There were some important calls made by umpires in games that have impacted the MLB playoff race… and some have even impacted the result of the game.
The MLB playoff picture is largely set with about two weeks left in the season, but it will likely come down to Game 162 to determine the playoff seeding for many of the teams that will be in the playoffs.
This past week, there were some games involving playoff teams that had some bad calls in key spots, including some that ended up changing the outcome of the game.
Here are three bad calls/moments from umpires in games with significant playoff ramifications.
3 bad moments by MLB umpires in important games this week
3) Quinn Wolcott at third base (Orioles @ Blue Jays)
The Baltimore Orioles are likely not going to make the playoffs since, entering Wednesday, they are five games out in the American League Wild Card picture. However, the Blue Jays currently have the first AL Wild Card spot. The two clubs faced each other in Toronto last weekend.
In Sunday’s series finale, in the ninth inning, the Orioles were up 4-3 with runners on the corners with two out. First baseman Jesús Aguilar was up to hit for the Orioles and he punched a liner into right field for a base hit. Cedric Mullins scored to make it 5-3, but Gunnar Henderson (who was on first) was thrown out at third base to end the inning.
The problem in this scenario was that third base umpire Quinn Wolcott called Henderson safe … and then called him out a beat later.
When replays were shown, it was obvious that Wolcott’s second call (an out call) was correct because Henderson’s hand slid into Matt Chapman’s foot. The call was not challenged or reviewed at third base. The run also counted, which could have been a disaster for the Orioles.
Had it not counted, the clubs would have gone to extra innings as Toronto scored a run in the bottom of the ninth. The Blue Jays ended up losing 5-4.
It’s always best that the call is right but, ideally, you’d like to have it as the first signal. But, as they say, it’s better late than never.