Monday, September 1, 2008

Sabathia Throws One (No?) Hitter Against Pirates

When Andy LaRoche pushed a ball down the 3rd base line, the only way he was going to be out at 1st was if CC Sabathia was able to throw him out. Sabathia got his bare hand on the ball, but ultimately couldn't pick it up and LaRoche was safe at first.

The play was ruled a hit.

At the end of the Brewers 7-0 victory against the Pirates on Sunday, it would be the only hit that Sabathia would give up. He was that close to a no-hitter, and the only one to blame was himself for not picking up the ball and throwing out LaRoche.

Him, and Bob Webb.

Webb has been an official scorer for Major League Baseball for 20 seasons, and ruled the play a hit even before LaRoche ever touched first base. Sabathia had a no-hitter in the 5th at the time of the play, and usually, in cases where the play in question could go either way, the scorer would rule a play like that an error. But not Bob Webb.

As Webb tells the Associated Press: “The way the ball came off the bat, it was spinning, and it went to the left of the mound with a left-handed pitcher going to get it. It’s a difficult play,” Webb said. “The definition requires standard effort, and that would have taken more than an ordinary effort. The runner was well down the line.”

The problem with that is that the runner wasn't even half-way down the line. Yost was furious after the game, while Sabathia tried to stay humble. Let's watch the replay for ourselves:

The Brewers have appealed the scoring, and I think Major League Baseball has no choice but to award Sabathia the no-hitter. Granted, had the play been ruled an error initially, who knows what would have happened. Who knows if the Pirates would have swung the bat differently, or if the pressure of a no-hitter would have gotten to CC. But that play should have been ruled an error, and Sabathia should be awarded the no-hitter.

Note to Bob Webb: Get over yourself, and help give Sabathia the no-hitter he clearly deserves.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: CC Sabathia

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


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