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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Was Mark Ellis tagged out by Yadier Molina at home?

Was Mark Ellis ever actually tagged out by Yadier Molina during Game 1 of the NLDS between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday? I’m not 100% sure, but I think home plate umpire Gerry Davis made the right call.

The Dodgers had men on first and third with one out in the top of the 10th inning with the game tied at two. Michael Young, who entered the game as a replacement for Adrian Gonzalez (who was pulled for pinch runner Dee Gordon in the eighth), was batting and hit a fly ball to shallow right field. Carlos Beltran made the catch and fired a perfect one-hopper home. Ellis attempted to tag up from third and collided with Molina, who held onto the ball. Ellis was called out.

There was a question about whether or not Molina actually tagged Ellis. Multiple replay angles still could not provide a definitive answer.

Below are two replay angles and two freeze frames:

I’m not sure an instant replay review would have been able to provide enough evidence to overturn the call. About the closest picture that would point to Ellis being out is the one below, which appears to show his left forearm touching Molina’s glove, which would make him out:

Mark Ellis Yadier Molina tag

I also grabbed this photo that appears to show Ellis’ right forearm touching Molina’s glove, but the angle is a poor one and it’s difficult to tell whether there is contact (keep in mind an umpire would give Molina the call if any part of the glove touches Ellis):

Mark Ellis Yadier Molina tag

I don’t have any problem with the out call. And I think the Dodgers made the right move by sending Ellis there. You have to force the Cardinals to make the play to keep the game going, which they did. The only move I didn’t like was Don Mattingly pulling Gonzalez in the eighth for the pinch runner. That would have been Gonzalez at the plate in the 10th instead of Young.

GIFs via @buzzfeedsports, Chad Moriyama, @cjzero

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