It’s always tempting to tell a guy who is out of order to sit down. That’s what home plate umpire Cory Blaser did to Ryan Braun last night.
With two outs in the top of the first, the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder singled off Max Scherzer. Nationals manager Dusty Baker didn’t like it, and let the ump know about it. Blaser then called an out after the single by Braun, who normally bats third, for batting third.
The lineup cards submitted to the umpires, in contrast to the ones sent to the press, showed Jonathan Lucroy batting third. So Lucroy and not Braun received the out. Braun’s single dribbled into the baseball twilight zone, a place where its existence becomes shielded from the record books.
Braun received a do-over to lead off the next inning in the cleanup position. But he grounded out.
The controversial call, the first such batting-out-of-order out since 2013, ultimately mattered not—at least to Milwaukee. The Brew Crew collected a 1-0 victory riding the arm of 31-year-old rookie Junior Guerra, who allowed two hits in 7 1/3 innings pitched. Braun registered an o-fer in the box score.