The Marlins lost to the Indians on Friday night, 6-2, no thanks to third base umpire Andy Fletcher.
In the bottom of the first inning, with a runner on first and no outs, Jason Kipnis swung on a 3-2 fastball outside from Miami starter Andrew Cashner. Adeiny Hechavarria fired to second to catch Carlos Santana in a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play, and that’s where the fun ended for the Marlins. Third base ump Andy Fletcher ruled no swing on Kipnis’, uh, swing, turning a two-out, no runners on base scenario into a no out, two runners on base headache.
A shaky start for Cashner took a dark turn after the botched double play, leaving the right-hander with six hits, six earned runs, six strikeouts, and a career-high six walks after five innings. The Marlins fared no better at the plate, helping Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco to his third double-digit strikeout performance of the year.
Still, it’s easier, and not entirely unreasonable, to blame the ump for this one. Without that walk, the Marlins might have had to contend with a one-run game instead of a four-run deficit. After tonight’s loss, they’ll have to hope Jose Fernandez’s command doesn’t give the umpiring crew any leeway tomorrow.