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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Most Excellent Rule I've Never Heard Of: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1

The deciding run in this game, as it turned out, crossed the plate in the third, but in a most excellent way. (You may decide for yourselves whether by "excellent" I mean "sucks" or "AWESOME"; even I'm not sure.) From the AP recap:
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Los Angeles had Andre Ethier on third base and Juan Pierre on second with one out when Wolf hit a line drive that was caught by Arizona starter Dan Haren (0-2). He wheeled and threw to second baseman Felipe Lopez, who tagged Pierre a few feet off second base for an inning-ending double play.

Ethier was running on contact, and he crossed the plate before Pierre was tagged out. The Diamondbacks left the field, apparently thinking the run didn’t count.

But the umpires said it did after meeting with Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Arizona manager Bob Melvin—and by then it was too late for the Diamondbacks to appeal that Ethier had failed to tag up. Had they done so, they would have recorded a fourth out and erased the run.

“They could have gotten the fourth out with an appeal at third base, but they didn’t do that before leaving the field,” umpire Charlie Reliford told a pool reporter. “We had about six rules involved here.”

Torre’s bench coach, Bob Schaefer, knew the rule, and he pointed it out to Torre as the play unfolded.

“When it happened, Bob Schaefer said, ‘That’s the four-out play,”’ Torre said.

Fourth out? It makes my head spin just thinking about it. Looking at the Yahoo play-by-play, it indicates that no scoring occurred in the inning, despite the fact that the Dodgers somehow mysteriously ended up with a run in the frame. Even better, when I was looking at the BTF thread on this yesterday, Sean Forman was seriously concerned about this play breaking the build for Baseball-Reference; to his credit, he actually got the play right ("Line Drive Double Play: P (Front of Home); Ethier Scores; Pierre out at 2B/P-2B"). As I said, most excellent.

Yahoo boxMLB.com recap

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