Blog Entry

Phillies live to talk about blown call in seventh

Posted on: October 26, 2008 4:52 am

PHILADELPHIA -- The play everyone in Philadelphia would have been talking about had the Phillies not eked out a 5-4 Game 3 win over Tampa Bay came in the seventh inning and might have been the kind of play that would have made umpires (not to mention the Phillies and their fans) cringe for years.

With Philadelphia leading 4-1, Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford led off the seventh with a bunt single. Except, he looked out. And television replays suggested he was out.

Crawford pushed the ball down the first-base line, and Phillies starter Jamie Moyer scrambled over to get it. He wound up diving and making a sort of shovel pass to first. With Crawford bearing down on him, first baseman Ryan Howard reached out and caught the ball with his bare hand.

That's, I think, where the problem arose. From the television replays, it appeared as if first-base umpire Tom Hallion was anticipating a bang-bang play -- which it was. But as such, he appeared to be watching the first-base bag to see when Crawford was going to get there.

Which means he wasn't watching Moyer's throw to Howard (partly, it appeared, because he didn't have a good angle, he was partly screened by Howard). The logical assumption is that Hallion was listening for the thud of the baseball into Howard's glove, and would measure that against what his eyes told him regarding Crawford's foot speed.

But there was no thud of the glove when Howard made his stabbing catch bare-handed.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel came out to argue, but the call stood.

And in a matter of moments, Philadelphia's 4-1 lead was sliced to 4-3 because Crawford and Dioner Navarro both scored in the seventh.

Howard said he did not speak with Hallion about the play.

"It happened so fast, I don't know what angle he had," Howard said.

Howard also said that as the game moved along, some of his teammates who had seen the replay in the clubhouse told him Crawford was out.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins likened it to the infamous Don Denkinger call at first base in the 1985 World Series between Kansas City and St. Louis. That came in Game 6, with St. Louis leading 1-0 in the ninth inning. Royals leadoff batter Jorge Orta hit a slow roller to first baseman Jack Clark, who tossed to pitcher Todd Worrell covering the bag.

Denkinger called Orta safe, but replays showed that he was out. Kansas City came back to win the game, pull even in the series after six games, and win Game 7.

"These guys are here because they're some of the best," Rollins said of the umpires. "But if they're out of position, they need to get back into position."


Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2008 10:13 am

Phillies live to talk about blown call in seventh

Scott -- Let me say up front that I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just happy to see some quality baseball in the World Series.

That being said, Jamie Moyer made a fantastic play. Carl Crawford WAS out. Ryan Howard had the ball in his hand AFTER Crawford's foot left the ground, but BEFORE the foot came down on the bag. I think the replay clearly showed that.

Tom Hallion probably had the worst possible angle to make the call. He was on the other side of Ryan Howard and couldn't see that Howard had the ball in his hand before Crawford's foot hit the bag.

Thankfully, events later in the game made the blown call a moot point, or it's the only thing about the game people would be talking about.



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 6:56 am

Phillies live to talk about blown call in seventh

Scott you are killing me.  Replays suggested that Crawford was out?  Replays proved without a shadow of a doubt that he was out.  Please Scott admit it to yourself you can't stand the Philliies because your beloved Dodgers were their last victims.  Your disdain for the Phillies is coming through loud and clear.  It was an incredible play by Moyer (45 years old) to get to that ball and flip it to Howard, but you and apparently no one else here at CBS Sportsline mentions that. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or