|Date of game: 7/31/2014
Recap: Miami vs. Cincinnati
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Redmond threw his hat down, pulled the front of his jersey out of his pants and screamed at home plate umpire Mike Winters.
Frustrations over Major League Baseball's experimental rule aimed at cutting down on home plate collisions may have just reached an acrimonious peak.
The Cincinnati Reds scored three runs in the eighth inning after a call at the plate was overturned and beat Redmond's Miami Marlins 3-1 on Thursday night to open a four-game series.
The Marlins appeared to have escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the eighth and kept a 1-0 lead intact when Giancarlo Stanton caught Todd Frazier's fly ball in right field and one-hopped a throw to catcher Jeff Mathis.
But Stanton's throw took Mathis from the first-base side of home plate, where he set up, to the third-base side and into the path of Zack Cozart, bringing MLB's new rule aimed a cutting down on home plate collisions into play.
Out by several steps, Cozart didn't slide and was tagged easily.
The umpires gathered for close to seven minutes while the ruling was made at the MLB replay operations center in New York. Winters, who had called Cozart out, made the safe motion and then ejected Redmond, the Marlins manager and longtime major-league catcher.
Redmond said Winters told him the call on the field was correct.
"I'm not sure anyone can justify him being safe. I don't know how you can do it," said Redmond.
"To lose a game on that play is a joke. It's an absolute joke," he said. "I don't think anybody who plays this game could feel good about winning this game. And I would say that if it had been (us).
"That guy was out by 15 feet. It was a great baseball play. ... He didn't slide because he couldn't slide because he was so far out. And, yeah, those guys in New York decided the outcome of that game.
"To look (my players) in the face and say we just lost the game on a technicality is bulls--t. Absolute bulls--t. I'm so pissed. I've given this game everything I have as a player and manager. That's ridiculous. That's a joke."
After the replay and Redmond's ejection, Ryan Ludwick hit a single to center field to plate two more runs and give the Reds their 3-1 lead.
Hard-throwing Reds closer Aroldis Chapman walked Casey McGehee to start the bottom of the ninth, then got Jeff Baker to ground into a double play and struck out Marcell Ozuna to end the game and earn his 24th save.
Prior to the eighth, the Reds had been frustrated all night by Marlins starter Tom Koehler, who was looking for his first career win against an NL Central team.
Instead Koehler (7-8) got the loss, charged with two unearned runs on five hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out three.
"An unfortunate situation," said Koehler, who was shown pumping his fist in the dugout in celebration of the call on the field. He said the decision to overturn the call was "sickening."
The part of Rule 7.13 that applies to the play says:
"Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.
"Notwithstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 7.13 if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in order to field a throw, and the umpire determines that the catcher could not have fielded the ball without blocking the pathway of the runner and that contact with the runner was unavoidable."
Reds manager Bryan Price said he expects the league will talk about changing the rule in the offseason, but felt the decision to overturn the call was correct.
"I think the controversy is that the rule is coming up against a lot of criticism," Price said. "(But) the catcher had taken away the plate. It's a tough judgement to make."
Stanton hit a solo homer in the first inning off Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who earned the win in seven innings. Cueto (12-6) struck out nine and gave up just four hits and a walk as the Reds snapped a nine-game road losing streak.
Before the game, the Marlins acquired right-handed starter Jarred Cosart from the Houston Astros in a six-player deal ahead of Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline.
Koehler cruised into the eighth inning. Cueto had the first hit off him, a two-out single in the third inning. Brayan Pena hit a leadoff double in the fifth, Kris Negron singled in the sixth and Pena got his second hit of the game in the seventh, but none of the runners moved up.
Devin Mesoraco's pinch-hit single to put runners at first and second in the eighth inning is what finally chased Koehler. Reliever Mike Dunn made an error on Billy Hamilton's bunt to load the bases and Bryan Morris struck out Kris Negron before the home plate call.
"You see where the ball goes and you catch it and make a tag," said Mathis. "It's disgusting that a big play can be (overruled) like that."
Mathis said he's been on teams where a catcher has missed games because of a collision at home play -- the type of play Major League Baseball is hoping to avoid with the new rule.
"That's part of the deal," Mathis said. "That's the game."
Earlier, Stanton lined a 93 mph fastball into the visitors bullpen behind left field with two outs in the first inning.
McGehee followed with a double then tried to score on Garrett Jones' bloop single to center field, but was thrown out with a strong throw by Hamilton.
In the fourth, after Marcell Ozuna doubled, Reds right fielder Chris Heisey laid out for a diving catch in right-center on Adeiny Hechavarria's fly ball, saving a run.Game Notes
Koehler is 0-5 in 11 games against NL Central teams ... Cueto is 7-1 in his
last 10 starts with 69 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings ... The Reds' last road
wins came during a four-game sweep in San Francisco from June 26-29 ... The
Marlins have lost two in a row on the heels of a six-game winning streak but
are 9-3 in their last 12.