> The Brewers did indeed take a loss today, 6-3 in favor of the Astros in the second game of a three-game set. But, for a change, I don’t blame the Brewers one bit for losing: I’m blaming it on an umpire.
Very rarely do I hand umpires this much blame. I understand that they have a tough job, and mistakes will be made from time to time (although it feels like a heck of a lot more often than that at times). Coming into today, I still had some respect for them, mainly because umpires are a traditional part of the original game of baseball.
But what occurred today in the first inning at Minute Maid Park was absolutely uncalled for and unacceptable. It wasn’t a mistake, it was a choice that could have easily been prevented. But first base umpire Sam Holbrook basically took the game right out of the hands of the Brewers after the second out of the game.
The game did start in a good way forace Zack Greinke. The first pitch of the game was hit hard into center field, but either should have been caught, or let go for a leadoff single. But, Carlos Gomez pulled the bone that we haven’t seen since last year out of his back pocket and completely misplayed the ball. It turned into a leadoff triple for Jordan Schafer, which is where the frustration started for Greinke.
Then, the next batter, Jose Altuve, hit a sharp ground ball to first baseman Corey Hart, who had to range far to his right to get the ball. Greinke didn’t have much time to cover first base because of how hard the ball was hit, so it came down to a race to the bag between Altuve and Greinke. Upon replays, it appeared that both reached first at the same time, and Holbrook called Altuve safe. Probably in frustration, Greinke spiked the ball into the ground after the play, which we’ve seen him do before. Nothing new, right?
But, a few seconds after Greinke spiked the ball, Holbrook turned around and threw him out of the game.
Yep, Holbrook tossed Greinke in the FIRST INNING. You could see Greinke trying to mouth the words “I was mad at myself” to Holbrook, but Holbrook did the typical high-and-mighty ump thing and wouldn’t even look at Greinke. Ron Roenicke came out and argued, and it was about as angry as I’ve ever seen him.
Naturally, the Brewers’ bullpen went onto serve up five more runs, but that’s a given. And that’s what made me so angry about what Holbrook did. I doubt he knew the severity of what our bullpen has done lately, but to eject an ace starter in the first inning of a game after he’d thrown four pitches? For something that doesn’t even remotely affect the game, or Holbrook himself?
I don’t credit the Astros one bit for their win today. Greinke came in with a 4-0 record and 2.00 ERA in his career against them, and after that first inning probably would have shut them down. Holbrook completely took the game away from the Brewers.
So I’m joining the bandwagon for getting rid of umpires. The past few years especially, they’ve proven their uselessness and that the game doesn’t need them anymore.
> Anyway, the good news is, barring an idiot RRR move, Greinke could start again tomorrow. He threw just four pitches today, and it would be a waste of a start. Unfortunately, Holbrook is umping home tomorrow.
> And that’s already about it. Not muchnews today, other than the fact that Sam Holbrook is an idiot.
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