Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, New York was the setting last night for the latest MLB Umpiring by committee interpretation of rules conference.
The Mets dropped Game 1 of this 3 game series against the Cincinnati Reds 8-6 thanks to 2 HR's from All Star snubbed Joey Votto and a little help from the men in blue which ignited a Mike Pelfrey implosion.
It all occurred in the top of the 5th with the game tied at 1 with the Reds loading the bases off of Mike Pelfrey with singles from Brandon Phillips and Orlando Cabrera followed by a walk to Joey Votto.
Next up was Scott Rolen who took a fastball for strike 1 called by Home Plate Umpire Jerry Meals, Rolen then fouled off a fastball for strike 2, Pelfrey followed with a slider which was called ball 1, Rolen took the next pitch, a fastball for ball 2. On the following pitch Pelfrey threw Rolen an inside fastball which was called strike 3 by Meals, on a foul tip held by catcher Rod Barajas as Rolen ran to 1st base acting as though he'd been struck by the pitch.. Following is my interpretation of the 3 or so minute conversation which ensued.
Rolen: What the f.. man the ball hit me.
Meals: No I heard it hit your bat and Catcher held it you're out.
Rolen: No f...in' way, I didn't even swing at it.
Barajas: Come on lets go ,! out out there, lets turn 2.
Rolen: Hey Dusty the ball hit me man
(Reds manager Dusty Baker now charges from the dugout)
Meals: I heard it tick the bat he's out.
Baker: Bull S... It hit him
Rolen Yeah it hit me.
Meals: I heard what I heard , he's out. 1 out.
Baker: Are you sure man..
Meals: Pretty Sure
Baker : Ask for help
Meals: OK but I heard what I heard
Meals Hey Mark (Wegner, 1B ump), Dale (Scott, 3B ump) , Dan (Iassonga, 2B ump) come here a sec will ya.
Baker: Ask em all
Meals: Relax Dusty I've Got it
Meals: Hey Dale, you're the crew chief, Dusty and Rolen say he was hit by the pitch , what should we do?
Scott: Well lets move this over here ( moving away from home plate area) come here guys.
Meals: Well did any body see any thing other than what I called?
Iassongna: Not sure, maybe it hit him or the bat.
Wegner: Looks like you got it right Jerry.
Scott: I think I saw his shirt move>
Meals: Anybody hear anything?
Wegner: I heard somebody in Mets dugout say you were an a- hole Jerry.
Meals: Yeah, I get that a lot, Anyway anything else.
Scott: We can't look at replay, Bud"ll get mad. So If you guys are cool with it I say we give Rolen first since I think I saw the shirt move and I am in charge.
Wegner: If we do that Manuels gonna get pissed.
Iassongna: Maybe not, he doesn't usually argue too much.
Meals: He will if we do this
Wegner: Pelfrey might implode ya know..he's fragile
Scott: F..him..He's just pissed he ain't going to Anaheim.
Meals: Well Dale you make the call, you're the boss.
Scott: OK but if Manuel gets hissy on us you run him Dan OK.?
Iassongna: No Problem, I'll let him put on a little show the he gets the thumb.
Meals: So we're all in agreement?
Wegner: Sure, Whatever, plus I like Dusty more than that Manuel
Iassongna: I'm good with it, plus Votto's getting screwed anyway
Scott: If you're OK with this Meals..lets do it.
Meals: Ok but I gotta deal with the s.. the rest of the night.
Scott t(to all in earshot pointing to 1st base): Batter is awarded first base on hit by pitch.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel charges out of Dugout approaches Meals:
Manuel: What in the heck is going on here?
Meals: I asked for help and Dale says he thinks he saw ball hit Rolen's shirt
Manuel: What What the F..? It's your call. you didn't ask for help until that damn Baker came running out here
Meals: Jerry calm down, we gotta get it right
Manuel: BullS... It's your call
Scott: (entering from 1B area): Jerry I think it hit Rolen's shirt
Manuel: What? Come on man..it aint your call ..Meals already called him out.
Scott: He asked for help, I gotta tell him what I think.
Manuel: What the F..? You guys are F...ed up..
Iassongna (entering discussion from middle of infield) You're gone Jerry, I heard you say F...
Manuel: F... F... Of course I said F... we're getting F...ed by you guys..
Iassongna: we knew you'd get pissed Jerry and they picked me to run you , don't hate Me.
Manuel: (Shouting to Pelfrey on the mound) Oh man sorry Pelf..you got screwed ..It's Ok don't have a Pelfdown..Relax we'll get em.
Scott: Jerry get outta here you're done.
Pelfrey proceeded to get Jonny Gomes to pop to short for the 1st (really 2nd) out before striking out Jay Bruce on a foul tip called by Home Plate umpire Jerry Meals and then giving up a 2 out 2 run single to left to Drew Stubbs followed by a 2 run double off the bat of Corky Miller and run scoring triple by rookie pitcher Travis Wood to cap the 6 run inning and Pelfrey's night.
The Mets rallied for 5 runs of their own off Wood in the bottom of the inning, led by Angel Pagan's lead off HR and a 2 run double from Alex Cora, but it proved too little as Votto later hit his 2nd HR of the night (21st of the season) in the 6th off Fernando Nieve.
The Mets look to even the series tonight, sending Johan Santana to the mound against Aaron Harang who was a late scratch as last night's original starter. We'll se if Jose Reyes can make his return to the line-up versus the righty Harang since Manuel has no reason for his sitting out last night against the rookie lefty Travis Wood.
Let's Go Mets