Baltimore Orioles: No need for replay if it does no good

The Baltimore Orioles utilized a bullpen game model last night in Philadelphia. Connor Greene got the start, but in effect was an opener. It was almost like a spring training game. Greene’s line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Ironically this was a pitcher’s duel. And all pitchers who rotated in and out for the O’s seemed to hold up their end of the bargain. They Birds took the lead in the fourth on an RBI-single by Ramon Urias.

Two innings later however Philadelphia tied the game up at one on an RBI-double by McCutchen. And regulation ended with the score tied at one. and the O’s got the lead back thanks to the ghost runner on second base rule in extra innings. Austin Hays’ RBI-double in the tenth put the Orioles ahead 2-1.

But both teams get to utilize the ghost runner rule. Philadelphia also put a runner on the old fashioned way in their half of the tenth. That combined with the ghost runner meant that Realmuto’s triple in the last of the tenth scored two runs, winning it 3-2 for Philadelphia.

Backing up a bit, Cedric Mullins hit a foul ball in the top of the third, which was close to a home run down the right field line. Replays seemed to show the ball hitting off the foul pole. Or at worst, showing the ball passing by the foul pole and changing it’a direction and rotation after doing so – indicating contact with the pole. Meaning that it rightfully should be ruled a home run.

The Orioles challenged the play, but the umpire in New York upheld the call on the field. Now I’ll grant you that it was close. And I have no issue with the umpires on the field missing the call, because the contact with the foul pole occurred far away from them. But…to not reverse it on replay?

I suppose I would ask what exactly is clear and convincing evidence? Because it appeared to me that the ball made contact with the foul pole, making it a home run. Is it really worth stopping the game and reviewing something if you’re ultimately going to still blow the call?

And we’ve been left flabbergasted several times this year on replay reviews. and not just the Orioles; we’ve seen this across the league. Incidentally, that home run would have made Mullins a 30-30 man. And all things being the same, the O’s would have won the game 3-1. So getting that call right would have made a HUGE difference.

The series concludes tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Keegan Akin gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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