It was a trap.
Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin sold it as a catch. The six-man umpiring crew bought it. And The Tampa Bay Rays were robbed of at least one run in a one-game playoff.
Because it was a trap.
With two on and two away in the top of the seventh inning, Delmon Young came to the plate for the Rays. Tampa was looking to build on a 4-2 lead. Rangers reliever Joakim Soria delivered a slider high to open the at-bat. Young lined the second pitch -- another slider -- into shallow center field. Martin came charging. He dove. The ball bounced. The sliding Martin then gloved the ball as it sprung back up from the grass. As the Rays' runners advanced, Martin then rose his left arm to sell the "catch."
Out! Out? Out?!?!
Even with six umpires on the field -- two more than work regular regular-season games -- the call was missed. Martin was wrongly credited with a catch and the Rays were robbed of at least one run. Wil Meyers would have scored easily from second base while Evan Longoria would have at least moved into scoring position. Perhaps most importantly, the inning would have continued.
"With six umpires, how was this missed?" TBS announcer Joe Simpson wondered. "This cost Tampa Bay a run and did not allow them to extend the inning. Delmon Young could see. Six umpires? The call was made by the left-field umpire, Bruce Dreckman. But he was barely off the line and nowhere near center field to watch it."
Simpson's bewilderment was echoed by many on Twitter. Although the calls for expanded instant replay may have drowned out the criticism of the umps, maybe.
Had their been an MLB replay official on the scene then he or she would likely have taken a quick look at the play and quickly let his colleagues know what had happened.
Thankfully for MLB and the umpires involved, Rays pitcher David Price made sure his team's lead held. He went the distance as the Rays booked a spot in the American League playoffs with a 5-2 win.