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Six days late, justice served to Meche

5/15/2009

Fascinating:

    Gil Meche entered Thursday night's game with a lower ERA than is shown in the official averages.
     Meche Just before his start against the Orioles, the Royals announced they had won their appeal of a scoring decision in last Friday night's 4-1 loss to the Angels in Anaheim.

    Royals right fielder Jose Guillen was given an error and the Angels' Howard Kendrick lost a home run when official scorer Mel Franks' decision was reversed unanimously by a five-member panel appointed by Major League Baseball.

    In the sixth inning, Kendrick was given an inside-the-park homer on a fly ball that glanced off Guillen's glove at the right-field line and bounced away. Two runs scored on the play.

    The ruling was overturned on the basis of videotapes showing Kendrick pausing at first base and Guillen's quotes saying he should have caught the ball, which were submitted by Royals vice president Mike Swanson.

    "We needed some good news," said Swanson, cognizant of the Royals' 0-5 record on the trip.

    As a result, the two runs charged against Meche became unearned and his ERA dropped from 4.43 to 4.01. It also erased the only home run he had allowed this season.

It's funny how these things seem so important for a moment, but soon melt away to nothing.
I was watching that game last Friday night, and the scoring decision was truly preposterous. You can see the play yourself (there's video in the linked-to story), but I just don't understand how a conscientious scorer could rule as that one did. Guillen was there in plenty of time and he overran the ball, which obviously clipped the edge of the webbing of his glove. Kendrick was so sure the ball would be caught that he slowed down on the way to first base.

So, yeah: Swanson and Meche and the Royals got their good news, justice being served only six days late. But in the end, will anyone except perhaps Kendrick (who doesn't hit many home runs) remember? Meche got hammered pretty good last night, giving up a real home run (to Aubrey Huff) in the course of giving up five runs and failing to escape the fifth inning. It won't be long before those two earnies on May 8 seem less than a trifle.