad calls last night

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After the way the postseason has gone, everyone is watching the umpires closely, so it’s probably worth noting that they blew two calls last night.

First base ump Brian Gorman was wrong when
he called Chase Utley out at first on the double play that ended the top of
the eighth. It wasn’t Don Denkinger bad, but Utley was very clearly safe.  Not sure why neither Utley nor first base coach Davey Lopes argued the call, but maybe they’re just wise old zen masters who realize that nothing would have come of it.  Charlie Manuel wasn’t too pointed about it, but he did say the call was wrong after the game.  So too did Gorman: “On the replay it looked like there was a little bit of ball outside
[Teixeira’s] glove. It’s what we call a whacker.”

The other one, which Matthew noted in his recap, was when the ump ruled that Ryan Howard caught Johnny Damon’s liner and then doubled up Posada in the seventh. it looked like a short hop on the replay. The umps did not admit that that one was wrong after the game.

Like I said, neither of these were egregious, but after what we’ve witnessed in the past month, we’re pretty much obligated to point this stuff out.

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.

Ivan Nova finally issued his first walk. It was to an AL pitcher taking his first major league at-bat.

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Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.

That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.

Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.