Umpire Assignments ALDS Game 1, MIN@NYY 6:37pm at Yankee Stadium:
HP: Tim Tschida (Crew Chief), 1B: Chuck Meriwether, 2B: Mark Wegner, 3B: Paul Emmel, LF: Jim Joyce, RF: Phil Cuzzi.
CC Sabathia (NYY-P) lost a strike call on a 2-2 pitch to Orlando Cabrera (MIN-SS), opening a stream of 2-out baserunners. Cabrera advanced to 3rd on Joe Mauer’s (Joe Mauer-MIN-C) 4-pitch double and then scored on Michael Cuddyer’s (MIN-1B) single on the first pitch he saw. Mauer subsequently scored on Jorge Posada’s (NYY-C) second passed ball of the game – during Jason Kubel’s (MIN-RF) 5-pitch at-bat, which ended in a strikeout. This put the Yankees behind 2-0 in a game that they were widely favored to win. (The opposition played on little sleep after arriving in New York at 3.30am following a nail-biting 12-inning win over Detroit night for the right to fly into New York.)
The color commentator for WCBS Radio, Suzyn Waldman, at first seemed to chastise Sabathia for his evident disappointment at losing the strikeout, because he had already tried that pitch and failed to get the call. On review, however, Waldman said she could see why Sabathia – and the 50,000 in the stands – felt robbed. Characteristically disinclined to stir controversy, her partner, play-by-play man John Sterling, noncommittally stated that it looked very close.
Effect: Instead of getting out of the inning unscathed, Sabathia was hit-up for 2 runs and threw 11extra pitches – equivalent to a short inning – on a night when his pitch count was already running high with 4 strikeouts before the 3rd inning ended, and starting with Denard Span’s (MIN-CF) game-opening 7-pitch double. The Yankees failed to score first, losing the psychological advantage and comfort zone for their starter, and, significantly, they were facing a pitcher who, albeit inexperienced, was unknown to them, exactly the type of pitcher to stymie Yankee bats since late in the Joe Torre era, if I remember correctly. But Derek Jeter (NYY-SS) immediately pulled a HR to left (very unusual for him), scoring 2, and removing Sabathia’s deficit. In the 4th, Nick Swisher (NYY-RF) doubled-in Robinson Cano (NYY-2B), earning the lead for the Yankees, who held onto it and in fact built on it through the 7th inning. Sabathia was able to pitch through most of the 7th with no further scoring by Minnesota, having earned just the 1 run. (Minnesota’s second run was unearned, because it came in on a passed ball.) Joe Girardi (NYY-Manager) said Sabathia’s performance lived up to expectations, despite the effects of some miscommunication between the pitcher and catcher. Sabathia, who threw 113 pitches through 2 outs in the 7th, appeared to have shaken off any lingering effects of the questionable call after the 3rd inning and pitched a strong game, backed by consistent offense, despite commanding less than his very best , as he said himself.
“No one can predict baseball. No one. Ever.”
-John Sterling, WCBS Radio,
NLDS Game 1, MIN@NYY Top 7, 1 out
re: 2 unlikely runners let on by Sabathia, the second a routine double play turned askew when the ball hit the pitcher’s foot.
I see it is no longer just the listeners who cannot predict this game (as in, “You can’t predict baseball”). This is sounding serious, John! And, it is.
NLDS- COL@PHI Wed 10.7.2009 2:37pm at Citizens Bank Park:
Gerry Davis (Crew Chief), Bob Davidson, Jerry Meals, Ron Kulpa, Angel Hernandez, Tim Timmons
NLDS- STL@LAD Wed 10.7.2009 10:07pm at Dodger Stadium:
Dana DeMuth (Crew Chief), Brian O’Nora, Mike Everitt, Jeff Nelson, Ed Rapuano, Tony Randazzo
ALDS- MIN@NYY Wed 10.7.2009 6:07pm at Yankee Stadium:
Tim Tschida (Crew Chief), Chuck Meriwether, Mark Wegner, Paul Emmel, Jim Joyce, Phil Cuzzi
ALDS- BOS@LAA Thur 10.8.2009 9:37pm at Angel Stadium:
Joe West (Crew Chief), C.B. Bucknor, Eric Cooper, Greg Gibson, Brian Gorman, Dan Lassogna
Experience of Crew Chiefs, in years:
Gerry Davis- 24, Dana Demuth- 26, Tim Tschida- 24, Joe West- 32
Source: ALDS, NLDS Umpire Crews Announced (by Mark Sheldon / MLB.com. Published 10/05/09 3:30 PM ET)
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
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.
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.