Posted May 10, 2013

MLB admits umpires erred in Astros-Angels call

MLB
Astros rookie manager Bo Porter misunderstood a rule regarding pitching changes against the Angels. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Astros rookie manager Bo Porter mistakenly thought he could change pitchers without the first reliever facing a batter. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball admitted umpires made a mistake in allowing the Astros to make consecutive pitching changes without the first reliever facing a batter.

The experienced crew of umpires, including veteran crew chief Fieldin Culbreth, Adrian Johnson, Brian O’Nora and Bill Welke, allowed rookie Astros manager Bo Porter to bring in lefthanded reliever Wesley Wright to face lefthanded hitter J.B. Shuck in the top of the seventh inning. When Porter saw that the Angels were sending righthanded hitter Luis Jimenez to the plate, Porter raced to the mound to call for righthander Hector Ambriz.

While Culbreth initially told Porter he could not lift Wright, Porter argued that a new rule permitted the move. Culbreth allowed the change, bringing Angels manager Mike Scioscia out to argue. Scioscia played the game under protest before Los Angeles eventually won, 6-5.

Porter told the Houston Chronicle:

“My understanding of the rule and I was fortunate enough last year to sit in with Davey (Johnson of the Nationals) when they changed the rule of a pitcher having to face a batter,” Porter said. “But at the same time if you pinch-hit for that batter, you now have the right to bring in another pitcher.

“So technically Wesley came in to face the batter that was scheduled to hit, but[(Scioscia] pinch hit for the batter that was scheduled to hit, which my understanding of the rule means you can now bring in another pitcher to face the pinch hitter.”

Rule 3.05b actually reads:

“If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.”

It’s the second questionable incident involving MLB umpires in consecutive days.


7 comments
DrRobb1
DrRobb1

It's called not being raised to do your homework!

mckimsey
mckimsey

This is has never been the rule, and everyone involved should be immediately turned to Soylent Green...

 

Seriously, I have trouble believing a Major League manager got this Rule so wrong.  Someone's head should roll for this, be it the Umpire(s), MLB, or the Manager.

Delegator
Delegator

Time to bring in the replacement NFL refs to see whether they could do a better job!

TA1
TA1

I have come to the conclusion that MLB doesn't do much of a job evaluating their umpires...

JeffShields
JeffShields

I would like to see MLB's statement in which they admit the umpires erred. Any help is appreciated.

WstrnTrvlr
WstrnTrvlr

So, Bo remembers a meeting and rule changed that never happened!