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Revisiting the Raul Mondesi Jr. Helena "Missed Home Plate' HR-Turned-GameEnding-Triple


Khris Davis had us all reminiscing Monday, so from the archives, here's what we were talking about in the June 25th, 2012 Link Report and the following days...

 

By the way, click the above link later as well just to relive these old Link Report moments, read the non-Helena posts for memories of where other farmhands were that day.

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Remember, this ended a game!

 

Here was the initial post by former Link Reporter "Tedaldtada" -- by the way, his last post was April 2nd, 2013, where'd you go, bro?

 

Missoula (Diamondbacks) 2 Helena 1

 

Box Score

 

I'm sure this was a pleasurable game to listen to. I tuned in with Chris McFarland on 2nd and Adam Giacalone batting in the bottom of the 9th. Everything went downhill from there unfortunately. Giacalone struck out sending the game into extras where a baby D'Back hit a two-run bomb off of Manny Ruiz, who had been overpoweringly wild until then. After Michael White got them out of the 10th, Yonki Hernandez hit a single and took second on defensive indifference. After a couple of line outs to CF, Raul Mondesi Jr. came to the plate and absolutely crushed a game tying 2-run 2-out homerun. Incredibly though, Mondesi Jr. was ruled out for missing home plate after coming around the bases.

 

This game seemed to have been rather testy already, so to lose on a ticky-tacky call like that is pretty lame, and must have really irritated some people. Enjoy your technical victory, Missoula. May you see a barrage of borderline strike calls go against your batters tomorrow.

 

Eric Semmelhack got the start and was brilliant. 7 IP 2 H 0 R 0 BB 5 K 1 WP 7:6 GO:FO. Semmelhack is easily the hottest SP in stateside rookie ball for the Brewers. He had 5 perfect IP tonight, including the first 3, out of 7 total IP. Manny Ruiz was next, and as mentioned, he was overpowering at first. 2.1 IP 1 H 2 R 2 ER 0 BB 5 K 1 HR 1 WP 3 HBP 3:0 GO:FO

 

At the plate, it was Yonki Hernandez (2-4 2 SB (6)) again leading the charge. McFarland and Emmanuel Quiles had the only other hits for the H-Crew besides Mondesi Jr.'s homer-triple-thingy. Adrian Williams walked twice and stole 2 bases.

 

Game Log

 

The strangest end.

 

Helena Bottom of the 10th

 

Yonki Hernandez singles on a ground ball to second baseman Daniel Pulfer.

Kevin Berard flies out to right fielder Breland Almadova.

Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Michael Nemeth replaces Adrian Williams.

Michael Nemeth flies out to center fielder Socrates Brito.

With Raul Mondesi batting, Yonki Hernandez advances to 2nd on defensive indifference.

Raul Mondesi triples (2) on a fly ball to center fielder Socrates Brito. Yonki Hernandez scores. Raul Mondesi out at home, pitcher Dexter Price to catcher Michael Perez.

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Looks like Raul Mondesi, Jr. might have been stylin' during his Monday HR jaunt -- from the Osprey's site:

 

Helena's Raul Mondesi Jr. almost overshadowed another dominant performance by Missoula starter Andrew Barbosa when he hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning on Monday. The problem was, it ended up being a walk-off win for Missoula.

 

With Helena down, 2-0, and a man on with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Mondesi hit one over the center-field wall to tie the game. But he didn't step on home plate. Osprey manager Andy Green appealed and Mondesi was called out to end the game.

 

"It was crazy," Barbosa said. "[Mondesi] hits a home run, he's taunting a little bit running around the bases and then he steps over the plate. Our catcher, Michael Perez, saw it and waited for him to go in the dugout. He appealed it, the ump saw it, too, and he called him out."

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Osprey edge Brewers 2-1 in 10 innings on controversy

By CURT SYNNESS, Helena Independent Record

 

On a night featuring pitching mastery for nine innings at Kindrick Legion Field, culminating with a pair of home runs in the 10th frame, the Pioneer League game’s final outcome was decided by an appeal play.

