As if we haven’t had enough conversation surrounding Padres third baseman Manny Machado and umpires lately, a controversial ruling occurred in the bottom of the second inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game with the Brewers at Petco Park. Ahead 2-1 with one out, the Padres had runners on the corners with Machado at the plate facing Kyle Davies. Machado swatted a 2-2 fastball to left-center field, appearing to be a three-run home run. The ball, however, struck the top of the fence and bounced back into the field of play. Lorenzo Cain got the ball back to the infield quickly and Eric Hosmer, who thought Machado had hit a home run and was jogging accordingly, was tagged out near third base.
The ruling on the field was that Machado hit a home run. After a replay review, the ruling was overturned. Machado was credited with an RBI single (advancing to second on the play) and Hosmer was ruled out.
The Petco Park ground rules don’t specifically address this situation, but since the top of the fence doesn’t have any yellow markings on it, the top is considered in play just as it has been in other parks. The umpires got this one right. Machado did not argue.
Hosmer drew some criticism for the way he ran the bases, but it’s forgivable since the initial ruling was that Machado hit a home run and the stadium played its home run sounds (a horn) for the fans. Ideally, players run the bases in a risk-free way, but most base runners would have circled the bases in the same casual way.