Baseball is often described as a game of inches.
That was no more apparent than in the third inning of Sunday afternoon’s game. Chris Heisey singled to right field. With one out and Wilson Valdez at the plate, Heisey took off for second base. Brewers’ catcher Martin Maldonado popped out of his crouch and unleashed a bullet to Cesar Itzuris, who appeared to tag Heisey on the body prior to his touching the bag.
Second base umpire Tim Timmons called Heisey safe, which drew incredulous reactions from the Brewers players. Ron Roenicke came out for a quick chat with Timmons to voice his displeasure, but was quickly rebuffed and returned to the dugout.
The replay, however, shows that Heisey was clearly out at second base.
The missed call — and a subsequent error by Mike Fiers on a pickoff throw — led to the two runs Cincinnati scored in the third inning. The Reds were unable to score another run in the entire game, and the Brewers could not manage more than one run against Reds’ ace Johnny Cueto.
Assuming the remainder of the game would have transpired in exactly the same fashion can obviously be an extremely dangerous trap, but there’s also no getting around the fact that the two runs scored in the third inning ultimately resulted in the winning margin. Without that missed call, the Reds would have had a much more difficult time scoring two runs, and the Brewers would have had a much better chance of ending the third inning with the lead.
The blame for Sunday’s loss should not fall squarely on the shoulders of Tim Timmons. Mike Fiers did not have to commit an error in the third inning. Milwaukee could have performed better than 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. They could have shown a little more discipline and not struck out eleven times.
There are plenty of other opportunities for improvement.
But again, there is no getting around the fact that the blown call in the third inning by Tim Timmons drastically changed the complexion of the game and put the Brewers in a much worse position than they would have been had Timmons correctly called Heisey out.
At the end of the year, though, Sunday’s game will be just another close game the Brewers dropped in what has become a very disappointing 2012 season.
BREWERS SIGN 16-YEAR-OLD VENEZUELAN PITCHER
The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly signed 16-year-old Venezuelan right-hander Yosmel Leal to a minor-league contract.
Leal received a $370,000 bonus, which would become one of the largest signing bonuses in the organization’s history. Though an extensive scouting report wasn’t readily available, he reportedly throws a fastball that can touch 91 MPH, a slider, and a curveball.
The deal is currently awaiting a physical and Major League Baseball’s age investigation.