With one out in the eighth inning of the Angels-Dodgers game in Dodger Stadium on Monday night, Mike Trout sent a fly ball deep to right field. Erick Aybar was on first base and was running with the pitch, so he was around second before having to turn back. On his way back to first base, he was called out after apparently being tagged by Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Only it looks like Gonzalez missed him, and the Angels are livid.
Here's the play in question, though MLB.com video doesn't have the side angle available:
The Angels' broadcast showed the play in slow motion multiple times, and it seemed pretty evident that Gonzalez missed Aybar. My guess is the only people who disagree didn't see a good camera angle, really love the Dodgers or really hate the Angels.
"He got back to first base," manager Mike Scioscia said (latimes.com). "Unfortunately, we didn't get the call."
Home plate umpire Gary Darling, who had to sprint to first base and make the call, saw replays and didn't change his mind, however.
"Still had no daylight," Darling said (latimes.com).
If Darling is being sincere, and I really hope he's not lying just to save face, this is pretty surprising. As I said, multiple camera angles showed that the tag was missed. Regardless, it's time to talk about replay again.
I believe most umpires would want replay to help them fix obvious mistakes. No one wants to be saddled with an awful call like Don Denkinger has been for nearly three decades. Remember how awful Jim Joyce felt when he cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game?
Then again, would replay have even helped here? Darling insists he got it right. Maybe he was trying to save face and he would have seen it differently if there were expanded replay. But this was a very important part of the game. The Angels ended up losing by one and should have had a runner on base with two outs and Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and Josh Hamilton slated as the next three hitters.
Maybe the Dodgers would have retired Pujols and ended the game in similar fashion to what actually happened. Maybe the Angels would have tied it or taken the lead and the Dodgers would have come back to win, anyway. We'll never know. And that, to me, is the problem here.