What everybody who was watching Thursday’s game between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins and also those who have seen a replay of the contest’s final pitch knows to be true has been confirmed: The game’s decisive run should not have counted.
Per Michael Blinn of the New York Post, home plate umpire and crew chief Ron Kulpa admitted after the game that New York’s Michael Conforto should not have been awarded first base and the game-winning RBI after the ball struck his elbow as it dangled over the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning of what had been a 2-2 contest.
“The guy was hit by a pitch in the strike zone,” Kulpa told the pool reporter after both teams left the field. “I should have called him out.”
As noted by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), whether or not a player struck by a pitch has a portion of his body inside the strike zone is deemed a judgment call and cannot be reviewed using video. “After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official definitively determined that the ball struck the batter. The call is confirmed, it is a hit by pitch,” the replay supervisor in Manhattan explained.
“From my point of view, it was a slider,” Conforto told reporters, per Anthony DiComo of the official MLB website. “It felt like it was coming back to me. I turned. There may have been a little lift to my elbow just out of habit, out of reaction, and it barely skimmed the edge of my elbow guard.”