Big League Stew - MLB

We're so quick to unload on umpires when they make a bad call that it's probably only fair to give them a big BLS head nod after they make a good one.

The play in question: In the bottom of Monday's third inning, New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner(notes) hit a grounder to Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland(notes). Gardner's great speed allowed him to get up the line quickly and when he started his trademark headfirst slide, it looked like he'd be pulling off a play similar to the one that keyed Game 1's eighth-inning rally.

But while Gardner got to the area of the bag first, his left hand missed its lower right corner (above) and pitcher Cliff Lee was able to field Moreland's throw and step on the bag to end the inning. It was a quick bang-bang play and replays show that first base umpire Angel Hernandez made the correct call. And it wasn't just a coincidence because the picture below shows that he worked to get in the right position to make the call. Good on him. 

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