Umpire Jerry Meals Blows Call In Pirates-Braves 6-1/2 Hours Game

For those of you who were asleep (like me) or so caught up in the NFL free agent frenzy, you probably missed one of the worst blown call in baseball history last night.

It happen at the end of the Pirates-Braves game last night, which ended at 1:50 a.m.

Here’s what happen.

Braves’ Julio Lugo slid to home plate and was called safe in the 19th inning for a 4-3 win against Pittsburgh, although replays clearly showed Pirates catcher Michael McKenry applied the tag WELL before Lugo touched the plate.

But umpire Jerry Meals didn’t see it that way.

“I saw the tag, but he looked like he oléd him and I called him safe for that,” he said. “I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area.  I’m guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened I didn’t see a tag.

“I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn’t see the glove hit his leg.”

And of course Lugo agrees with Meals. Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“He made the right call,” Lugo said, raising his eyebrows and smiling.  “I know I’m safe.”

I’m a Braves, but I won’t be bias. Meals blew that call big time.

I don’t know what Meals was looking at but Lugo was clearly out. Maybe Meals was just ready to go home and gave the Braves the win. Who knows?

That call was so bad it made Jim Joyce look like the best umpire in MLB. (Joyce is the guy who’s missed call cost Detroit Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game last year)

After watching the replay this morning I could only shake my head. Although its just one game, it could come back to hunt the Pirates. The Pirates are in a tight race for the NL Central title with the St. Louis Cardinals. So every game counts.

This miss call also brings up the issue of replays in baseball. Until MLB allows every uncertain call to be replayed you’ll have more bad missed calls like these in the future.

Hopefully Bud Selig will look more into the “replay in baseball” issue after this incident.



Jerry Meals admitted this afternoon that he got the call wrong. Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“After seeing a few of them, on one particular replay I was able to see that Lugo’s pant leg moved ever so slightly when the swipe tag was attempted by McKenry,” Meals said to three assembled reporters. “And that’s telling me I was incorrect in my decision, and he should have been ruled out and not safe.”


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