MLB Regular Season Ends

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Had Eric Gregg Flashbacks Today

Let's start out with the good news from Wednesday's Fenway matinee.

Tim Wakefield was very good today, allowing just three runs in seven innings. He couldn't get Travis Snider of the Jays out, as he doubled in a run in the fifth and hit a two-run homer in the seventh (on a low knuckler) to account for Toronto's three runs. Manny Delcarmen was once again sharp, allowing just one hit in 1 2/3 innings following Wake.

Tim also got his career 2,000th strikeout to end the fourth when he fanned Vernon Wells.

The Sox got two in the ninth as they attempted a late comeback against Kevin Gregg. It fell just short as the Jays held on, 3-2. Shawn Marcum was terrific, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing just two hits in getting the win.

The bad news. Inept home plate umpiring may have been the difference in a Sox getting a win today.

Dale Scott was simply appalling behind the plate, calling pitches more than six inches outside on both sides of home strikes (and for both teams as well). This game was simply Exhibit A on what I have been saying for many years. That the state of home plate umpiring in MLB can be summed up in two simple sentence:

It sucks. Big time.

David Ortiz was called out in the ninth on one of those pitches, and Terry Francona was tossed out shortly afterwards, after Scott called an Adrian Beltre check swing a strike (he clearly didn't go around). Tito had every right to go ballistic.

I hate these shitty umps who feel that become a member of their profession should be like becoming pope, a lifetime position. MLB has a real problem with their umps, especially with the state of home plate umpiring today.

Scott's awful game reminded me so much of Eric Gregg's egregious performance in the 1997 NLCS Game 5, when he called Livan Hernandez' last pitch, which was at least a foot outside, a strike to end the game (pictured). Say his name and that's what most fans remember about him.

The loss should not overshadow the terrific homestand the Sox just had. They went 7-3, as I had hoped. Now, the road gets tougher. As they will face Detroit for three, New York for two, return to face Minnesota for two, and then head for Philadelphia and Tampa Bay for three each.

We'll see where they stand after that is complete. It will tell us a lot about this 2010 Red Sox club.

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