The balk heard round the world.
Tony Cingani was called for a controversial balk in the top of the eighth and the Miami Marlins came from behind to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers entered the eighth inning leading 2-1, but after a broken-bat single for Derek Dietrich, Dodgers relief pitcher Tony Cingrani was called for a balk on a throw over to first base.
Replay showed that Cingrani stepped towards the bag, not home plate, but the call stood. Two batters later, Starlin Castro doubled down the left field line and the game was tied. As the ball came back to the mound, Cingrani stared towards first base umpire Joe West.
"He's the best. He knows what he's doing out there, yeah sure. Joe West just knows what he's doing," said Cingrani sarcastically when asked what he said to the veteran umpire. "It's not a balk, but he called it a balk, so it's a balk. Obviously that's a balk if he called it a balk. It's like a ball being called a strike and a strike being called a ball. It is what it is."
West had some choice words for why he made the call after the game:
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"There’s nothing I can do about it," said West after the game. "Nobody’s looking to call a balk there, f&^%, if it doesn’t jump out at you. That’s why I called it. You saw how fast I f%$#ing called it. You hate that you have to do it, but you can’t let them cheat."
Cingrani was frustrated at the call, especially since that is the left-hander's normal pickoff move. A play he's made thousands of times over the years but has never been called a balk before. Cingrani admitted he would be in favor of replay review for balks.
"I think everything should be reviewed," he said. "If we have the cameras, then I think anything should be reviewable if there's a rule in place."
An inning later, the Marlins scored the winning run off Pedro Baez after a leadoff single by Brian Anderson and an RBI double by Cameron Maybin.
Baez was warming up in the eighth inning and ready to enter, but the ninth inning of a tie game at home is normally reserved for the team's closer, in this case, All-Star Kenley Jansen.
"That was my decision," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "I wanted to get Petey [Pedro Baez] through that part of the order and get Kenley for a different part of the order. That's on me. It didn't work out and I take full responsibility for it."
The Dodgers got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning after back-to-back doubles by Matt Kemp and Austin Barnes.
The Marlins tied the game in the top of the third thanks to a solo shot from catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Chase Utley drew a bases loaded walk that scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Kenta Maeda did not factor in the decision, despite a strong performance. The Japanese right-hander allowed one run on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.
"Kenta really did a nice job," said Roberts. "He really did well. He gave us a chance to win and unfortunately we couldn't take advantage of his start."
Dillon Peters had his best start of the season, allowing just one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 and 1/3 innings. He also did not factor in the decision.
The Dodgers five-game winning streak over the Marlins was snapped.
The finale of the three-game series with Miami and the six-game homestand concludes with RHP Trevor Richards squaring off with Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is at 4:35PM PST.
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