The Diamondbacks won last night on a walk-off fielder's choice in the 10th, as Nick Ahmed successfully broke up the Pirates' potential double-play by getting hit in the arm by Jayson Nix's throw to first. Pretty perfect positioning with that arm, actually. Maybe a little too perfect.
"I could see probably a little more of him than normal," Nix said. "You don't really see a whole lot, but you can feel them when they're coming in. I could probably feel him a little higher, a little more of him than normal."
Clint Hurdle came out to argue, and didn't make much of a secret of what had him upset:
Hurdle wanted interference to be called on the play, which would have ended the inning, but umpires said there was nothing nefarious in Ahmed's slide. They also told Hurdle the play was not reviewable. Game over, D-Backs win.
"The guy has to do something obviously, willfully, intentionally to break up that double play," said crew chief Ron Kulpa. "Guys slide into second base all the time with their hands up."
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said his players are trained to put their hands up while sliding to avoid injury, which, sure. But Ahmed had just the one hand up, and almost exaggeratedly high. Hurdle said he felt "there was an extra effort in [Ahmed] getting his hands up in the way."
I think the call was probably the right one, if still a hard one to swallow for Pittsburgh, but a play should have to be truly egregious to invoke the interference rule. Still (and I say this a lot yet can't say it enough), every play ought to be reviewable.