Another busy night for the umpires

Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees argues after a call with umpire Brian Gorman in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. (October 29, 2009) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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After a respite for the opening game of the World Series, the umpiring misadventures returned late last night in Game 2.

The good news was one close call went against each team, so in a sense the outcome was not affected. That figures to do little to quell complaints about the quality of the officiating, though.

The first questionable call came in the bottom of the seventh, with Yankees on first and second and one out. Johnny Damon hit a line drive at Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who reached down and appeared to snag it after a slight hop. Howard then threw the ball to shortstop Jimmy Rollins near second base.

Jorge Posada reached the base before Rollins tagged him and happily clapped his hands, then was stunned to be called out - making it a double play - on the basis of Howard's having caught the ball on a fly.

The Yankees argued and the umpires conferred, but Brian Gorman's call at first stood. The replay was not entirely conclusive.

Then the Yankees benefited from a close call in the top of the eighth - also with runners on first and second and one out, also called at first by Gorman.

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Chase Utley grounded into an apparent 4-6-3 double play. But replays showed Utley barely beat the throw to first, which would have brought up Howard with runners on first and third.

After answering a question about not sending the runners in that situation to avoid a double play, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, "Utley was safe. Go look.''

Someone asked Manuel if he thought the umpiring was good. His answer: "I probably never thought umpiring was good, if you want to know the truth."

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