 

Trailing the Missoula Osprey 2-0 in the bottom of the 10th, with one on and two out, Helena Brewer Raul Mondesi Jr. cranked what would have been a game-tying homer over the left field fence.

 

After Mondesi crossed home plate — or did he — and was greeted by celebratory teammates, Osprey pitcher Dexter Price flipped the ball to catcher Michael Perez, who stepped on home for an appeal.

 

The home plate umpire raised and pumped his right fist, signifying that Mondesi had missed the plate and was out, ending the game in a 2-1 win for Missoula.

 

Mondesi was officially credited with a triple.

 

“Did he miss home plate? You tell me, because I don’t know, I didn’t see it,” said Helena manager Jeff Isom, on his way back to the clubhouse, after a long discussion with the umpire.

 

“On any home run, the umpire has one job, and that’s to watch the plate and make sure the runners touch it. He said he (Mondesi) missed it by eight inches.”

 

Isom said it was one of the craziest endings to a game he’s been a part of, and the first time in his 13 years of managing that’s he’s seen a home run taken away from a batter.

 

“It’s a terrible way to lose a ballgame, but the guys learned a good lesson. From now on, make sure you jump on the plate on a homer,” he added.

 

The majority of the game belonged to the pitchers, who were hotter than the 93 degree temperature at first pitch and the fire that was burning in the Scratchgravels.

 

Fans at Kindrick Legion Field watch the Helena Brewers play the Missoula Osprey on Monday night as smoke from a fire in the Scratchgravel Hills fills the sky. The Osprey beat the Brewers 2-1 in extra innings.

 

Photo by Dylan Brown Independent Record

 

http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/helenair.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/22/c2247d36-bf36-11e1-af63-001a4bcf887a/4fe91e8a66a98.image.jpg

 

Missoula starter Andrew Barbosa took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, which was broken up by Emmanuel Quiles’ single on the first pitch of the inning.

 

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound Barbosa, a lefthander who hails from Riverview, Fla., went six innings and allowed one hit, with five strikeouts and one walk.

 

His counterpart, the hosts’ Eric Semmelhack, matched him pitch-for-pitch. Semmelhack worked seven scoreless frames, giving up two hits — both to Pedro Ruiz — while striking out five and walking none.

 

Osprey relievers Michael Rivera and Dexter Price combined for four innings, permitting four hits and fanning five.

 

Yonki Hernandez had the Brewers’ lone multi-hit game, with a pair of singles. He was the man on base ahead of Mondesi’s non-homer.

 

Brewer reliever Manuel Ruiz, who sustained the loss, went 2.1 innings, striking out five and giving up just one hit. But it was a big one — a two-run bomb by Tyler Linton that cleared the left-field fence by about 25 feet.

 

“Our pitchers were throwing brilliantly,” Isom said. “Semmelhack was keeping the ball down, he has three pitches he can throw for strikes.

 

“And Ruiz just made one mistake. He left the pitch in the strike zone, and that’s what happens when you do that against a good hitter.”

 

The game included several defensive gems, markedly by the Osprey’s Ruiz at shortstop, and Helena second sacker Adrian Williams.

 

There was also a near-brawl in the top of the 10th, ironically after the sun went down and a slight breeze actually cooled down the playing field.

 

After Linton’s long ball, Ruiz plunked Daniel Pulfer with a pitch, and when the Osprey batter took several steps towards the mound, the benches and bullpens from both sides charged out on the field.

 

But peace was restored shortly afterwards without any punches being thrown.

 

“We two managers got together with the umpires, and we made it clear that neither of us desired any ill-will; that we wanted to put the incident behind us and get back to the game,” Isom explained.

 

“It was a great comeback by us, to tie it up like that. But then not to get it is a shame. I’m headed for the clubhouse right now, and am going to watch the replay (of the home plate call), and see for myself.”

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Mondesi promises discipline

Son of former Major Leaguer learning from mistakes in Helena

By Greg Rachac / Special to MLB.com

 

When asked to describe the incident that has so far defined his young Minor League career, Raul Mondesi Jr. isn't very forthcoming.

