A's-Indians tilt takes controversial turn in ninth
Oakland skipper Melvin ejected for arguing result of video review
CLEVELAND -- Of all the people at Progressive Field on Wednesday evening, A's manager Bob Melvin thought the only ones who didn't see a game-tying home run after watching the replay of Adam Rosales' ninth-inning drive to left-center were the umpires.
Rosales' soaring shot bounced off something near the top of the wall, possibly the wall itself. Melvin thought it was a railing behind the fence. The umpires weren't so sure. They initially ruled the hit a double and, after a review, stuck with their ruling. Second-base umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Melvin when the manager came out to argue the decision.
"Everybody else said it was a home run, including their announcers when I came in here later," Melvin said. "I don't get it. I don't know what the explanation would be when everybody else in the ballpark knew it was a home run. I went in and looked at it later. Clearly, it hit the railing behind [the wall]. I'm at a loss, a complete loss."
Melvin's players were at a loss as well, with Jerry Blevins, Andrew Carignan, Pat Neshek and Jarrod Parker, among others, taking to Twitter to express their displeasure.
• Blevins: "There is a need for accountability of MLB w/blown call tonight. We are clearly not on same level as NFL, NBA, NHL on replays. No excuses"
The umpires told Melvin the replay was "inconclusive."
"It wasn't evident on the TV we had [that] it was a home run," Hernandez said. "I don't know what kind of replay you had, but you can't reverse a call unless there is 100 percent evidence, and there wasn't 100 percent evidence."
With Rosales on second, the game wasn't over for the A's. Eric Sogard and John Jaso both reached to load the bases, but Indians closer Chris Perez wiggled out of the jam to earn his fifth save in the Indians' 4-3 victory.
"Honestly, I saw it hit the yellow line and come down. So I thought it was in play still," Perez said. "Obviously, coming back in here, I saw different. Off the bat, I thought it was a homer. He hit it pretty good. It sounded like a homer. But then it came down, and I thought we had some life.
"They went and reviewed it. The longer it went, the more I thought, 'All right. They're going to say it's a homer.' Luckily, the call came in our favor. I don't think I've ever been on the other side of a replay like that, but I've definitely been on the other side of bad calls and missed strikes and stuff like that. It's part of the game. We'll definitely take it."
Rosales had never been part of a similar call. Everybody on the A's knew it was the wrong one, he said.
"We didn't agree with it," Rosales said. "I appreciate Bob Melvin standing up for the correct call. We know how important it is every game. We found that out last year, with how important every game is. It's tough.
"It would've been nice to tie that game up."
After the game, Melvin was still adamant about the play, still upset with the umpires.
"A homer is a homer, even if it's an inch, and that was clearly farther than that," Melvin said. "If it hit the pad, it would have just hit the pad and come down softly. Clearly, there was a ricochet."
Like Melvin, Tribe manager Terry Francona paid attention to what the ball did after contact, but he had a different interpretation.
"I thought it hit the padding because of the way it came back," Francona said. "We have probably the worst view just about of anybody, but you kind of look at the way it comes back. I was hopeful that it hit the padding. I took kind of a big sigh of relief when it stayed in, and then they went and checked. The inning wasn't over, but at least we're still ahead."
Despite the ruling, Rosales thinks he should have his second home run of the year. And the A's think Wednesday's game should have made it to the bottom of the ninth.
"With six eyes on it, you think they could get the right call," Rosales said.