SAN DIEGO -- The Padres came inches short of scoring Tuesday night. Ask manager Andy Green, and it was an interpretation of the rules that kept them off the board.In the first inning of San Diego's 3-0 loss to the Braves, Padres first baseman William Myers smoked a Sean Newcomb
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres came inches short of scoring Tuesday night. Ask manager Andy Green, and it was an interpretation of the rules that kept them off the board.
In the first inning of San Diego's 3-0 loss to the Braves, Padres first baseman William Myers smoked a Sean Newcomb pitch to Petco Park's right-center-field wall, where the ball bounced off the top of the thick padding and back into the field of play. Myers, initially in his home run trot, sprinted safely into second before confusion began as umpires ruled the hit wasn't a home run.
Petco Park's ground rules state that a "batted ball in flight striking the top of the right-field wall above/beyond the padding" is a home run.
Crew chief Mike Winters hustled over to the Padres' dugout and asked Green if he wanted the play reviewed. Green said yes, but the review did not go in his favor as the ruling of a double was confirmed.
"I have no clue how New York interpreted it the way they did," Green said. "It's hard to even understand. It's frustrating for the team. It's frustrating for Wil. We're on top 1-0 at that point in time, and that ball is clearly a home run the way our ground rules are written.
"... I thought they'd get it right. I mean, that's kind of what the whole idea of replay is, that they get it right. I'm not sure where the complication came from."
Green discussed the call with umpires after the review, but said he could not protest the call once it had been looked at in New York. Myers was left stranded at second when Newcomb struck out Hunter Renfroe to end the inning, one of the rookie left-hander's career-high eight punchouts over six-plus shutout frames. Myers figured it was the third time he'd been denied a home run this season, including a jumping catch by Arizona's David Peralta at almost the same spot at Petco Park's outfield wall.
"I saw the rule; it said if it hits the top of the wall, it's a home run," Myers said. "From what I saw, it looked like it hit the top of the wall, but that's up to New York. I've missed fair share of fastballs down the middle, so, you know, if they miss one [call], it's no big deal."
Braves right fielder Ender Inciarte recovered the ball and fired in quickly to second, nearly nabbing Myers.
"I knew it hit somewhere different, but I knew it wasn't a home run," Inciarte said. "Everybody thought it was a home run, but the ball did something weird right there. I'm glad it didn't go out. Normally, when the ball hits right there, it goes over the wall."
Myers finished 2-for-4, one of the only Padres to have offensive success Tuesday night, but even he was left frustrated with home-plate umpire Lance Barrett's strike zone. Of the Padres' 14 strikeouts, seven were looking, with several of the calls coming on pitches arguably outside of the strike zone.
"For me, that was the largest strike zone I've ever seen against our guys behind home plate," Green said.
San Diego had other opportunities throughout the game, including putting two men on against Braves closer Jim Johnson in the ninth. But Myers' non-homer remained the closest the Padres came to scoring all night.
"It is what it is," Myers said. "That's baseball. It happens sometimes, and you just keep going."
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.