10.07.09 9 years ago 5 Comments

The Twins beat the Tigers in that thrilling 12-inning playoff game to decide the AL Central yesterday, but not without controversy. En route to his team’s 6-5 loss in the Metrodome, Tigers batter Brandon Inge took a pitch in the top of the 12th with the bases loaded that brushed up against his jersey, which legally counts toward a hit-by-pitch. Inge headed for first base, but was called back to the batter’s box by home plate umpire Randy Marsh. As one might guess, Mr. Inge was not pleased.

“I want a hit as much as the next guy, but when it’s that important, it hit my shirt,” Inge said of the first pitch he took from [Twins reliever Bobby] Keppel, thrown with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th inning. “I’m not going to lie.”[…]

“It hit my shirt, period,” Inge said. “I don’t lie about things like that. I’m not going to try to weasel my way on base.”

Tigers manager Jim Leyland immediately ran out of the dugout to challenge the call.

“There really wasn’t anything I could do,” Leyland said. “I asked Randy right away if he could ask the second-base umpire, and he said no, definitely not. That’s his call. I understand that. That’s hard to put that on a second-base umpire to make that call.

“I don’t know if the second-base umpire saw it or not. But there was no doubt in [Marsh’s] mind, and the replay kind of confirms that it did hit him.”

Even after viewing postgame replays, Marsh stood by his call of “ball.”

“I did not have the ball hitting him,” Marsh told a pool reporter. “We looked at replays, too. And the replays that we’ve looked at, to be honest with you, were inconclusive. I did not see a replay that showed that it hit him.” via.

From the video here and the images culled above, it looks rather obvious that Keppel’s fastball made contact with Inge’s uniform. Baseball’s Rule 5.09 couldn’t be more clear on the matter.

The ball becomes dead and runners advance one base, or return to their bases, without liability to be put out, when — (a) A pitched ball touches a batter, or his clothing, while in his legal batting position.

It’s a blown call in a very big game, one that cost Inge’s team at least one run and possibly more. more. also.

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