Don’t look now – seriously, don’t look, because you might scare it away – but Jason Heyward is kind of on fire. And his stats could be even more fire if a judgment call had gone differently last night, to say nothing of the fact that the Cubs might’ve won that dang game.
After a consecutive multi-hit nights, Heyward had another one last night, including a seeming home run to give the Cubs a late lead. An oppo drive down the left field line appeared to wrap around the foul pole for a solo shot:
There was a great deal of confusion on what exactly happened there last night, thanks in large part to a Fox broadcast that had zero interest in actually exploring the play beyond a shoulder shrugging, “I couldn’t see the ball.”
Later, we learned this is how it played out: the third base ump called it a home run live. He gathered with the rest of the crew, and they changed the call to foul. So then David Ross challenged the foul ball. It was reviewed on video, and the call of foul was “confirmed.” That means, according to the replay official, there was clear video showing it was a foul ball. (Had the call merely “stood,” that would’ve meant there was simply not enough clear and convincing evidence to overturn the foul call.)
That is video we still haven’t seen yet, by the way, because any of the video available from the game definitely looked like it showed the ball disappearing behind the foul pole (i.e., a fair ball) if it showed anything at all. The shots were not great that were available to us, and it’s more than a little aggravating that, if the crew in New York was able to *confirm* that it was a foul ball, no one is sharing that video to put this thing to bed. I have tried very hard to see the ball pass in front of the foul pole in that video and others available from the broadcast, and I just can’t see it.
One tidbit revealed after the game makes me a little less angry about the changed call though:
3B ump D.J. Reyburn on Heyward HR that changed on field to foul ball, via pool report: "Originally I thought the ball went around the pole. I had doubts on the original call so I wanted to get together with the crew. Based on the information they gave me, I wanted to change it."
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 27, 2021
Since it was the third base ump who, himself, had doubts about his own call and asked for the huddle, I’m a little less angry about him being overruled and/or changing his mind. He was the one in the best position to see the ball, so if he had questions and sought feedback, it’s hard for me to jump all over him. I still don’t see how the video shows you a foul ball, but, like I said, maybe New York had a different camera that they haven’t shown us yet. (Why you would, as a group of umpires, overturn the closest umpire on the field before going to review, however, is a question that will gnaw at me. Because if the call on the field had stayed a homer, then maybe the review plays out different. Then again, they said they “confirmed” the foul call, so I guess the homer would’ve been overturned in any case?)
On the whole, I’m still pretty pissed about the loss, because it feels like the Cubs got screwed by a changed call, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m open to being wrong. Based on the post-game comments, I’m apparently more pissed than the Cubs (David Ross and Jason Heyward thought it might’ve been fair, but didn’t blow their top), so whatever I guess.
As for Heyward, he singled on the next pitch, because he’s on fire, and then was erased on a double-play. Cubs lose. Yeah, I’m still angry actually.