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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Giants given controversial run by umpires on Andres Torres double

Giants fanThe San Francisco Giants were given a controversial run on a fan interference play during the sixth inning of their 9-6 loss to the Oakland A’s on Wednesday.

Giants center fielder Andres Torres was up with one out and Gregor Blanco on first with their team down 6-3. He grounded a ball down the third base line, and a fan tried to catch the ball. The fan was ejected for interfering with the play. Third base umpire Gerry Davis correctly called the ball fair, while home plate umpire Brian Knight allowed Blanco to score a run to make it 6-4 (video here).

A’s manager Bob Melvin argued both calls — first that the ball was foul, and then that Blanco should have been sent back to third base. He was unsuccessful on both counts.

On ground-rule doubles, players are only given two bases regardless of whether or not they would have scored (teams usually are screwed on this rule). But in the case of fan interference, it is up to the umpire to decide where they think the baserunners would have ended up had the interference not occurred.

MLB rule 3.16 states:

When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.

Batter and runners shall be placed where in the umpire’s judgment they would have been had the interference not occurred.

Oakland intentionally walked Marco Scutaro to set up force outs, and they got Pablo Sandoval to ground into a double play to end the inning. They went on to win 9-6, so the run seems moot at this point, but it was pretty important when it was only a two-run game.

Though the Giants fan in question seemed embarrassed and was ejected, he actually helped his team. Here’s a Vine video that shows the play:

Thanks to LBS contributor Arsen for the tip

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