Umpire Jeff Nelson totally butchered a call on a double play ball in the second inning of the Texas Rangers-Seattle Mariners game on Friday night, giving catcher Jesus Sucre a memorable first career at-bat.
Seattle led off the bottom of the second with two singles and had Sucre up with nobody out. Sucre grounded a ball to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to shortstop Elvis Andrus for the out at second. Andrus turned and threw on to first for the double play, but pitcher Justin Grimm reached in front of Moreland and snatched the ball. Nelson didn’t seem to notice that Grimm cut off the ball and still called out Sucre.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge came out to contest the call, but it wasn’t until after the game that he realized Moreland never even caught the ball.
“Everybody’s just focused on the bag,” Wedge said via MLB.com’s Doug Miller. “I thought he came off the bag. That’s what I was out there arguing. And then I come to find out later, with the replay, that he didn’t even catch the ball. … It would have been a much bigger argument if I had known that at the time, no doubt about it.”
Brendan Ryan followed with an RBI double to tie the game at two. Had Sucre correctly been called safe at first, he might have been able to score on the double or, at the least, the Mariners’ inning would have continued. Instead, the Mariners lost 9-5.
Below is a GIF of the play: