Rays on the ropes, Joe Maddon ejected after Michael Young homer follows questionable call

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Joe Maddon had Game 2 starter James Shields on a very short leash this afternoon, pulling him from a 2-0 game with two outs in the fifth inning and two runners on base.
Chad Qualls replaced Shields and appeared to wriggle out of the jam by getting a checked-swing strikeout on Michael Young, but first base umpire Jerry Meals ruled that he didn’t go around … and Young delivered a three-run homer to straightaway center field on the next pitch to make it 5-0.
Maddon headed out to the mound to chat with Qualls, waited for home plate umpire Jim Wolf to come break up the meeting, and then got himself tossed in a cacophony of expletives. And then the fans at Tropicana Field started chanting “Replay! Replay! Replay!” before Vladimir Guerrero delivered an RBI single that extended the Rangers’ lead to 6-0.
(Thanks to Jeff Sullivan for the checked-swing screen capture.)

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.