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.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.