If you were watching Saturday’s Nats game on MASN, you got several masterful replays that provided indisputable visual evidence that Tyler Moore was safe at home in the bottom of the 8th.
If you missed the game on TV, this blog item is for you.
Things were tied at 3. Moore had just stolen second. There were two outs. Adam LaRoche was up as a pinch hitter, and he singled to shallow right. Take it away, Wagner.
The ball bounced once in front of DeWayne Wise, who had moved to right field just before LaRoche’s at-bat, and, with one step, slung it to catcher Russell Martin without a bounce. By then, Moore had rounded third and knew a tag was coming.
Moore awkwardly slid head-first — almost like a belly flop into a pool — and slid his left hand across the plate. Martin’s tag appeared to be a few inches too late, but [home plate ump Tim] Timmons called Moore out. “I thought I got in there,” Moore said.
Unless I’m missing something, I’d go beyond “appeared,” and just say plainly that the tag came after Moore had scored.
So the Nats should have been up 4-3, and still at the plate. Two further points.
1) Of course we can’t say for sure the Nats would have won the game had Moore’s run counted. Just because Tyler Clippard didn’t allow a run in the top of the ninth that actually happened doesn’t mean he would have done the same with a theoretical one-run lead. Butterfly flapping its wings in China, and all that.
Still, you’d have to like Washington’s chances in that situation. And the team is likely to be in an extremely close playoff battle this fall. So put this result high on the list of “games to remember for late-September what-if reference marks and possible complaining.”
2) The play was close as heck. I don’t begrudge Timmons his mistake. But why in the name of Screech would you not let the dude take two minutes, stare in a screen away from the field, and realize that the one player had touched the plate before the other player tagged him?
The rules kinda specify that that’s a run. The whole point of umpiring is to enforce the rules. And MASN had these replays before the next pitch was thrown, in the top of the 9th.
Sure, in an era before DVRs and HD and zillions of camera angles, you could chalk it up as a close call and move on. But that’s not the era we live in. We all now know without a shadow of a doubt that the Nats scored four runs in eight innings on Saturday, and yet they lost, 5-3
4-3. How is that a satisfying sports entertainment result for any paying customer?
I mean, I’m an above-average speller, but how could I defend a decision not to use an electronic spell-checker out of some sense of tradition, thereby making the reading experience inevitably worse for my customers?
I just don’t get it. If you can make the game better, just make it better. What’s the counter-argument?