A good, old-fashioned pitcher’s duel is a great game to play, except when you lose. Then it’s not so great. Man, that was tough. We were evenly matched, and we just scored a few runs too few.
Doubront pitched five solid innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out four. He gave up a run in the fourth thanks to a single-double combination and a deflection by Napoli. His other run scored in the fifth, thanks to a double, a single, and then a force out.
De La Torre pitched the sixth and issued a walk in the seventh, after which Britton came on and ended the inning. Uehara took over in the ninth.
As far as our offense is concerned, I thought we might actually get shut out again. It was looking that way until the sixth, when Snyder put us on the board with our first run and second hit of the night, a solo shot to right.
And then, there was the bottom of the eighth. Gomes led it off by striking out, and then the Rays finally made a pitching change. Lavarnway doubled, and Nava came in to pinch-run. Drew doubled, and Nava moved to third. And then Snyder hit a fly ball to left. It was the perfect sac-fly situation. Nava would score, the game would be tied, and then we could win it in extras.
Nava slid into home plate feet first, and his foot reached the plate before he was tagged, meaning that he was safe. Except that, at the time, home plate umpire Jerry Meals called him out. He ruled that it was a double play.
I couldn’t believe it. The entire team knew he was safe. The entire crowd knew he was safe. The entire radio and television audience knew he was safe. And, in fact, the entire umpiring crew believed he was safe; Meals corrected himself after the game, saying himself that it was a bad call. But that doesn’t mean much when you’ve already lost. John got ejected in the process. It was aweful. I just couldn’t believe that that call was botched. Nava was clearly and so obviously safe. How do you mess something like that up? I mean, maybe if you’re not paying attention and you’re watching a completely different ballgame. Then I can see that as a possibility. But if that’s the case, then you really shouldn’t be umpiring in the first place. Unbelievable.
2-1. That was a really tough one to lose.