The man who gets less run support than any pitcher in the American League, Doug Fister lost to the San Diego Padres, 1-0, when the Seattle Mariners didn’t score and the umpiring crew made a mistake that changed the game.
In a scoreless game, rookie Cameron Maybin walked in the fifth inning, took second on a ground ball and scored the only run of the night on an Alberto Gonzalez single. The kicker? Maybin shouldn’t have reached first base – plate umpire Phil Cuzzi allowed him to ‘walk’ on ball three.
The Mariners didn’t catch the mistake. The rest of the umpiring crew didn’t catch it – and Seattle had only until the next pitch to call attention to the mistake.
Here’s the explanation from crew chief Tom Hallion:
“(Mayin) fouled off two or three pitches, there was a ball in the dirt that got away from the catcher and we went through each pitch and you are right, it was three balls and he took off for first base,” Hallion said.
“My plate umpire thought his count was wrong. The scoreboard had 3-2 and he thought he was wrong because when Maybin took off for first, nobody said anything. The catcher didn’t react, the dugout didn’t react so he thought he had the wrong count.
“Do we feel bad? Absolutely. We count the pitches and it was just one of those things that gets away with you with the scoreboard having the 3-2 count up there and then nothing being said by anybody, he thought he had the wrong count.”
So Cuzzi had the right count on his hand indicator, but didn’t stop Maybin when he started for first base?
“It happens a lot of times in the game you look down and it says ’2-2′ and a lot of times what you’ll do is ‘Josh (Bard), what (have) you got’ just trying to make sure you’re right. Unfortunately we didn’t do this in this case and that’s where we stand with it. It’s one of those things that you wish didn’t happen,” Hallion said.
The Mariners managed only two hits, both by rookie Greg Halman, and afterward Wedge was understandably irate.
“I realized it after the fact, obviously,” Wedge said. “You’ve got to say something before the next pitch. I thought I’d missed a pitch. I felt I must have been wrong.
“Literally, there was no reaction from anyone. It’s our job to watch, and it was a mistake.”