Joe Girardi probably should have protested that game the other day

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Still thinking about that Billy Butler homer in the Yankees-Royals game the other night.  Joe Torre has admitted that the umpires misapplied the rules.  And now Joe Girardi admits he should have protested it.  He says he simply took the umps’ word for it that they were properly applying the rules:

“I assumed the rules were right and that’s my fault … Two umpires told me and I believed them. Maybe I don’t need to be so trustworthy anymore.”

To be fair, it’s not just dumb credulity that led Girardi to think the umpires had it right at the time. Umpires blow judgment calls all the time, but they rarely actually misapply the rules, which is what is required for a successful protest.  There are only a handful of protested games in recent memory, and none have been successful since a rain-shortened game between St. Louis and Pittsburgh went down in 1986 (the umps didn’t wait long enough between delays to call the game).  In fact, Retrosheet’s data shows only 14 successfully-protested and then-resumed games since 1913.

Protests usually fail either because they’re on judgment calls or because the misapplication of the rules ended up not making a difference in the outcome.  This one, however, seems like it would have been a pretty cut-and-dried protest case.  It was a misapplication of the rules and, given that it was on a homer in a game decided by one run, it’d be hard to argue that the call was irrelevant to the outcome.

So yeah, while I tend to look askance at protests, this is one that had to be made. Even if Girardi tended to believe the umps, you gotta throw that challenge flag, ya know?  I mean, it’s not like he hasn’t done it before.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.