Scott Rolen's check-swing
With one out in the top of the ninth Sunday afternoon and the game tied at 2, Nats closer Matt Capps got Scott Rolen to do this with a 1-2 count. Had the first-base umpire ruled it a strike, there would have been two outs. He said no.
"I'm telling you, it's not a good week for check-swings and this ball clubs," MASN's Bob Carpenter said. "Unbelievable. Can't get a call."
"That's a strike," Rob Dibble agreed. "I mean, unbelievable. Not only did he break the plane, he broke his wrists. I mean, that's not a good call."
"It looked like he went," Ray Knight said after the game. "If you look at this thing, that [bat] is way out there, I don't know what's happening with that."
(I realize you can't see the plate, but that's the angle MASN provided. And I realize the clarity is bad, but I have FiOS, which chooses not to offer MASN2 in HD.)
Anyhow, on the next pitch, Rolen hit a two-run homer. The Reds went on to win in extra innings. And yeah, that pitch was remembered.
"I know for a fact Rolen swung on that pitch before the home run," Jim Riggleman said after the game on MASN.
There were plenty of things to look back on -- the early yank for starter Craig Stammen, Capps's continued struggles, and so on -- but you couldn't hardly forget this check-swing, especially after what happened last week in Houston.
You remember, this, right? The Lance Berkman check-swing in the bottom of the ninth, which was also ruled a no-go, and which would have won the game for the Nats. On the next pitch, Berkman hit a bases-loaded two-run single to win the game for the Astros.
"We have seen this movie before," Johnny Holliday said after the game.
"Definitely two calls that were missed," Knight added.
Earlier in Sunday's broadcast, well before the ninth inning, MASN's Debbi Taylor asked GM Mike Rizzo if he expected anything to change in MLB umpiring.
"I'm not sure, that's more of a commissioner's office thing," he said. "I think these umpires, they're the best officials in all of professional sports, the Major League umpires. Like anything else, there's a human element that goes along with it, and we certainly know that these guys are really good at what they do. At times, things get heated up, and guys get ejected, but those kind of questions are up to the commissioner's office. I think they do a great job, but there's always room for improvement."
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