 

The 19-year-old Helena Brewers outfielder would rather talk about his rich baseball lineage, his attributes on the field or his dedication to the game. He'd rather forget the monumental gaffe he made in the Brewers' 2-1 loss to Missoula on June 25.

 

"I know I made a mistake," Mondesi said. "I learned from it and it will not happen again."

 

In case you didn't see it on Deadspin or YouTube (yes, it went viral), here's a recap: Mondesi hit what would have been a game-tying, two-run homer in the 10th inning against Missoula, but he failed to touch home plate. The Osprey appealed, and Mondesi was called out to end the game.

 

The game had been contentious up to that point, Mondesi recalled. Ty Linton hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th to give Missoula the lead. Helena reliever Manuel Ruiz had already hit Rudy Flores, then followed Linton's homer by plunking Daniel Pulfer.

 

"We were going to fight," Mondesi said.

 

So, when Mondesi homered over the center-field wall to tie the game again with two outs in the bottom half of the inning off Missoula reliever Dexter Price, he wanted to make a point -- one that would resonate beyond simply getting the best of his opponent in a clutch situation.

 

"When I hit the home run, when I was going to touch home plate, I started doing this," said Mondesi, demonstrating the taunting gesture he cast toward Missoula's dugout. "I did not focus on touching the plate. I didn't see it."

 

Osprey catcher Michael Perez noticed Mondesi did not touch the plate and asked for an appeal. Sure enough, Mondesi was called out and the game was over.

 

"You're going to see some things at this level that make you say, 'Wow. What's the thought process there?' Brewers manager Jeff Isom said. "We'll tell our guys it's OK to make mistakes, but you have to learn from them and not make the same ones again.

 

"I hadn't heard of anything like that happening before, but it happened to us. We talked with Raul about it and told him he has to learn from it. There's nothing he can do about it now. It's in the past. Let's just move on to the future and be more attentive to details."

 

Mondesi is the son of former big leaguer Raul Mondesi. The elder Mondesi played 16 seasons in the Majors and won Rookie of the Year in 1994 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like his son, he played in the Pioneer League, spending his first year of professional baseball with Great Falls in 1990.

 

Mondesi is said to have a great arm like his father did, as his six assists entering the games of July 4 attest to. He's still trying to get acclimated at the plate, though -- he was hitting .203 with just six RBIs in 64 at-bats. He had struck out a league-high 24 times.

 

Mondesi is adjusting to the professional game, just like any young player, regardless of who his father is. And regardless of the mistakes he's made.

 

"You try to be a good baseball player because wherever you go in a ballpark or a game and they say, 'Mondesi Jr.,' people think 'Raul Mondesi,'" he said. "So you have to try to do things right because you're representing him. You're his son.

 

"I know this game brings ups and downs. You can have a tough day today, but tomorrow you can come and be the hero for your team. It's all about fun. You have to have fun and enjoy it."

 

Raul Mondesi Jr. has six RBIs in his first 15 games at Helena. (Sleeping Giant Photography)

 

http://www.milb.com/images/2012/07/04/BI8yWTSp.jpg

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In case you didn't see it on Deadspin or YouTube (yes, it went viral), here's a recap: Mondesi hit what would have been a game-tying, two-run homer in the 10th inning against Missoula, but he failed to touch home plate. The Osprey appealed, and Mondesi was called out to end the game.

 

Well, the video did exist, and we excitedly linked to it the day after the game, but it's been long taken down. :(

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On December 1st, 2012, Mondesi, Jr. was traded to the Rays for RHP Burke Badenhop (that trade since lives on as current LHP Luis Ortega of the Timber Rattlers was later acquired from the Red Sox in exchange for Badenhop).

 

However, Mondesi, Jr., still now just 22 years old, never played in the Rays organization or any other professional game (Baseball Reference).

 

http://i.usatoday.net/communitymanager/_photos/daily-pitch/2012/06/26/mondesi2x-inset-community.jpg

 

Raul Mondesi Jr., shown with his father in 1996. Photo by Susan Sterner, AP

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