Thoughts on Cuzzi, some notes

Associate reporter Cash Kruth here, once again filling in
for Chris, who will be back with the Giants on Monday in L.A.


There’s no way around it: Home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi’s
blown call in the bottom of the ninth was awful. Sometimes with plays, I like
to look at the TV replay before making a decision on whether or not a call was
bad (umpiring is clearly not in my future), but that one was
obvious from the start. It wasn’t Armando Galarraga/Jim Joyce bad, but I
thought it was pretty cut and dry.


The most telling quotes came from Mets catcher Henry


"I was surprised when he called him out."
"He was safe all the way. Good for us."
"I was getting ready to go to the dugout."


But the most eye-popping was this gem: "He missed a
lot of pitches, not only for us, for them too," Blanco said. "It was bad all
game long, so I'm happy we got the win."


A lot has been made this season on the umpiring in
Major League Baseball. Personally, I've always believed that umpires have made mistakes since the dawn of baseball, it's just that the microscope on these guys is sharper because of advanced
technology and more replay. But this season - and stemming back to last year's
playoffs, really - has me just constantly shaking my head.


It'll be interesting to see what changes will be made
in the offseason. Although, for teams like the Giants who will probably be in a
close race throughout, it'll be tough to swallow those changes should they miss
out on the division title by one game or less.


A couple other notes from today’s game:


I thought Jonathan Sanchez threw wonderfully today, and it was good to see him come back after his previous rough outing. Plus, that ninth-inning comeback kept him from getting saddled with the loss. Despite
the Angel Pagan’s ground-rule double and David Wright’s home run, Sanchez kept
pretty even Santana throughout the game. Between the four Giants starters and the Mets’ R.A.
Dickey on Thursday and Jonathan Niese on Friday, I thought this was the strongest
series of pitching I’ve seen in two summers of covering MLB. (Granted, last
year I was in Milwaukee,
so take that as a grain of salt.)


*Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
Ho-hum. … David Wright’s homer was his 15th of the season and 155th
of his career, putting him fourth on the Mets’ all-time home run list. Remember
when Citi Field messed with his swing last year and people were worried his
power might be gone? So much for that theory.

1 Comment

The announcing crew was also noting the problem with his calls on the radio side for KNBR. They would derisively note after each “strike” that was called a ball that Cozzi was not ringing up any hitter for a strikeout when the batter did not swing. It was like the guy was either drunk or suffering from a hangover.

Amazing that Sanchez did not crumble after that, it at least is a great example of him maturing and not letting the umpire get to him and cause him to go off his plan and not execute. That’s the most consolation I could take from that, it was a gut-wrenching loss that still makes me ill.

A game like this is inexcusable on the part of the umpires. If someone is not feeling well, just have him man 3B and put someone healthy at homeplate, the home umpire has too much influence on the game to not have him at his best.

People complain about the loss of the human element by introducing replay, but last I heard, the players are human, and more importantly, they are the reason why we follow the games and pay all that money. Not the umpires.

And there are already replays in baseball, over home run calls, so why not allow it for close calls like that, or give each team one replay call per game that they can use in situations like this. Ridiculous. And I’m still upset about Gallaraga’s lost perfect game for Detroit, and I’m not even a Detroit or AL fan, though I am a baseball fan.

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