Sunday Shenanigans 5: The Worst Call At First In 11 Years?by Carter LaCorte May 2, 2021 1 comment
There have been a ton of absolutely awful calls by Major League umpires. Luckily, this has mostly been erased by the replay rule, as whenever an umpire messes up, the affected team can usually choose to review the play to change the outcome. The definite worst call should be known as Jim Joyce’s on June 2, 2010, when he ruined Armando Galarraga‘s perfect game.
If you take the stakes out, we may have seen an even worse call at first base this past week. It will never compare to Joyce’s blunder to change the history books, but there is no denying the degree of its dreadfulness.
A Godley-Awful Start
For their April 28 game against Miami, the first-place Milwaukee Brewers decided to start Zack Godley, just a week after he turned 31-years-old. Godley had an 8.16 ERA in eight games (seven starts) for the horrid Red Sox a year ago, and this was his Brewers debut. So, the expectations were not very high. Godley did have a nice first inning, retiring all three Marlins hitters.
The second inning did not start as well. Corey Dickerson walked, then moved to second on an Adam Duvall single. Dickerson got to third when Jon Berti hit into a fielder’s choice, reaching first base while sacrificing Duvall. In stepped second baseman Isan Diaz with runners on the corners and one out.
Diaz ended up grounding a ball weakly down the first-base line. As Dickerson scored, Godley ran over to flip the ball to Daniel Vogelbach at first for the out. Two away. According to umpire Marty Foster, though, the Brewers should not have been too sure.
Foster immediately called Diaz safe at first base. After Godley flipped the ball to Vogelbach, he bumped into Diaz, who also was not totally in the basepath. Diaz was not really hustling and had a negative-100 percent chance at being safe. Foster thought differently. He allowed Diaz to stay at first while charging an interference error on Godley. Looking at the replay (below), there is no way it was interference. Diaz didn’t even seem to agree with the call. Of course, he didn’t say that after the game, instead praising Foster. “He was right there, and I think the umpires made a good call.”
As you can imagine, Brewers skipper Craig Counsell and bench coach Pat Murphy were none too pleased. The crazy thing is that Godley barely obstructed Diaz. If he really stopped him, then one could argue even though the play was basically already over. Considering that the contact was minimal, Foster’s decision was ridiculous.
Credit to Foster though for sticking to his call. When asked if he saw the replay afterward, Foster confidently said “I’m 100 percent sure that the runner was impeded on his way to first base.” Yeah, not really. Diaz did not end up scoring a run that inning, although Berti did on a wild pitch when the inning would have been over via a Chad Wallach strikeout had Diaz been previously deemed out.
Not Exactly Settling In
Godley’s day just got worse from there. While the Dickerson single was his only hit allowed in three innings of work, he had that “error”, with five walks, allowing four runs (three earned). The Marlins went on to win by a 6-2 final score, as Godley was handed the loss. Worse, he was placed on the injured list following the game with a finger injury. He was ironically an injury replacement himself, filling in for Brett Anderson and his hurt hamstring.
Foster may not have made a major impact on the books, or even the game itself, but his decision was still outrageous. This is one of the few things that can not be challenged nowadays, making the Brewers helpless to watch a run cross home plate that should not have.