Questionable Calls – NLDS Game 1 COL@PHI, Wed 10.7.09 on TBS

Umpire Crew, NLDS Game 1 COL vs PHI, Wed. 10-7-09 2:07pm at Citizens Bank Park:
Umpires: HP: Gerry Davis (Crew Chief), 1B: Bob Davidson, 2B: Jerry Meals, 3B: Ron Kulpa, LF: Angel Hernandez, RF: Tim Timmons

Top 2
3B umpire Ron Culpa called-out Yorvit Torrealba (COL-C) on Jason Werth’s (PHI-RF) strong throw to Pedro Feliz (PHI-3B), ending the inning. TBS broadcasters said Torrealba, who had tagged-up at second on Clint Barmes’ (COL-2B) flyout, beat the tag.
Effect: Possible run scored + more pitches thrown by starter Cliff Lee (PHI-P).
With 2 outs and Torrealba at 3rd, Ubaldo Jimenez (COL-P), #9 hitter, would have needed to knock-in Torrealba or, more likely, coax a walk out of Cliff Lee (PHI-P) to bring up the leadoff batter Dexter Fowler (COL-CF), a switch-hitter who batted .500 off Lee in 4 at-bats against him this season.

Bottom 3
2B umpire ___ ruled that Cliff Lee (PHI-P) was back safe at 2B after Ubaldo Jimenez’s (COL-P) pickoff throw. (Lee had just stolen 2nd and taken a lead toward 3rd.) Jimenez had Lee picked-off at 2nd, according to TBS broadcasters, who said he ran into the tag.
Effect: 1 extra pitch thrown by Jimenez to Jimmy Rollins (PHI-SS) for the strikeout and 3rd out.

Of course, fans will wonder about the psychological effects of 2 bad calls favoring a home team in consecutive early innings. Did the Rockies lose momentum when Torrealba was wrongly called out at 3rd to end the 2nd inning just 90 feet from home? Were the Phillies energized by what looked to some like home field favoritism? Escaping the embarrassing 3rd out that he should have incurred by taking too big a lead during slugger Rollins’ at bat, and right on the heels of a successful steal – rarely attempted by a pitcher – was Lee able to ride an endorphin rush through 9 innings to his near-shutout of the Rockies? Because their pitcher was due up next for the Rockies with 2 outs in the 2nd, and because Rollins was down 2 strikes with 2 outs in the 3rd, I hesitate to draw this conclusion. But Lee did establish control of his game to dominate for remaining innings, whereas Jimenez began losing hold of his in the 5th before leaving in the 6th, and his offense could not pick him up to score against Lee until the 9th.

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