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5. Matt Holliday Never Touched Home
In the era before instant replay, it was theoretically possible that teams were eliminated by a bad call. This only happened once, coming in a tiebreaker game for the 2007 NL Wild Card.
The Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres, who both finished the season 89-73, had to play a one-game playoff to decide the team that would travel to Philadelphia for the NLDS. This was one of the first instances of a playoff bracket that played out essentially like today’s current one, though the winner of this game took on the two seed, instead of the one.
The game was close throughout, tied at six into extra innings. In the top of the 13th, Padres OF Scott Hairston homered to give San Diego a two-run lead. In the bottom of the inning, extra-base hits by Kaz Matsui, Troy Tulowitzki, and Matt Holliday tied the game.
With runners on the corners and no out, Jamie Carroll flew out to right. Holliday tagged off of third, and Padres RF Brian Giles appeared to nail him at the plate. However, he was called safe by home plate umpire Tim McClelland, giving Colorado the victory.
McClelland was wrong, however. It’s fairly clear on the broadcast that Padres’ catcher Michael Barrett blocked the plate (legal at the time), preventing Holliday from actually scoring a run. Holliday should have been the second out of the inning, but instead, San Diego was sent packing.
4. Hrbek Pulled Him Off The Bag
The 1991 World Series will go down in history forever. We all remember Jack Morris’s superhuman effort in Game Seven, which won Minnesota the commissioner’s trophy. That game may have singlehandedly gotten Morris into the Hall Of Fame.
However, the other thing this series is famous for is controversy. And specifically, one call in the second game of the series.
Braves OF Ron Gant singled to left
He did just that, with first base umpire Drew Cobel calling Gant out at first. However, as you watch the video, it seems fairly obvious that Minnesota 1B Kent Hrbek pulled Gant off of first base, which isn’t allowed. Gant should have been called safe, but instead, he was the third out of the inning.
Minnesota won the game by one run, and won the series in seven, so allowing another hitter to come up with runners on the corners and two outs could have meant that the Braves have another championship to their name.
3. Helton’s Two Feet Off Of First Base
This play didn’t come in a massive spot, but this is just so bad it has to be on this list.
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In a game between Colorado and their division rival Dodgers, first base umpire Tim Welke made the most inexplicable out call of all time. Jerry Hairston, Jr., the batter for the Dodgers, grounded out to 3B Chris Nelson.
Nelson actually made a really nice diving stop, before firing onto first for the out. The only issue was that the throw was a good yard off
However, this didn’t matter to Welke, who called Hairston out at first base, much to the chagrin of Don Mattingly and the rest of the Dodgers. Colorado would go on to win the game 8-5.
2. Royals Win Game Six
The St. Louis Cardinals were three outs away from being the champions of baseball in 1985. Coming into the bottom of the ninth in game six with a slim, one-run lead, closer Todd Worrell came in to try and shut down the Kansas City Royals.
First up for Kansas City was pinch-hitter Jorge Orta, who Worrell got to hit a weak grounder to first. That weak grounder should have been the first out of the inning, but instead, it sparked a comeback which gave Kansas City game six.
Worrell went to cover first, beating Orta there by about a half step. He was out, at least to the eyes of the viewing audience. To the eyes of umpire Don Denkinger, however, he was safe, and the tying run was on base with no outs.
Orta would actually be forced out at third later in the inning, but Onix Concepcion and Jim Sundberg would later score on a Dane Iorg single, winning Kansas City the game, and eventually, the series.
1. The 28-Out Perfect Game
Armando Galarraga should be in the history books with such names as Sandy Koufax, Don Sutton, Randy Johnson, Roy Halladay, and Philip Humber. Instead, he and umpire Jim Joyce will be the answer to a trivia question that stands the test of time.
Galarraga had retired the first 26 Cleveland Indians hitters he faced on June 2, 2010, and only SS Jason Donald stood in between Galarraga and the (then) 21st perfect game in Major League History.
Galarraga got Donald to ground to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who fired it back to Galarraga for what appeared to be history. However, first base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe at first, ending not only the perfect
Galarraga would get Trevor Crowe to ground out in the next at-bat, meaning that Galarraga, in all reality, retired 28 consecutive Indians that afternoon. However, you will never see his name in the record books.