‘Bizarre’ ending to Braves game


Braves veteran Chase d’Arnaud stuck out with the bases loaded to end the game. The Nationals gathered near the mound to celebrate the 3-1 victory over the Braves. The grounds crew members rushed the field, ready to begin their usual post-game routine, and fans at SunTrust Park started filing out.

Except the game wasn’t over.

“It was bizarre,” d’Arnaud said.

Home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor had called a foul ball on d’Arnaud’s swing. It was an inexplicable call because d’Arnaud’s bat missed Shawn Kelley’s sharp slider by a wide margin before catcher Matt Wieters stopped it in the dirt.

“It looked like he missed it by about eight inches and they called a foul tip,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That was good for us. We got another pitch. We had an opportunity to win the game.”

There was confusion when Bucknor didn’t walk off the field and instead went out to break up the Nationals’ celebration. Bucknor summoned d’Arnaud and the three Braves base runners back from the dugout. The grounds crew members scurried off the field, pushing the wheelbarrow that holds the dirt for the mound and driving tractors back to their storage area.

D’Arnaud would get another shot.

“It seemed like they were slapping hands and next thing you know they were like, ‘Chase put your helmet back on, he said it was a foul ball,’” d’Arnaud said. “I put my helmet back on and went back up there to try to win the ballgame.”

With the game restarted, Kelley had a 1-2 count on d’Arnaud, who had entered the game as a pinch runner in the top of the eighth inning. D’Arnaud swung and missed at the next pitch, and this time Bucknor got the call right.

“I felt like it was a do-over,” d’Arnaud said. “You have a mulligan, a chance to redeem yourself. I stayed on a fastball and unfortunately didn’t get a hit.”

The Nationals apparently weren’t happy that the Braves got another chance to win the game on a blown call. Outfielder Jayson Werth appeared to yell at Bucknor as the umpire walked off the field. Another member of the umpiring crew led Bucknor away to the dressing room.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was coy when asked about the final sequence.

“I really have no comment for that,” Freeman said, smiling. “I’m going to keep my mouth closed on that one. I think we all know the answer to that.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Dayton Moore still won’t comment on Braves opening
Dayton Moore still won’t comment on Braves opening

Dayton Moore may be a preferred candidate for the Braves’ open general manager position. However, the Royals’ top baseball executive has been unwilling to talk about a possible return to the organization where he began his career. Moore again declined to address the topic during a press conference in Kansas City Wednesday. Moore, the Royals&rsquo...
How ex-Braves are faring in the postseason
How ex-Braves are faring in the postseason

There’s eight former Braves on postseason rosters but none are having much impact so far. Take a look: Alex Wood: The left-hander made his first postseason start Wednesday night and lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and four hits. Three of the hits he allowed were home runs. Jason Heyward: The right fielder is batting .118 with...
Really, you can play golf at SunTrust Park
Really, you can play golf at SunTrust Park

The Braves are – again – turning their stadium into a golf course. For a limited time, of course. From Oct. 25-29 (next Wednesday through Sunday), SunTrust Park will be converted into a nine-hole golf course by Stadiumlinks. The event is open to the public. The Braves did the same thing with Turner Field for three days last year and the...
Atlanta Braves: Keep ’em or deal ’em?
Atlanta Braves: Keep ’em or deal ’em?

The Atlanta Braves compiled a fourth consecutive losing season for the first time since 1990. But it wasn’t all bad. The 2017 season saw a roster of fresh faces, the opening of a new ballpark, Freddie Freeman at third and Ender Inciarte registering 200 hits in a season.  Looking ahead to next season, the Braves face some uncertainties. Look...
Braves break ground on new spring-training complex today
Braves break ground on new spring-training complex today

NORTH PORT, FLA. – A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Monday for the Braves’ new spring-training complex in southwest Florida, just 16 months before the team intends to hold its first workout at the $100-million facility.  The stadium and training complex will be built on former ranch land in the West Villages development in the...
More Stories