Friday, August 24, 2007

Game Report: Orange County @ Reno (8/23/2007)

Another wild ride for the Silver Sox saw a 40 minute 1st inning, a very rare baseball call, two visiting players ejected, and the Sox take a 10-4 lead into the 9th and escape by the thinnest of margins, 10-9.

The game started with a ball that hit the umpire near second base. The umpire (Tyler Ramsey, who all Sox fans will remember as the guy who ejected PA Announcer Mike Murray earlier this season) called the batter out. Third Base coach Mike Done argued and Ramsey, after consulting with the homeplate umpire, reversed the call. OC Manager Garry Templeton then argued for what seemed like 5 minutes. After returning to the dugout, OC pitcher Michael Natale continued the tirade and was ejected. So what is the actual rule?

When a thrown ball hits an umpire, he is considered part of the play and the ball is live. However, when a batted ball hits an umpire before passing an infielder besides the pitcher, it is a dead ball and the runner is awarded first base. So, as with the Victor Hall call I discussed on this board a couple of weeks ago, the umpires were right in their final decision.

Of course, Ramsey is never content to let a game go by without a bad call and he definitely made one of those later in the game as Maurice Cole clearly beat out a play at first by at least a step if not two and Ramsey still rung him up.

Still in the first, another bizarre thing happened. OC Starter Ben Fox had to leave the game. It looked like dehydration since the trainer brought a huge bottle of water out to the mound and the pitcher took off his hat and bent over a couple of times. Andrew Soto came in and after a long warm-up, finally pitched.

All said, the inning took about 40 minutes.

The game was going along fine as the Sox, aided by three errors by the Flyers, were able to put 10 on the board. Of course, as we have seen all year long, no lead is big enough for the Sox that the fans can chalk up the "W" early. Tonight was no exception.

The starting pitching was servicable as Adam Harendza gave up 4 runs in his six innings of work. But then the thing we Sox fans fear the most occured--Les turned the game over to the bullpen. Walentin gave up 4 runs in 2 innings and Eric Thomas, probably the most reliable guy the Sox have came in. He got Bret Levier out on strikes, which resulted in Levier hitting the showers early when he continued to argue the point with the home plate umpire. He then further delayed the game when he refused to leave the visiting dugout. When it got restarted, Thomas gave up a run to bring the score to 9-10 before he finally closed it out.

Harendza got is first win which was nice to see and Thomas got his team leading 7th save. They two teams will meet again tonight at 7PM for the second of four games in this final series of the year.

Announced attendance was 1117.

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