Sunday, May 07, 2006

Very Odd Play

This is hard to even describe, but the fact that both the Mets' catcher and the Braves' manager got ejected on the play, you know it's not a normal one.

Braves have runners on first and third with one out and John Smoltz at bat. On the pitch the runner at third, McCann, breaks for home like it's a suicide squeeze. Smoltz isn't bunting though. Smoltz swings, and it ends up being a swinging bunt, as the ball doesn't go anywhere.

LoDuca picks it up and tries to tag McCann. The umpire calls him safe. LoDuca starts screaming and spikes the ball into the ground. It should be noted that I saw the replay at least 15 times (no exaggeration), and I think he was out, I think LoDuca just skimmed him, but it was inconclusive with closeup slow motion replays, so this one is a little harder to blame the umpire.

When LoDuca spikes the ball down, the umpire throws him out of the game, but the play hasn't stopped. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player thrown out of a game in the middle of a play. The Braves runner who was now on second goes to third as nobody is paying attention. Smoltz is thinking about going to second, pauses, then eventually goes. When Smoltz was about half way between 1st and 2nd base, the umpires finally call timeout.

They made Smoltz go back to first. So Bobby Cox argued that and got ejected.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a player get thrown out during a play or timeout called while a player was in motion between bases. Both things happened on this play.

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