Boston Red Sox right fielder Daniel Nava made a crucial error in a top of the eighth inning in a 4-4 game against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Tigers outfielder Avisail Garcia hit a routine fly to the warning track and it appeared Nava made the catch for the first out of the inning. However, he dropped the ball on the transfer and second base umpire Mike DiMuro called the runner safe at second.
The controversial call led to John Farrell’s first ejection as manager of the Red Sox. It also turned what should have been the first out of the inning into a crucial three-run frame for the Tigers, who went on to win 7-5. After the game, crew chief Ted Barrett supported DiMuro’s call.
“To have a catch, you have to have complete control and voluntary release,” Barrett said, according to the Boston Herald. “Mike had him with control, but did not have the voluntary release. When he flipped the ball out of his glove, he never got it into his hand. That’s not voluntary release.”
It certainly looked like Nava made the catch, but the ball may not have fully settled in his glove. Farrell stuck with his opinion of the call being blown in his postgame press conference, arguing that it should have been the first-base umpire’s call to make.
“Clearly, the call was missed,” Farrell said. “Whether or not (first base umpire) Scott Barry even saw the play happen, I couldn’t tell you that. That’s probably a question that’s better directed at them.”
Like the blown call we saw in the Brewers-Phillies game earlier this month, the ruling may have cost Boston the game. It’s hard to say if the right call was made after watching the replay, but you can certainly understand why Farrell was so animated.