Phillies lose playing under protest

Ryan Howard hits during the Phillies 5-4 loss in 14 innings. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The argument for instant replay just took a slap to the face.

Joe West over-stepped his boundaries as an umpire during the Phillies loss over Florida. His controversial out call that would have led to two Phillies runs almost cost them the game, in which they played under protest and lost.

David Herndon walked in the winning run with the bases loaded as the Phillies lost the game under protest in the 14th inning.

The play: In the 6th inning, Hunter Pence hit an opposite fly ball to right field. Right fielder Bryan Peterson hustled to make a play, leapt and the ball rolled away from him, allowing Ryan Howard to advance to third and Pence to walk into 2nd with a double.

First base umpire Joe West granted Marlins manager Jack McKeon his request for instant replay on a double and see if a fan interefered with the ball. Two fans touched the ball, preventing Peterson from making a play and he called Pence out.

An irate Charlie Manuel was tossed and a call was made up to the press box to an official scorer that the Phillies would play the game under protest.

The rule: Instant Replay Rules: Instant replay applies on to home runs calls – fair or foul, where the ball left the playing field or whether a fan interfered with the ball.

The decision to use replay is made by the umpire crew chief, who is also responsible to determine whether or not a call should be reversed.

The standard used by the crew chief is whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the decision on the field was incorrect.

The problem: The rule clearly states home runs, not doubles. And by creating his own rules, Raul Ibanez’s follow up double didn’t score both Howard and Pence but instead put runners in scoring position before the Phillies failed to capitalize on their second chance.

Making the play more frustrating was the Marlins scoring in the bottom half of the 6th to give them a 3-2 lead.

But the Phillies did capitalize in the following inning. With two men in scoring position, Howard ripped a two-out, two-run single to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead and sticking West’s ruling where the sun don’t shine, ironically in the Sun Shine State.

But Florida answered in the bottom of the 7th when Gabby Sanchez drove in Omar Infante on a fielder’s choice to third base of Michael Schwimer.

Since the point David Herndon entered the game in the 11th, he gave the Phillies fans an inning’s worth of heart attacks each time. Stranding eight out of nine possible base runners from the 11th-13th was enough to leave fans feeling sick, watching the pitching circus we call Herndon.

Herndon walked the bases full again the 14th. With nowhere to put him, Herndon walked Mike Cameron, bringing home Emilio Bonafacio to end the circus. Now time will tell whether the Phillies will get another chance at the game because West’s bonehead call would have changed this game.

Roy Halladay chalked up a no-decision in the wacky afternoon game that saw a couple bad calls, a handful of bats fly and some late-inning rain. He went six innings, allowing three runs, two earned on nine hits and a walk while striking out four.

2B: Pence, Ibanez (26), Martinez (5).

WP: Hensley (3-6). LP: Herndon (1-3).



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