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Insider

MLB overturns scoring call

6/16/2011

Major League Baseball has overturned a scoring call from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 3-2 win over the New York Mets from last Saturday night’s action at PNC Park. The Mets filed a complaint with the commissioner’s office, asking for a reversal of the scorer’s decision that credited Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen with a third-inning double and two RBIs to instead be ruled an error on the Mets' Daniel Murphy.

The scoring committee of the commissioner’s office had to unanimously agree that the call was wrong for it to be overturned, which they did on Thursday. None of the voting committee members were present at the game in question, so the scoring play change was based on video review alone.

I’ve seen the play a dozen times now, and I certainly agree that if the ball was hit to Ryan Zimmerman, Evan Longoria or David Wright, it would have been fielded cleanly, and there’s no conversation. However, in watching Murphy of the Mets on the play, the ball was to his right side, and he didn’t have the best reaction or fielding mechanics to get his glove on it. Most importantly, the ball that McCutchen hit off of R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball looked like was smoked. Without seeing it in person or the technology to see how many miles per hour it was actually hit with, I find it difficult to make this decision off the naked eye, just working from video. I agree that it’s a debatable call, but it’s not "clearly erroneous," as it must be for the scoring play to be changed.

Of course, this scoring play does not change the result of the game -- the Pirates win 3-2 either way. The scoring only changes things for the following people: R. A. Dickey’s ERA is lowered, Andrew McCutchen loses a hit while his RBI total drops by two and Daniel Murphy picks up an error.

Here are my problems with the decision:

  1. The official scorer, Tony Krizmanich in this case, loses his authority on a close call.

  2. Not having a committee member at the game to see the play "live."