October 2, 2007 8:37 AM
Did Matt Holliday actually touch home plate?
In all the ecstacy and revelry over the Rockies' remarkable come-from-behind surge to the National League wild card playoff berth, one question seems to be lingering nationally:
Did Matt Holliday actually touch home plate when he scored the winning run?
Padres' right fielder Brian Giles' throw home bounced in front of catcher Michael Barrett, who couldn't hold on as Holliday swiped the plate, then lay face-down after cutting his chin with his headfirst slide. Umpire Tim McClelland made a delayed safe call, and replays were inconclusive on whether Holliday touched the plate with his left hand or was blocked by Barrett's left foot.
Holliday said he wasn't sure if he touched the plate.
"The ump said I was safe," Holliday said. "I don't remember. But I hit my chin pretty good."
Best argument that he got a piece of the plate: the Padres didn't protest - not that it would have done any good.
Said Padres manager Bud Black: "It looked to me like he did get it."
Besides, with Garrett Atkins' blast being ruled a ground rule double instead of a home run, Rockies fans figure it all evened out.
ESPN has the video and raises the question of instant replay in baseball.
Here's how the San Diego Union reported it:
Holliday, a former high school quarterback, tagged up and charged headfirst into the left shin guard of catcher Michael Barrett. Though it appeared Barrett warded off Holliday's left hand – “I don't think he got the plate,” Barrett said – umpire Tim McClelland ruled Holliday touched the plate. Barrett didn't have the ball. Holliday, who had slammed his chin into the dirt, was too woozy to get up.
It didn't matter. The season's 163rd game belonged to the Rockies, whose irrelevancy for most of their existence seemingly condensed into invincibility during a 14-victory, one-defeat stretch that sent them to Philly.
Do you think Holliday touched the plate? Did it matter? Especially since Barrett didn't hold onto the ball?