"You asked me that question, I didn't get it right"

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

galarraga.jpgAt least Jim Joyce doesn’t work for BP. They can’t pin that one on him.

But few other words of encouragement can be said to Joyce in the wake of his plunder of Armando Galarraga’s perfection at Comerica Park last night. Managers and players around the league were quick to say laudatory things about Joyce in the wake of his mistake (Russell Branyan said Joyce has “eyes like a hawk” and “ice water in his veins,” among other things). But you know and I know that Joyce will live with this for the rest of his umpiring life, and beyond.

In that instant, as Jason Donald and Galarraga met at the first-base bag, my initial (incorrect) thought from my vantage point in the press box was, “I think he’s safe… I think… but even if he’s safe, you have to call him out. You simply have to.” It’s kind of like that pass interference play that gave Ohio State new life in the national title game against Miami in 2003. Even if there was an infraction, the moxie it takes to drop a flag in that scenario is off the charts.

Joyce took that chance, to his own detriment and to the detriment of Galarraga, who will go down as the 20.5th pitcher to throw a perfect game in Major League history.

Two legacies, then, were built last night, one for Joyce and one for Galarraga. And if you ask me, what we witnessed last night was even more compelling than a perfect game. The perfect game is passé. It’s been done twice in the past month, for crying out loud. At this rate, somebody will probably toss one by the time I’m done writing this paragraph.

But this? This incredible ending to the first 28-out perfect game in Major League history? We’ll never forget it.

To ensure we don’t, here are the links to MLB.com’s in-depth coverage of the perfect game that wasn’t (and was):

A full rundown of Galarraga’s near-perfection

Blown call now a part of Joyce’s legacy

Donald’s hustle creates imperfect moment

Galarraga was brilliant, perfect or not

The Indians react Galarraga’s performance and the play in the ninth

Fausto Carmona’s strong effort wasted

Will this be the play that ushers in further instant replay?

Columnist Mike Bauman hopes not

~AC

9 Comments

With the lost time of pitching change late in the game or some at bat (in/out of the box)… a fast replay could change games, and that would be better for the umps and the game.

Last night’s blown call is what is wrong with this game, and what makes this game special. I feel extremely bad for Jim Joyce today and for the rest of his life. I also commend Armando for handling the situation the way he did. He got back on the mound and got the 4th out. He is a better man than I am for not firing back words of hatred towards Joyce. “I got a perfect game,” Galarraga said. “Maybe it’s not in the book, but I’m going to show my son the CD.”

Joyce also blew the call in the bottom of the 8th where he called Damon safe and led to 2 runs. Not remotely as bad as blowing the call that would have ended the perfect game, but perhaps Joyce should get his hawk-eyes checked.

I’m with AC 100% on this one: despite what you think, you HAVE to call him out. Rather than the tie going to the runner it should go to the pitcher in that moment. Absurd.

I will say that despite the Joyce situation we should focus more on the efficiency of Carmona. While I will admit that I missed the entire 8th inning, pitching 8 innings and throwing 96 pitches (66 for strikes), walking none, 18 of 31 first pitch strikes and a 2-to-1 GB/FO ratio is encouraging.

the 8th inning was not Carmona’s fault. He gave up a base hit on a ground ball that was pretty weakly hit but right through a hole, and then he gave up a ground ball to short that Donald kind of lackadaisically threw to 1st and made a close play, which Joyce called Damon safe when he was actually still out. Then he gave up a solid single to drive in the run, but at that point if not for the Damon play the inning would have been over. I’d somewhat seriously say that Carmona had better stuff than Galarraga. Galarraga pitched great, obviously, but it’s not like he was nailing the corners by any means, he was pitching to contact and the Indians were either failing to make good contact, or hitting the ball right at someone (also failing to swing at strike 1. When a guy has thrown a 1st pitch pretty much down the middle to almost everyone, maybe you should swing. As Grudz did in the 9th, almost getting a double. Peralta kept watching the first pitch go by right over the plate, and then going into flail at anything mode, swinging at curveballs in the dirt and a foot or two outside) Carmona’s 93mph sinking fastballs at the knees looked like they should be harder to hit than Galarraga’s 91mph fastballs. Unfortunately Carmona had to pitch to actual major league hitters who were trying, rather than pitching to Jhonny Peralta

I wish I had a bigger platform for this, but listen to “TV, radio calls of Jackson catch” here: http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=8629733 and tell me Hamilton is not one of the absolute best in baseball. I know I’m a little biased, but he really is phenominal. You’ll rarely hear that kind of inflection for an opposing player.

good stuff LACF2. It’s a good piece of editing to put all those calls together. Last night on ESPN radio at like 2am, whomever was doing the last show for them was ROASTING Tom Hamilton. The guy was playing the CLE and DET radio calls like dueling banjos and he was giving Hamilton the business for calling it the way he did. I was so ********** with that yahoo that I wanted to call up ad give him a piece of my mind.

my apologies for the language

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