Pirates Vs. Braves: Jerry Meals Blows Call At Plate To Give Pirates Loss In Historic 19-Inning Game

Umpire Jerry Meals became the star of the longest game in the histories of the Pirates and the Braves when he called Julio Lugo safe in the 19th inning.

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Pirates Vs. Braves: Teams React To Jerry Meals' Blown Call

Needless to say, the controversial ending to the Pirates-Braves game Wednesday morning has the baseball world buzzing, but few are buzzing louder than members of the two teams.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise quotes Clint Hurdle.

"The game deserved better," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle shortly after the Pirates, 4-3, 19-inning loss to the Braves. "You'd like to see the game finished by the players, win or lose, and for it to end that way, is as disappointing as it gets in a game

"You had every player in the game and for it to end that way... the game deserves better than that. The game tonight deserved way better than that."

The Associated Press has Julio Lugo, the man that scored the winning run on Jerry Meals' call.

"I didn't feel the tag," Lugo said. "He made the right call. I got in there."

The AP also has the pitcher at the time of the call, Daniel McCutchen.

"Can I say that he was out? Is that legal?" McCutchen asked, adding he saw the tag.

The Braves' David Ross via Jenifer Langosch

"I don’t know how I’d handle that being a catcher if he did tag him and he was out. That’d be a tough one to swallow. You grind it out. That kid, the whole team, but the catcher caught 19 innings. That’s a lot to swallow when you’re grinding it out, calling the game."

The Pirates' Joel Hanrahan on Twitter

Wow, what a tough way to end a game! Can't say enough about our Bullpen boys today!!! Mckenry had a helluva game too! Shake it off??less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

 

I usually like to come home and turn on @espn but I just can't do it tonight, see y'all tomorrow #battlingbuccosless than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Finally, the Pirates' Paul Maholm on Twitter.

Just saw a gorilla take a dump my day is complete. Hahaless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Oops. Pardon me. That was from earlier in the day. Here we go.

Unbelievable game. I have never seen anything like it. Thats all I got. #battlingbuccos Back at it in a few hoursless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

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Pirates Vs. Braves: Jerry Meals Offers Explanation For Blown Call

Plenty of people are going to speak their minds over the call at the end of the Pirates-Braves game Wednesday morning in Atlanta, but the only opinion that matters spoke up after the game. Here's what umpire Jerry Meals had to say according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman.

"I saw the tag, but he looked like he oléd him and I called him safe for that.  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."

Here's video of the play in real time.


The frustrating part about those comments if you're the Pirates is that while Meals confirms he didn't see a tag, he stops well short of confirming he saw the lack of a tag as well, which indicates he probably didn't know what happened either way. He guessed, guessed wrong, and didn't bother consulting the other umpires before walking off the field to end the game. Now the Pirates pay the consequences.

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Pirates Vs. Braves: Jerry Meals Blows Call At Plate To Give Pirates Loss In Historic 19-Inning Game

The Pirates lost in the 19th inning against the Atlanta Braves on an embarrassing blown call by home-plate umpire Jerry Meals that ruined what had been a hard-fought contest by both teams.

The Pirates struck first, scoring two runs in the first inning and one more on a solo homer by Michael McKenry in the second. But the Braves scored three runs of their own when Jeff Karstens labored through the third.

That was the last team either team would score for about five hours, in what would turn out to be the longest game in the history of either team, running at well over six hours. The efforts of both bullpens were heroic. For the Braves, Cristhian Martinez pitched six brilliant scoreless innings from the 11th to the 16th. For the Pirates, Dan McCutchen pitched five scoreless innings before Meals ended the game in the 19th.

In between there was the ejection of Braves outfielder Nate McLouth and manager Fredi Gonzalez, along with three scoreless innings by Jason Grilli in which he somehow left seven runners on base. There was also an 0-for-9 performance by the Braves' Martin Prado. Basically, it was an extremely strange game.

Then, the 19th. Julio Lugo walked with one out, then moved to third on a single by Jordan Schafer, who himself moved to second on catcher's indifference. Then Scott Proctor, the Braves pitcher, came to the plate because the Braves were completely out of options. He grounded the ball to third, and Lugo came home. The throw beat him by a mile, and McKenry tagged him at least a foot in front of the plate. But Meals called him safe for some reason, ending the game. It was an awful ending, particularly for Dan McCutchen, who had fought through inning after inning, only to have it end on the whim of an umpire. He and the Pirates deserved better.

For much more on the game, check out Bucs Dugout.

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