Right Field

A Pitch Only Enrico Palazzo Might Call a Strike

Was that Leslie Nielsen Enrico Palazzo behind home plate in the ninth inning of the Rays-Rangers game last night? If so, Ben Zobrist and Joe Maddon wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised:

Despite umpire Marty Foster’s postgame admission, [Joe] Nathan still had his milestone save after a 5-4 Rangers victory Monday night that ended on a curveball that was low and outside.

“I saw the pitch and of course don’t have the chance to do it again,” Foster told a pool reporter after the game. “But had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike.”

After Ben Zobrist took the full-count pitch, he started toward first base and even Nathan appeared to anticipate a ball being called. But Foster called strike three.

Zobrist put both hands on his helmet and took it off in disbelief. Maddon argued with Foster and the other umpires for several minutes after the game ended.

Soon after that Maddon tweeted, “That can’t happen in a major league game.”

Check out the chart below: See the red square located just a bit outside? Yup, that’s the pitch in question.

Consequently, instead of the Rays having two on with Evan Longoria strolling to the plate, they were saddled with a hard-to-swallow loss.

 

More here and here.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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