Interference call leads to missed opportunity vs. Mets
NEW YORK -- The collision caused a slice to Juan Pierre's left cleat and a cut to the top of his foot. For the Marlins, the impact resulted in the end of the seventh inning on an unusual interference call.
In the midst of a rough 1-4 road trip, Miami isn't catching many breaks. Even on a game-tying, two-out RBI single by Greg Dobbs, something unexpected went wrong.
It happened in Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field.
With Pierre on second and the Mets ahead by a run, Dobbs singled to right field. The speedy Pierre raced home, initially anticipating a close play. But right fielder Mike Baxter's throw was off-line, and catcher John Buck drifted toward the first base dugout to handle the hop.
Pierre scored standing up, looking down as he touched home plate. Dobbs headed to second as Buck gathered the throw and prepared to toss to second.
But Pierre's momentum carried him right into Buck. The two collided, and home-plate umpire Jim Joyce called interference on Pierre. Dobbs was ruled out with the putout going to the catcher.
The Marlins were left wondering: What just happened?
"It was one of those things where you're going full-speed into home trying to score," Pierre said. "He vacated home plate because the throw was off. You're running hard through the plate. I saw the throw was off. You are worried about scoring, so I was looking at home plate, and you look up and there he is."
Fortunately, both players avoided injury. Buck helped Pierre off the ground, and both asked if the other was all right.
"I've been watching for 42 years at this level, and I've never seen that," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond asked the umpire for an explanation.
"[Joyce] said it's inference because John was going to throw the ball to second base," Redmond said. "I wasn't sure how he was supposed to go 100 percent through home plate and just stop on a dime. Seems like they were both trying to make the play. I guess that's the rule."
Pierre had never seen anything like it either.
"I didn't know the ruling on it," the Marlins outfielder said. "It kind of stinks. The umpire said, 'It's accidental. I'm not saying you did it, but you've got to try to do as much as possible to try to avoid him.'
"You see something new every day, and that was the first time I've seen that. They're getting rewarded for making a bad throw. That's the only reason he was over there, because the throw was off-line. Tough break, because that's a guy on second right there."