Reds-Cubs game ends on controversial replay call; Reds' manager Price not happy
Was Anthony Rizzo's foot on the base or not? It seemed to depend upon the view
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Joey Votto sent a grounder up the middle, a bit right of second base. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell ranged greatly and ended up sliding a bit on his knees before throwing to first. It was off-line, so Anthony Rizzo had to see how far he could stretch. It was close, but the throw beat Votto. Still, the initial call on the field was safe with the umpire signalling that Rizzo had been pulled off the bag.
Here it is, with the replays and everything. Judge for youself:
OK, so it looks from the first-base camera that maybe Rizzo's foot comes off the bag just before he catches. From the opposite side, it looks like maybe his foot still holds the bag until about a split second after he catches the ball. The center-field camera view looks like Rizzo's foot might be on the bag, but the bag is behind his foot on that angle and there's no way to definitively tell.
It's unbelievably close and I don't think anyone could honestly say that he or she knows with 100 percent certainty what the right call should be.
We've heard, by letter of the rule, that in cases like this the call on the field stands. The call was safe. Yet the ruling was overturned and the Cubs won. Perhaps the replay officials in New York had access to something we don't. Regardless, the game belongs to the Cubs.
Price was understandably frustrated afterward. As told to Cincinnati.com (which has many more quotes on the matter, for those interested):
"We have to have, without question, a shot of that play that's worthy of overturning the call. On the big screen, we did not see that," Price said. "There was only one vantage point that we saw that would have been able to establish if Rizzo's foot was on the bag and it was not definitive in our eyes to where you could overturn that call."
"Now we're one swing of the bat away from tying up that ballgame," Price said. "Two teams are trying to win that game. As much as its 'hail to the Cubs' and they're the World Series champs and they're great, we're trying to win the ballgame too. Until I see that, I'm going to be more than upset.
"That's not a way to end a ballgame unless they can show us something that's definitive. If they can't, shame on them. Because there's nothing as managers that we can do because the call's being made in New York. It better be right. It better be definitive, because if it's not, we're all going to be pissed here."
OK, so the "hail to the Cubs" part is a wee bit whiny, but the rest of his points make sense.
To Price's argument, the Reds had a real shot of tying the game -- or even taking the lead -- there if Votto was left on first base by the review team. Yes, Cubs closer Wade Davis hasn't been scored on all season and it was a tall order, but the wind was blowing out on a very hitter-friendly night in Wrigley Field. Adam Duvall was up next. He hit 33 homers last season and has nine this year. He was already 2 for 4 on the night. Say Duvall got on, next up was Eugenio Suarez, who is having a good year with seven homers and a .507 slugging percentage. Behind him was Scott Schebler. He might not sound too scary, but he has 10 homers this year.
Davis might have simply retired Duvall. We'll never know. What we do know is that it was a tough one to swallow for the Reds.