Wed Sep 14 08:46am EDT
Someone get Tony La Russa on the phone.
We need a comment on the ground rules at Miller Park.
Despite comfortable temperatures and no threat of bad weather, the Milwaukee Brewers were forced to close Miller Park's roof and side panels for their Tuesday night battle with the Colorado Rockies. That was due to a smokey haze in the air filtering in from Minnesota, where a massive forest fire has been burning through thousands of acres of land for several days.
Given the conditions, no one had any issue with the roof being closed. No problem there. But an unusual play involving the roof — something that both the Brewers radio and television broadcasts claimed they had never seen before at Miller Park — led to momentary confusion.
It happened during Troy Tulowitzki's(notes) third-inning at-bat. With runners on first and second and one out, Tulowitzki would hit a high fly ball down the left-field line that traveled so high, it hit a support cable attached to Miller Park's roof.
Tulowitzki's ball was clearly foul off the bat, but after striking the cable, it deflected back into fair territory, where Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun(notes) mishandled it. Unaware of the ground rules, third base umpire Ted Barrett initially ruled the ball in play, which allowed Mark Ellis(notes) to come around from second with the game's first run.
However, home plate umpire Tim McClelland — who often finds himself involved in the middle of controversial or unusual moments, especially when the Rockies are involved — would overrule Barrett and call it foul.
According to the Denver Post's Jim Armstrong, the press box majority believed the ball should have been in play, but there was no argument from Rockies skipper Jim Tracy. In fact, Tracy was seen explaining to bench coach Tom Runnels why it was a foul ball, so obviously he was comfortable with the ruling based on his knowledge of the ground rules.
Tulowitzki's at-bat would resume and eventually conclude with a strikeout, and Colorado would fail to break through in the inning after Mark Ellis was tagged out at the plate attempting to score on a wild pitch. It was actually the second time Ellis was tagged out at the plate in the first three innings. It was a game the Rockies would ultimately drop 2-1 in 11 innings after Ryan Braun launched a walk-off home run off Matt Lindstrom(notes).
Story of their season.
Also worth noting: Tulowitzki would exit the game in the sixth after aggravating his sore left hip. His status for the final two weeks of the season may now be in question.
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