New umpire added for Game 7 of ALCS
Gorman will move behind home plate, Hernandez joins crew
ST. PETERSBURG -- With Derryl Cousins unable to umpire Game 7 of the American League Championship Series due to a bruised collarbone, Brian Gorman will call balls and strikes for the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Cousins was struck by a Jason Varitek foul tip in the second inning of Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday and exited before the top of the fourth inning, necessitating an umpire rotation and a 15-minute in-game delay.
Mike Port, Major League Baseball's vice president for umpiring, said Sunday that Gorman -- a Major League umpire since 1993 -- was selected due to seniority. Gorman opened Game 6 working left field and moved to third base after Cousins left the game.
"We wanted a senior guy behind the plate, and right now, losing Derryl, Brian is the most senior guy on the crew," Port said.
Port said he spoke to Cousins on Saturday, when a decision was made that Cousins would not return for the decisive Game 7.
While Cousins is expected to be fine provided normal rest, Angel Hernandez traveled to Tropicana Field from his Miami home on Sunday and joined the umpire rotation, manning right field.
"When we do our postseason selections, we also allow from the planning standpoint for occurrences that may happen," Port said. "Angel was, in a manner of speaking, one of the next guys on the list, and lives right here in the region."
The umpire rotation for Game 7 is as follows: Gorman at home plate, Sam Holbrook at first base, Brian O'Nora at second base, crew chief Tim McClelland at third base, Alfonso Marquez in left field and Hernandez in right field.
According to SABR's David Vincent, there are two other examples of an LCS crew being affected by an in-game departure of the home-plate umpire.
On Oct. 14, 1992, in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series between the Pirates and Braves, John McSherry left with an illness, leading Randy Marsh to shift from first base to home plate and Ed Montague to shift from right field to first base. It was Marsh who then made the safe call on Sid Bream's ninth-inning slide that gave the pennant to the Braves.
On Oct. 7, 2003, in the NLCS Game 1 between the Marlins and Cubs, Jerry Crawford left after the top of the fourth with an unspecified illness, causing Mike Reilly to shift from right field to the plate.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.