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The Moment an Umpire Lives For
2005-05-28 20:51
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In the seventh inning tonight, Duaner Sanchez threw his glove up in the air to prevent a high infield bouncer from reaching the outfield. As Vin Scully remarked in amazement, some of us have known this rule all our lives, some of us have seen perfect games and triple plays, but we've never seen the umpires get to invoke the rule against throwing your glove at the ball, the rule that sends the batter all the way to third base.

Two batters later, Arizona starting pitcher Javier Vazquez hit the first homer of his career to tie the game.

"Throughout the entire history of the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, they have always bordered on the zany and bizarre," Scully said. "Tonight takes the cake."

It's also the third consecutive game in which the Dodger bullpen has lost a lead in the seventh or eighth inning.

Arizona manager Bob Melvin then pulled Vasquez without letting him face another batter.

The events, among other things, cost Derek Thompson a potential win in his major league debut. Thompson weathered control problems to pitch five innings of two-hit, 95-pitch ball.

Thompson surely earned himself another start, especially because, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Odalis Perez and Elmer Dessens are both weeks from returning. Los Angeles doesn't have an off day until June 9, meaning they have to fill not only Perez's slot in the rotation, but Scott Erickson's.

Wilson Alvarez will again fill Perez's slot Monday, but beyond that, it's all in doubt.

And that's the report, with at least two innings to go ...

Update: As so often happens, in the ninth inning, the batter (Luis Terrero) running well inside the first base line on a grounder is not called for being outside the runner's lane. What exactly does it take to get an umpire to make that call more than once in a blue moon?

The Dodgers lose without using their best pitcher.

Comments
2005-05-28 21:02:23
1.   Brian Y
Funny thing is Todd Helton did it a few weeks ago in Colorado on a double. Oh well, Derek Thompson pitched well tonight but seemed nervous. He has good control and tonight he had 4 walks in 5 innings so I'm thinking it was his nerves. Not bad for our 3rd best AA pitcher.
2005-05-28 21:25:26
2.   Bob Timmermann
It would be hard to determine how often this happens because it doesn't get entered into boxscores as "X threw glove at ball."

Sadly, Retrosheet doesn't have the play-by-play for this game on the boxscore.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B08120LAN1995.htm

2005-05-28 21:36:59
3.   Woody
Bizarre inning (I was unaware of the 2 base rule). Very frustrating for all of us to see a 4-2 lead disappear. Maybe Colborn should have gone out. Who knows if it would have helped calm Duaner down?

Then to add insult to injury, you have Cesar Izturis bunting with two strikes? Can't anyone bunt on this team? Why if you've failed twice already would you bunt with two strikes, especially when he's been hitting well all year?

I'm getting to the point lately, where I've been reading the "Fire Jim Tracy" blog almost as much as DT.

2005-05-28 21:58:39
4.   Woody
Then to add further insult to injury we let Carrarra give the game away.

Speaking of Thompson being our 3rd best AA pitcher, I saw (our best, 2nd best?) Chad Billingley pitch vs. the hometown Mobile BayBears tonight. He got rocked early (two consecutive homers), but calmed down enough to hang in for the win in a 10-7 slugfest. Joel Guzman hit one out, but made a bad baserunning error and a fielding error on a throw about 10 feet over James Loney's head.

2005-05-28 22:31:40
5.   Sam DC
oooooohhhh -- After gamedaying the first few innings at home, had to go move stuff. Stopped at a friend's bar loaded with giddy Red Sox fans to check the score. Kept missing the score on the zipline. Meanwhile, with me wearing my vintage Dodger Blue Charles Johnson T, ended up with quite a crowd of folks gathered around waiting to see the final score. Someone knew the Diamondbacks had tied it up at 4-4. Finally, game highlight reel comes on. Crowd goes "Hmmm" "Huh?" "What do you mean . . ." "Ooooh" "Huh?" Sam goes "Show a Dodger batting, Show a Dodger battin, Show a Dodger batting, don't be a walk, don't be a walk, aaargh."
2005-05-28 22:34:39
6.   brendan glynn
If my memory is correct that's at least the second time Carrarra has walked in the deciding run. I think he did it against the expos as well. Who here didn't think that he was going to walk him or throw a wild pitch? Gio has done that numerous times. Why let him stay out there when Tracy knows he can't throw strikes when it absolutely has to be in the strike zone. Tracy is making all the wrong moves this year. Dodgers would have still lost but still another poor*obvious* choice by Tracy. You need a strike out and you leave Ghame and Game Over in the bullpen. Wow
2005-05-28 22:37:35
7.   Jeromy
Brendan, Brazoban pitched the 8th and was pinch hit for. Tracy only left Gagne on the bench.
2005-05-28 22:46:40
8.   Xeifrank
Over/Under for Jeff Weaver tomorrow is 1/10th of an inning. j/k wil crunch the numbers overnight and come up with an over/under tomorrow ip.

