The Ranger’s walked off in the ninth inning tonight against the Baltimore Orioles for the first win of the series. The Rangers could have easily lost the game after blown call on a home run by Josh Hamilton which was eventually ruled a double, although thanks to some patience and determination by the Rangers, the blown call did not get them down and they fought till they won.
In tonight’s game the Rangers sent Rich Harden to the mound to face off against Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie. Harden pitched one of his better games of the season pitching 5 1/3 innings giving up 8 hits, but only 2 runs with one walk keeping the Rangers in the game.
So Josh Hamilton steps up to the plate in the fourth inning and on a 2-0 counts hits a fly ball to center fielder Adam Jones. The ball clears the fence but bounces back onto the field. Jones secures the ball and throws in back into the infield and the umpire crew called it a double, although the television broadcast before reviewing it called it a home run and put the score at 2-2.
Even the broadcasters after viewing replays assumed that the Umpire crew would use the system instituted two seasons ago on fair/foul calls on home runs. Umpire Doug Eddings told the umpire crew chief Dana DeMuththat he was a 100% sure that the ball did not clear the wall and nobody from the Rangers asked for a replay so Hamilton ended up ending the inning on second base no coming around to score. So the official score was 2-1 with the Orioles leading the Rangers.
If the homered had been called like it should have been it would have been Hamilton’s second homer of the game off of Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie and the score would be tied. Although the Rangers rallied in the seventh inning to lead the Orioles 3-2.
The Rangers sent Chris Ray into to pitch the eighth inning and he blew the save. At the beginning of the inning Luke Scott ground out to second baseman Ian Kinsler to first baseman Justin Smoak on the first pitch he saw. Then catcher Matt Wieters singles on a 3-2 pitch to right fielder Nelson Cruz.
At this time there is a man on first with one out and center fielder Adam Jones stepped up to the plate and flies out to center fielder Julio Borbon for the second out of the inning. First baseman Garrett Atkins walked to move Wieters to second base to place men on first and second with two outs.
There was then a coaching visit to the mound before Ceasar Izturis singles on a line drive to center field score Wieters and moving Atkins to third base. After blowing the save and letting the game become tied Ray got Left Fielder Corey Patterson to fly out to Josh Hamilton to end the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth inning Orioles relievers Koji Uehara and Cla Meredith worked around a single by Max Ramirez and a walk by Justin Smoak to get three outs and keep the game tied. In the bottom of the eighth inning David Murphy pinch hit for Julio Borbon. So he remained the game in the top of the 9th inning.
Josh Hamilton moved from left field to center field to replace Borbon and Murphy took Hamilton’s place in left field. Frank Francisco enters in the ninth to attempt to keep the score tied and got one strikeout before giving up a walk and then ending the inning in a double play.
In the bottom of the ninth inning with the score still tied at 3-3, third baseman Michael Young greets Cla Meredithwith a double on a strange play which the ball deflected off the glove of shortstop Ceasar Izturis to end up in center field. Thanks to Young’s hustle he turned what should have been a single at the most if not a out into a double to put a man in scoring position.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler then walks on a 4-1 count before Designated Hitter Vladimir Guerrero flies out to center fielder Adam Jones. Reliever Alberto Castillo replaces Cha Meredithand promptly walks Josh Hamilton on a 4-2 count to load the bases. The Orioles then replace Castillo with reliever Jason Berken whose first pitch was ball to Nelson Cruz, before giving up a sacrifice fly to to center fielder Adam Jones scoring Michael Young for the win.
The Rangers could have lost the game due to bad call by the umpires, but umpires are only human and will make mistakes. Umpire crew cheif Dana McDuth reported after the game after he had the opportunity to view the play that the call was wrong.
I don’t blame the umpires though, because nobody in a Rangers uniform asked about a replay and I am sure the umpires are hesitant to use it. I know that the goal is to always be right, but MLB are constantly criticized for being long, so when the umpire Doug Eddings said he was a 100% sure about the call, in respect to game pace the it was ruled a double.
You sometimes have to ask for calls or even push calls, I love it when catchers will point to the first or third baseman umpire on whether the batter actually went around or if it was a ball. You have to ask for what you want and if you get turned down at least you asked, one swing being ruled a swing or one home run being ruled a double can affect the outcome of the game in turn affecting the division title. The last two seasons American League Central has come down to a one game tie breaker, all teams play a 162 games nobody wants to play game 163, so one lose which should have been a win can mean a lot.