From Adam Kilgore at the Washington Post on October 13, 2017:
In the middle of the catastrophic fifth inning that helped sink the Washington Nationals’ season Thursday night, a controversial — and, the Nationals believed, missed — call severely worsened the damage at one of many pivotal moments of the team’s Game 5 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs’ scored a run on a two-out passed ball on a strikeout and continued to rally until they led by three runs. But the umpires appeared to either miss a call or misinterpreted a non-reviewable rule that, legislated another way, would have ended the inning with the Nationals trailing by only a run.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Javier Baez swung and missed at Max Scherzer’s 0-2 slider in the dirt. The ball skidded through catcher Matt Wieters’s legs to the backstop. Wieters scampered to retrieve the ball and fired a panicked, wide throw to first base. Addison Russell scored from second, extending the Cubs’ lead to 6-4.
- Related link: “The Life and Times of the Dropped Third Strike Rule,” by Richard Hershberger (Baseball Research Journal, Spring 2015)
Originally published: October 13, 2017. Last Updated: October 13, 2017.