vr

Xei

2005-05-28 23:04:58
9.   Bob Timmermann
Mentioned this in the other thread, but Terrero is now the proud possessor of an infield triple.
2005-05-28 23:08:12
10.   brendan glynn
# 7 Ok, I missed 8th. ok only 1/2 my anger is directed at Tracy.
2005-05-28 23:11:39
11.   brendan glynn
An infield triple? I like the sound of that. That might also make a good trivia question. How can you have an infield triple without a lighting strike that knocks down all the infielders?
2005-05-28 23:13:21
12.   brendan glynn
lightning
2005-05-28 23:28:36
13.   Bob Timmermann
Tracy also had Houlton and Erickson available to relieve.

Well, they were!

2005-05-29 02:10:43
14.   natepurcell
hey woody,

can you do a little scouting report on billingsleys outing tonight? if thats not too much to ask :)

its wierd of billingsley, in his first 45 professioanl starts or something, he had only given up 9 homeruns. now, in the last two games, he has given up 5. i wonder whats up with him? it seems though his control is getting a lot better and his Ks are still being racked up.

anyways, where was his fastball sitting? throw a lot of sliders? show any decent changes?

2005-05-29 05:12:33
15.   Langhorne
When I left for work the Dodgers were up 4-2. I get home and read the foxsports.com play by play to find that Terrero got an infield triple. That's insane, I think. Must be a mistake. But no, Duaner has assurd himself a spot on the highlight reels for a long time to come. Include me on the list of people beside themselves that Tracy left Gio in. I've been a little more forgiving in the past when the crucial moment has been in the sixth or seventh. But in the bottom of the ninth the game is definitely, undeniably, irrevocably on the line. You've got to bring in your best reliever. If Gagne gives up the winning run so be it but it's his job to be in that situation.
I feel bad for Duaner. That was a really dumb thing he did. I just saw the play on Sportscenter. It looked like a flair that Kent might have caught. If not it's a single and they may have gotten a DP on Tracy's ground out. If either of those things happen the Dodgers go into the ninth with a two run lead and Gagne is in for the save.
The home plate umpire did seem a little inconsistent. Gio's last pitch was a ball but the ump rung up Werth on the same pitch earlier in the game. Whatever base that umpire is at tomorrow I think the Dodgers should start Gio at that position. Leave him there just long enough to get thrown out of the game. It should only take a few seconds.
2005-05-29 06:18:20
16.   Howard Fox
the umpire looked a little inconsistent? Vasquez kept his no base on balls streak intact on a couple of outside pitches called strikes, and Thompson gave up a couple of walks on exactly the opposite...I know veterans get calls that rookies don't, but it was crazy and unfair to the extreme...

what Duaner was thinking? I don't know, but it was the kind of stupid play that leads to a team getting rid of a player...

I still don't know why we must stick with the Ghame in the 8th and Game in the 9th formula...they can't work an extra batter or two? This was a really important game, aside from the Padres winning, getting 3 in a row and Thompson getting a win would have done a world of good for the team.

2005-05-29 09:16:46
17.   Bob Timmermann
The home plate umpire should be at third base today.
2005-05-29 14:53:06
18.   aloofman
Like Vin, I never thought I'd see it in a major league game. I remember in Little League practice, a kid threw his glove at a ball that he couldn't reach. The coach explained that throwing your glove at the ball is an automatic triple and you should never do it under any circumstances. I have no idea whether it really is a Little League rule too, but it stuck in my head. A few times since then I've wondered when was the last time it happened in the majors, but I didn't think much of it. Now I can say I saw it.

That was the weirdest thing I've seen in a Dodger game in a long time. Maybe since that weird ending about 10 years ago in which the Dodgers won on catcher's interference. The winning run came home from third because the catcher scooped up a ball with his mask. I'd never even heard of that rule before and suddenly they won the game. I want to say it was against the Pirates, but I could be wrong. I also want to say it was the game after the Ball Day forfeit, but I could be wrong about that too.

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