I haven’t looked back at posts about the slide, but did anyone notice that the LSU player, when he jumped to catch the ball and came down off the bag and in the way of the runner, did not touch the plate nor the runner with the ball? Therefore, the runner was safe, after his legal slide. (So says my broNlaw that watched the slow motion replay a few times.)
I suppose that would have made a huge difference in the momentum of the game.
Yes, discussed quite a bit here and other places during the game. The second baseman is given the benefit of the doubt most times on a play like that, but I’ve noticed increasingly that they get by with not touching the bag. Vanderbilt’s second baseman got away with it multiple times in Fayetteville this year.
Although I don’t particularly care for it, I do understand that, generally, a second baseman or shortstop will get the benefit of the doubt when executing a standard double play, in which they are gliding one way or the other across second base while fielding and throwing the ball to 1st .
However, what made this play different was the fact that the second baseman misplayed the entire sequence… The way he played it, standing on second while waiting for the ball to arrive and not being in motion, he was more like a first baseman waiting for an infielder to throw the ball to first for a force out… And we all know, if a first baseman is on the bag, jumps up to field the ball, and comes down with the foot off the bag, the Runner is safe. That is what should have been the call here. But there was so much rigmarole about the slide being dirty, or not, that totally got overlooked. Teplay clearly showed, that he was standing on the bag, jumped up and slightly towards first base to field the ball, came down on the first base side of the bag, about an inch off the bag… Should’ve been first and second with nobody out.
It was the play of the game. Not sure it was a reviewable play but it was sure botched. I thought the LSU batter did swing at ball four in that inning. No he didn’t break his wrist. But the bat was across home plate as his body turned. Announcers focused on the wrong thing. And I believe were wrong.
I was listening to Phil. He said it was a really close call and he could have easily called it a strike. He was clear that the play at the plate, while close, was the correct call for the LSU runner. He did comment that he had never seen a closer play, but the runner was safe.
Most of the better umpires give the second baseman the benefit of the doubt when the throw is online and the play could have been made. When the throw is not online (high and to the first base side in this case) causing the fielder who was touching the bag to move away, this benefit of the doubt should no longer exist.
It wasn’t real close in this case and may have changed the outcome. Bad call.
Had the 2nd baseman been gliding across the bag so to speak to catch & throw away from the runner he may not even been able to catch the throw from 3rd baseman. That throw was a little high & wide to the 1st base side which pulled him the base runners path to begin with.
Don’t think that’s warrants a benefit of doubt, bad throw causing bad position.
Now a good throw with good timing by the 2nd baseman coming across the bag I can understand if its questionable whether he actually touching on catch & release, no problem give him the call, he was in position.
I agree - it was where the ball was hit/fielded that dictated the type and angle of the throw coming into 2nd base that caused the second baseman to be positioned where he was. It was not a play where “gliding” was appropriate.
Still, my point (and I’m not saying you disagree) is that the play that gets the neighborhood call is the one with the second baseman (or SS) in motion across the bag as they are making the play. With a stationary second baseman (as was the case here), it’s more of a traditional “was his foot on the bag when he had the ball, or not?” call.
Bottom line, it was a bad call and it hurt us.
That said, what hurt us most was the self-inflicted error on what should have been a double play ball with one on and nobody out in LSU’s half of the same inning.
Another important play of the game that gets overlooked…
The called 2nd strike to Koch early in the game with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. The pitch was up and in. Generally, if an umpire is giving strikes off the plate they give nothing inside. This called strike put Koch in a very difficult spot in that he had to defend a very very large strike zone. He struck out and we did not score. If we push even one across there that changes the game.
The robbed home run in the 8th also was huge. They can’t walk Spanberger in the 9th if that doesn’t happen.
Agree on the check swing. It was strange that they were so caught up with the fact that the barrel never passed his hands. That’s completely meaningless to the question of whether the pitch was offered at or not. Did he have intent to swing?? I think it was a resounding, YES.
The play at second base is the way it’s been called in baseball for many years. They let the pivot man get away with a lot in the hope that they can avoid collisions (and fights and injuries). Now, what’s happened in major league baseball of late is that the call has fallen straight to the replay and it’s contested by every manager because with slow mo replay, they can get it right. So they are calling it right in the major leagues. That hasn’t filtered down to college baseball and other levels because it’s not being reviewed. When that happens, umpires will do away with the “close is ok” way to make that call. If and when they begin to review that in college, the umps will get it right. They can get it right on most of those plays, but they are trying to make it easy to play the game without collisions and fights.
The collisions at second base happen the most in college baseball. Yes, you’ll have a few at home plate. But far and away the point in the game that gets ugly is the collision at second base. I played some second base (and catcher) in American Legion baseball. The game within the game was what was happening at second base on the double play and force outs. The second baseman is more of a target than the shortstop because he has the ability to control where he goes a little more than the second baseman just because of the angle of his approach. I know because I’ve been there done that.
Umps want to stay away from that play as best they can and letting the infielder just be in the area allows that to happen. It will change quickly if that play becomes part of the replay review. Broken ankles, broken hands, broken other stuff and the like is the reason the umpires allow so much freedom around the bag on those double play turns.