Due to umpire fatigue, or the brilliance of a storyline that has a catcher traded this winter hitting a game-ending home run off of the closer he was dealt for, the Omar Narváez home run with two out in the 10th inning off of Alex Colomé should not have been a home run.
Listen, I’m not going to dig too deeply into this, like researching whether or not the ground rules have changed in Seattle since earlier this decade. If you want to wake up tomorrow morning and call me an idiot for taking that stance, fine, I’m an idiot.
But a quick, 2 a.m. search of “Seattle Mariners ball hits off yellow line” yielded a game from 2014, ironically vs. the White Sox, in which Robinson Cano and Corey Hart hit first inning, back-to-back balls off of the top of the wall/yellow line. Both bounced back onto the field. Both were “correctly” ruled doubles.
Oh hell, it’s a three-paragraph Associated Press story, here it is:
SEATTLE -- Twice in the first inning, Seattle Mariners batters had fly balls land on the yellow line at the top of the wall -- and both times umpires’ calls on the field were correct.
The rare occurrence happened on consecutive batters in the first inning on Monday night against the Chicago White Sox. It started when Robinson Cano lined an opposite-field shot off the top of the wall in left. The ball hit the yellow line and bounced back on the field and ruled a double. The play was reviewed and the call was confirmed.
The next batter, Corey Hart, hit a ball to deep right, again hitting the yellow line and bouncing back on the field. Umpires ruled it a hit, not a home run, and it was confirmed on replay. Hart was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Tonight’s was not ruled a double, and even the Seattle TV broadcast team watching the replay predicted a two-bagger:
Literally, the Seattle color man (I believe it’s Mike Blowers, not sure) says, “home run, wow,” in a tone that would indicate, pack up the cats and let’s get out of here before a clear-headed ump overrules this.
Sort of shame it ended this way, not only because the White Sox were jobbed, but because it deflected from a solid pitching matchup.
Seattle’s Felix Hernandez peeled a decade off of his hide with a masterful seven innings, giving up five hits and one earned, one walk and four Ks. It was either the last great Hernandez start we’ll ever see, or a pregame Ichiro ceremony “bump” that somehow gives the great righthander new life in a push to the Hall of Fame.
His opponent, nearly a decade his junior, was Dylan Cease. And while Cease wasn’t as masterful (five innings, three hits, one earned, three walks, five Ks), the kid was all right. He avoided getting dinged with a run in the first three innings for the first time in his career, and pulled this rabbit out of a sacks-packed hat in the fourth:
Obviously, hitting wasn’t a thing for either team, after a combined 26 hits and 16 runs on Friday. Chicago had seven safeties, one for Timmy (knocking him down to .333, one point ahead of Anthony Rendon for the MLB lead and four points up on DJ LeMahieu for the AL title), two for Zack Collins, and just two extra-base hits in total.
The White Sox had a typically b.s. 10th inning, as Collins opened up with a single, was sacrificed to second by Ryan Cordell, to put a runner in scoring position for ... Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sánchez.
The Sox seem to have gotten screwed in the bottom half to end the game, so I think you can figure out how the top of the frame played out.
Chicago still has a shot at a series win on the road, as Iván Nova takes the bump at 3:10, NBCSCH and WGN-AM.