On Wednesday, Major League Baseball credited David Ortiz with a hit in the seventh inning from the May 9 game between the Red Sox and Rangers. The controversial play ended Yu Darvish’s perfect game.
Ortiz came to bat with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. At that point, Darvish had retired 20 straight hitters.
Ortiz hit a pop fly to right field. Rangers outfielder Alex Rios came in, but allowed second baseman Rougned Odor to make the catch. Odor, however, lost the ball in the lights, and ended up letting it fall to the ground. The official scorer, Steve Weller, ruled an error on Rios.
The play ended Darvish’s perfect-game in the seventh, but kept the pitcher’s no-hitter intact. Darvish carried the no-hitter through 8 2/3 innings, until Ortiz singled to end the bid in the ninth.
The Rangers defeated the Red Sox 8-0. After the game, Weller explained to the Dallas Morning News his decision to rule the play an error.
“In my judgment, when the ball goes up in the air, I felt like the second baseman or right fielder under normal effort could have caught the ball,” Weller said. “Under the rule, 10.12a1, it clearly states that a fly ball that lands — that’s allowed to hit the ground, that in the judgment of the official scorer under normal effort could be caught — you’re to award an error on the play.”
Following the game, Ortiz officially appealed the scoring decision on the error because he wanted the hit. After the game, Ortiz told ESPN Boston that he would not have appealed the error had Darvish completed the no-hitter.
The only reason why this play was not ruled a hit was because Darvish had a no-hitter going. If the Red Sox had gotten five hits off of Darvish, this wouldn’t have even been a discussion. Weller felt pressure to give Odor an error because the Rangers were at home and their fans wanted to see a no-hitter.
I’m glad to see MLB reverse the original ruling by the official scorer. The ball didn’t even touch Odor’s glove. He clearly lost it in the lights and Ortiz should have been credited with a hit.
MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds called it the “worst ruling in Major League Baseball history.” Now I’m not ready to go that far, but it was a terrible call.