Wrong call gives Cubs a 12-inning win over Astros

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I’m not going to call it a blown call, since it wasn’t at all obvious live.  Nevertheless, Friday’s game at Wrigley ended on a wrong call that gave the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Astros in 12 innings.

The bases were loaded with one out in the bottom of the 12th at the time of the play.  David Carpenter was on the mound for Houston, with Marlon Byrd hitting for the Cubs.  Byrd delivered a swinging bunt down the third base line.  It actually bounced right on the line before Astros third baseman Chris Johnson went to play the hop.  Johnson, standing in foul territory, had the ball go off his glove, at which point the ball kicked up some chalk again.

Watching it live, it did look like a fair ball, which was the ruling from home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson.  However, on slow-motion replay, the ball clearly hit the ground in foul territory while also hitting Johnson’s glove.  It then kicked back into fair territory.

Byrd was awarded the hit, which scored Starlin Castro from third.

Since it was a contest involving a couple of also-rans, there won’t be a whole lot of controversy about this one.  However, the game shouldn’t have ended when it did and the Astros may not have deserved their 99th loss today.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.