Umpire Danley 'day to day' after exiting game
Loss of crew member leads to potentially missed call in seventh
CINCINNATI -- Monday's series opener at Great American Ball Park between the Rockies and the Reds was delayed for nine minutes between the second and third innings as home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley was replaced because of injury. Lance Barksdale, who started the game at first, took over behind the plate, and play continued with just three umpires.
With Shin-Soo Choo batting to lead off the bottom of the first, Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood bounced a pitch that deflected off of catcher Wilin Rosario and hit Danley's helmet, prompting a trainer to come out and check on him. Danley continued through the second inning, but was replaced before coming back out for the third.
"I had a little headache," Danley said. "I'm just day to day. I hope to be back Wednesday. It was just a precaution. I had a concussion about two weeks ago."
It wasn't the first time that Danley, a Major League umpire since 1998, was forced to leave a game after being hit in the head. In 2009, serving as the home-plate umpire in Toronto, Danley was struck by a broken bat, causing him to collapse and lay motionless. He also lost consciousness during a game in 2008 at Dodger Stadium, when a 96-mph Brad Penny fastball hit him in the jaw.
Although it proved inconsequential, being short an umpire might have led to a missed call in the seventh inning. With Michael Cuddyer on first, Todd Helton hit a ball that bounced before reaching the plate, and he lined it straight to the glove of Todd Frazier. The third baseman threw it to first to double up Cuddyer, for what the Reds thought was an inning-ending double play.
Replays show that the ball seemed to have hit the ground and then the bat, but the three remaining umpires believed it bounced after hitting the bat, and called it a ground ball, not a lineout.
"We ruled it a ground ball," crew chief Gary Cederstrom said. "It hit the bat first. By looking at replay, it looked like the ball hit the ground. The ball hit the ground. The bat hit the ball. Then the ball went in the air. We had a lot of things happening.
"We deciphered on the field that it was a ground ball ... that the ball was hit off the ground into the air."
Rosario lined out to end the inning in the next at-bat.