The Phillies won a thriller Sunday night on a controversial play at the plate in the ninth inning and, boy, were the Braves unhappy.
With one out and Alec Bohm on third base in the top of the ninth inning of a tie game, Didi Gregorius popped a ball up to shallow left field along the line. Marcell Ozuna camped under it and had momentum coming toward the plate. Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan made a very aggressive decision to send Bohm and Bohm was safe “by the skin of his big toe,” as manager Joe Girardi put it.
Braves manager Brian Snitker came out to vehemently argue home plate umpire Lance Barrett’s safe call after it stood via replay review. Some fans threw trash onto the field. After the game, Snitker said he was given no explanation.
Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly sounded off in his postgame interview.
“It’s a shame to end a game like that,” Smyly said. “In real-time, it’s obviously bang-bang, but then we have five different angles on a nationally televised game, and it’s clear that his foot didn’t touch the plate, that it was on the chalk. Everyone saw it.
“For MLB not to overturn that, it’s embarrassing. Why even have replay if you won’t overturn that? They say there wasn’t enough evidence but there were five different angles. It’s clear, he didn’t touch the plate.”
“I was called safe, that’s all that matters,” he said.
“As soon as the ball went up, I thought it might’ve been short. Just listening for Dusty. As soon as he says yes, I put my head down and ran as fast as I could, tried to find a good angle to slide.
“It felt like an hour. They’re showing everything. It was quite a relief when they said safe.”
It was an extremely close play that went in the Phillies’ favor. They may have caught a break. If the situation was reversed, this city would be melting down right now.
Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ third baseman not involved in any way with Sunday’s game, shared his thoughts as well.
The play, while crucial, did not singlehandedly determine the series finale. The Phillies scored in four different innings and took the lead three times. It was certainly a win they needed to prevent a disastrous sweep, and the bats perked up, which is a good sign heading into four with the Mets.
Every Phillies hitter 2 through 7 played a role in the victory.