Brewers feeling frustrated after a critical call goes against them for a 2nd straight day

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers found themselves on the wrong end of a momentum-swinging decision by an umpiring crew for a second straight day.

This time, the umpires say they got the call right.

Milwaukee thought it had tied the game in the ninth inning of a 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday night when a third strike to Jake Bauers got past Rays catcher René Pinto, enabling Sal Frelick to score from third. Bauers was ruled out and Frelick was ordered to go back to third when plate umpire Ryan Additon ruled that the hitter’s backswing hit Pinto’s helmet.

“So in this case, it was a third strike to Bauers and all runners go back to the original base at the time of the pitch,” crew chief Chris Guccione told a pool reporter. “That’s the rule.”

If backswing interference hadn’t been ruled, the Brewers would have tied the game and had the potential winning run on third base with only one out since Willy Adames advanced from second to third and Bauers had reached first when the pitch got away.

The Brewers instead had runners on second and third with two outs while still trailing 1-0.

“Crazy play,” Pinto said.

Rays reliever Jason Adam hit Rhys Hoskins with a pitch to load the bases, but struck out Blake Perkins to end the game.

This came one day after the Brewers lost 15-5 to the New York Yankees in a game that featured its own controversial ruling with a different umpiring crew. Andy Fletcher, the crew chief for that game, acknowledged Aaron Judge should have been called for interference for his slide on a botched double-play attempt that sparked the Yankees’ tiebreaking seven-run rally in the sixth inning.

Brewers manager Pat Murphy believed his team got a raw deal again Monday. He was ejected for the first time this season after arguing that Frelick’s run should have stood.

“We deserve to at least be still playing right now,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he believed interference shouldn’t have been called in this case because Bauer’s backswing didn’t hit Pinto’s helmet until after the ball already had gotten past the catcher.

“In my opinion, that’s a bad call, they made a mistake and they changed the game,” Murphy said.

Guccione indicated that the rules regarding backswing interference still apply even if the ball already had gotten past the catcher.

“Backswing is backswing,” Guccione said. “I know Murphy’s argument was the catcher had to go (forward) and try to get the ball. It doesn’t really apply in this case. Backswing is backswing and that’s what we have to enforce. We watched the video — it was clearly backswing interference. I could hear it from first base.”

Pinto said after the game he didn’t have any headaches after Bauers’ bat hit his helmet. Pinto was still marveling over being part of a play he never had experienced before.

“That’s my first,” Pinto said. “Even in the minors, pro ball, winter ball, that’s the first time I’ve seen that play.”



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