MLB umpire Jerry Meals is the ire of Red Sox Nation, and baseball bettors who took Boston +100 over Tampa Bay Monday night. The Rays won the game 2-1 as -108 road favorites, thanks to a controversial call at home plate.
Meals botched a call at home that would have – and should have – tied the ball game in the eighth inning. Red Sox pinch runner Daniel Nava was called out sliding into home on a sacrifice fly, even though replays showed Nava beating the tag by Rays catcher Jose Molina.
"What I saw was: Molina blocked the plate and Nava's foot lifted," Meals told reporters. "But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava's foot got under for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision. From the angle I had, I did not see his foot get under Molina's shin guard."
Meals’ bad call cost Boston its spot atop the AL East, with Tampa Bay jumping a half game ahead of the BoSox for the division lead.
Monday’s road team win and under finish – final score played below the 8-run total – were uncharacteristic of Meals’ 2013 season. The veteran umpire has leaned towards home teams at a 59.1 percent rate, with host going 13-9 with Meals behind the plate. Games have gone 11-9 over/under with Meals calling the balls and strikes this summer.
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