You’ll recall the little controversy in the 12th inning of Game 163 between the Twins and Tigers last year? The one in which home plate umpire Randy Marsh missed the fact that Brandon Inge got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded that would have given the Tigers at least a one-run lead and, possibly, the division title? Well, Marsh lived with it for a few weeks after the season but then he unburdened his conscience:
Not that it does much good now, but they got it wrong — and they know it.
In an interview last Friday before a charity roast for Don Zimmer in Connecticut, Jim Leyland said he got a call from umpire Randy Marsh “three weeks into the offseason” to apologize
for missing the one-out pitch with the bases loaded that hit Brandon
Inge in the playoff game against Minnesota.
I suppose the first impulse of a Tigers fan would be to moan and complain about this. The second impulse, however, should be to reflect on the facts that (a) the Tigers were still unable to get a run home from third with one out; and (b) they wouldn’t have even been in the game if they hadn’t blown a seven game lead in September in the first place.
But hey, apology accepted.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.