The Nationals and Braves are kicking off an important three-game series in Washington this weekend. Important by early April standards, anyway. The two teams are expected to battle for the NL East crown all season.
In the fifth inning, with the Braves leading 1-0, Nats shortstop Ian Desmond hit a rocket down the left field line that came to a stop under the padding of the outfield wall. Rather than pick it up, Justin Upton raised his hands, indicating a ground-rule double. Here's the play:
Desmond never stopped running. He chugged all the way around the bases for an inside the park home run. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came out to argue and eventually the play was reviewed. After a lengthy review (roughly five minutes), the play was indeed ruled a ground-rule double.
The official ruling on @IanDesmond20's HR, overturned to a double, was that the ball was lodged in the padding of the wall. Rule 7.05(f)— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 4, 2014
Was that ball really lodged though? I mean ...
... it came out pretty easily, no? I'm not sure how a replay could determine that ball was lodged either. If anything, it's inconclusive, and the ruling on the field was an inside the park homer. I don't see enough evidence there to overturn it.
Maybe the outfielder could try to pick up the ball the next time we run into a play like this. That would look better than "trust me, it's lodged."