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Last Wednesday, Nick Green stood at the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, and with the tying run on third with two outs. After going down in the count 0-2, he battled back and drew a two-out walk. However, if you watched the game, Green checked his swing on an 0-2 pitch that appeared to many as the last out of the game (on a Strike 3 call). And then after the count ran full to 3-2, Green watched a pitch for a walk that NESN’s Amica pitch zone saw as a strike. Angels manager Mike Scioscia commented after the game, “So what was the count 3-4?”
The Angels wasted their time in blaming the umpires, as blame could have been placed on a number of players in this game. The Sox could blame Jason Varitek for being in that position in the first place, as his passed ball led to three Angels runs, and they could also blame Ramon Ramirez for surrending a home run. The Angels maybe could blame Fuentes for blowing the game (despite the controversial calls).
Speaking of controversial calls…Nick Green struck out from my best judgment. I actually threw my head in my hands in disgust after it happened, and when I found out the at-bat was still alive I think I shared a lot of other people’s reactions thinking, “Really?”
As for the last pitch, the Amica pitch zone is not accurate. I believe that thing is skewed; baseball wasn’t invented with a box around home plate. Umpires are subjective, so it’s up to them. Remember how long it took for replay to be brought into other sports? The game of baseball originated with two people in a field arguing about whether a pitch was a strike or not.
Here’s some food for thought: if Mike Soscia was so pissed, why didn’t he get himself out there and argue the call? He should have been stomping on home plate if he disagreed so badly. Maybe that would have sparked something behind his team and Fuentes wouldn’t have given up ANOTHER hit to Gonzalez, the one that would win the game.
I understand how umpires may feel timid at loud, packed stadiums like Fenway Park. But after a tough call, honestly what are we (as fans) going to do? This isn’t the Roman Empire where people get put on the stake for displeasing a crowd. But, I do feel a sense of pride in thinking fans can have a changing effect on a game–and I might be a part of a win. There’s a such thing as home-field advantage; everyone knows that. Terry Francona wasn’t paying anyone to give us the win. If Fenway can sell out day in and day out, fans are as much a part of the game as the players.
The Sox deserve the win because they kept themselves in the game. They scored five runs in one inning, gave up the lead, and regained it again in a wild game. The Angels did the same, as they also had plenty of chances to win. Unfortunately, the call didn’t go their way. Fortunately for the Red Sox, we were able to capitalize on the oppurtunity, unlike the Angels.