With his team trailing, 2-0, in the bottom of the tenth inning with two away and a man on, Helena Brewers (Milwaukee's rookie affiliate) outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr. stepped to the plate. He smacked a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left for a two-run homer against the Missoula Osprey (Arizona's rookie club).
Tie game? Not so fast.
To the surprise of just about everyone but Missoula catcher Michael Perez, the home plate umpire called Mondesi out shortly after he circled the bases and returned the dugout. It was the final out as the Osprey won, 2-1.
Having watched Mondesi Jr. deliver a much-needed hit for Helena, Perez then observed that the son of journeyman MLB player Raul Mondesi failing to touch home plate. After some quick thinking by the catcher (and a lack of certainty on behalf of the pitcher), he called for a ball and recorded the out at home. Mondesi' hit was then ruled a triple, per the Missoulian.
The loss dropped Helena to just 2-6 on the season in the Pioneer League standings.
"On any home run, the umpire has one job, and that’s to watch the plate and make sure the runners touch it. He said he (Mondesi) missed it by eight inches," Helena manager Jeff Isom told the Helena Independent Record after the loss.
So the home plate umpire noticed Mondesi miss the plate by eight inches and made the correct call. But MLB umpire Tim Welke recently blew this call at first base by at least a foot. Maybe the MLB umps can learn a thing or two from these guys in the Minors. Certainly, Jonathan Papelbon thinks they could.
(H/T to Deadspin)