One person’s theory on the horrible infield-fly call

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First and most obviously, Andrelton Simmons’ pop to left field was too deep to be calling an infield-fly rule on. That wasn’t a routine play for Pete Kozma. It certainly wasn’t a ball any shortstop would have thought of dropping in an effort to get a double play. It wasn’t an infield fly.

That said, here’s my theory: the only reason that ball dropped was because left-field umpire Sam Holbrook yelled “infield fly!” Kozma didn’t lose the ball in the lights. He peeled off at the last second because someone called him off. It wasn’t left fielder Matt Holliday, who was as shocked as anyone that the ball fell in. Perhaps it was a fan with a particularly strong set of lungs, but I doubt it. The park was plenty noisy at the time, and Kozma wasn’t at all close to the stands.

I think Holbrook yelled before he put his hand up and Kozma thought Holliday was calling him off. That would also be the best explanation for the umpires not reversing the call. If they thought the only reason the ball dropped in was because Kozma heard Holbrook yell, then it certainly wouldn’t have been fair to put Simmons on first.

Anyway, that’s my theory. Hopefully crew chief Jeff Kellogg will be open to discussing it after the game.

Mariners place James Paxton on the 10-day disabled list

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Mariners starter James Paxton was forced out of last night’s start against the Athletics after being hit by a Jed Lowrie line drive on his pitching arm after retiring only one batter (and after giving up a leadoff homer).

X-rays came back negative and after the game it was said he was day-to-day, but now it seems he is day-to-day-to-day-to-day-to-day-to-day-to-day-to-day-to-day-to-day. The M’s have put him on the, yep, 10-day disabled list.

Taking his place on the roster is Christian Bergman, 30, is in his 2nd stint with the Mariners this season, one in May and one in July. He’s 0–1 in those, having given up five earned runs in 11.1 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

At the moment the M’s think Paxton might only miss one start, so don’t expect him to be gone for long.