Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was shorted a ball by home plate umpire Scott Barry in his plate appearance leading off bottom of the sixth inning against the Rangers last night, but still ended up working a walk against starter Colby Lewis.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the details:
Ramos took a ball on a 2-2 pitch. Home plate umpire Scott Barry, according to Ramos, declared the count 3-2. Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez turned and asked, “Isn’t it 2-2?”
“Yeah, Barry replied. “2-2.”
“It’s not 3-2?” Ramos asked Barry.
“No, it’s 2-2,” Barry said.
Ramos shrugged and went back to the at-bat.
“I said in my mind, ‘That’s three balls,’ ” Ramos said. “That’s okay. Five balls. I’ll take it.”
The more astute among us may remember Barry as the umpire who picked a right with and then ejected Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard in the 14th inning of a game against the Astros. Barry’s decision to eject Howard forced the Phillies to, memorably, send pitcher Roy Oswalt out to left field.
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.