July 27, 2011

Marathon Game Ends on Blown Call

By - Kris Fletcher

Last nights epic Pittsburgh Pirates-Atlanta Braves game still has baseball fans buzzing.

The Braves won 4-3 in the 19th inning, in a game that took 6 hours and 39 minutes to complete. It ended at 1:50 a.m. Atlanta time.

However, it's the way the game ended that people are talking about more so than the actual length of it.

The Braves had runners on second and third with one out and Scott Proctor at the plate. With the infield in, Proctor grounded to third baseman Pedro Alvarez, whose throw home beat base runner Julio Lugo by five feet. Catcher Mike McKenry appeared to make the tag, but umpire Jerry Meals called Lugo safe.

Photo by: Scott Cunningham
Afterwards, Meals admitted that he may have made a mistake:

"I saw the tag, but he looked like he oléd him and I called him safe for that. I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened, I didn't see a tag. I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg."

It's fairly obvious by Lugo's reaction before the call that he knew he was out. Plus, had Meals called him out, McKenry may have still had time to throw down to first to complete the double play, in which case this game could still be going on.

Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle may have summed it up best by saying, "This game deserved better."

Now that's a call I think everyone can agree with.

Instant replay anyone?


  1. Like I said on FB, the more I watch it, the harder it is to see the actual tag. But that being said, I still don't see how he called him safe in real time. Full speed it looks like a tag.

  2. The more I've seen the replay, it actually looks like he missed the tag in real time. Even the catcher kind of looked back to show the ball as if to try to sell the fact that he tagged him when he didn't. It was a bang-bang play, so I don't think it should be called a "blown" call. Tough call yes, but blown call no.

  3. There can be an argument made either way really.

    The ball beat the runner by so much you could argue there's no way you don't call him out, but then again in real time, it kinda does seem like he missed the tag.

    It all happened so fast, it's kind of hard to blame Meals one way or another.