The Cleveland Guardians had plenty of reasons to be heated following their 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers Tuesday night, and it all started in the top of the first inning.
The Guardians should have gotten out of the inning unscathed after rookie Tyler Freeman made a great throw to the plate after a ball hit up the middle skipped off second base. Freeman fired an off-balance throw to Austin Hedges at home, who applied the tag on Detroit’s Javier Báez in time to effectively end the inning.
But Detroit challenged the call on the basis that Hedges didn’t give Báez a proper path to the plate, to which New York agreed and overturned the call, allowing the run to score and the inning to continue. The call would end up having especially disastrous consequences, as Kerry Carpenter followed that up with a two-run homer to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
When watching the play (in our case over and over and over), there’s just no way to justify overturning that call. Hedges’ foot is of course covering some part of the path to the plate, but it’s arguable Báez certainly had enough of a lane to slide. Given that’s it’s such a close play, why opt for the controversy? What else can Hedges conceivably do in that situation if he wants any chance of making the tag? What exactly are we doing here?
After the game, Hedges was still heated and had this to say about the play and review:
I don’t know about you, but Hedges is a true leader and needs to be a part of this team next year no matter what the ultimate plan might end up being for prospect Bo Naylor.