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How big of a deal was the missed call on Brandon Inge's HBP?

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brandon-inge-hit-by-pitch-marsh.jpg(Image courtesy of With Leather)

Any Tigers fans out there upset about this no-call? In the top of the decisive 12th inning, Detroit's Brandon Inge was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, which would have scored the go-ahead run and make it 6-5 and keep the bases loaded for Gerald Laird.

The only problem is that home plate umpire Randy Marsh didn't call it. Inge proceeded to hit into a 4-2 fielder's choice and Laird fanned with a full count, setting the stage for the Twins' heroics in the bottom of the inning.

Its understandable for Marsh to miss this at full speed, but his quote after the game is a little puzzling, considering the stark visual evidence to the contrary.

"I did not have the ball hitting him," Marsh told a pool reporter. "We looked at replays, too. And the replays that we've looked at, to be honest with you, were inconclusive. I did not see a replay that showed that it hit him."
For his part, Inge was adamant that the ball did hit him, but seemed to understand how the frenzied environment at the Metrodome could have made it difficult for Marsh.

"Actually, every time I've been hit in the shirt, it's been caught," Inge said. "Because it makes two distinct, pretty good noises. Now, I will give him the benefit that this is one of the loudest places I've ever been in my life."
As someone who grew up with the Tigers in my blood, I can honestly say I'm not that worked up about this call, or the somewhat ridiculous strike three call on Placido Polanco in the ninth. Yesterday's game was without a doubt one of the finer examples of nerve-wracking baseball we've seen in a long time. And just as the players made mistakes when the pressure was on, so too did the umpires.

It's going to happen. And it shouldn't take away from an instant classic. That's part of the deal, that unpredictable way the situation is going to be amplified.

All that said, it doesn't make blowing a seven-game lead in the last month any easier for supporters of the Old English 'D'.

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2 Comments

Those two calls mentioned were terrible, but not entirely game changing. Gerald Laird's horrendous play last night as well as Rodney's inconsistent hurling was what stood out to me. Laird hit into a DP, popped up a bunt, struck out on ball 4 with the bases loaded, all while leaving 5 runners on base with 2 outs. Dont we have another catcher that can actually hit? I believe that is Alex Avila and hopefully next year we will see a lot more of him or atleast some other catcher who can hit. I can't knock Lairds play behind the plate, but at the plate he is worthless. You cant have automatic outs in the lineup, thats what the NL is for.

your right about blowing the 7 game lead that was tough and we never should have been in the position in the first place, but i dont blame the hit by pitch call at all, yeah its rough and it woulda at least prevented the winning run which woulda been the tying run, but the tigers did it to themselves, polanco? how many errors has he ever made and he lets a groundball up the middle go by him? uncalled for. he makes that play and inge never has to come to bat. brandon inge was the hero of that game and the season, he played 161 games on a bad knee and never wanted to be out, saved the game a few times and drove in what should have been the game winning run, thats the kind of player i wish we had more of, someone with a backbone thats not afraid to sacrifice his body on every play, his batting numbers arent that spectacular or even average to be honest but he has alot of heart and he plays the game cause he loves to, not for money. great game though, one of the best ive seen in a very very long time. the last game i saw that was that exciting was game 7 of the 2001 world series. this was an instant classic. congratulations twins, heck of a run, and get em next year tigers.

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