Yesterday’s Game Between The Minnesota Twins And Detroit Tigers Featured One Of The Worst Called Strikes You’ll Ever See


Getty Image / Nic Antaya

  • Yesterday’s game between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers featured an awful call
  • Tigers catchers Eric Haase struck out looking on a pitch well below the strike zone
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It’s been a tough week for umpires in the MLB. First there was that odd scene in Arizona on Monday where an umpire tried to confront a pitcher only to be stopped by the team’s catcher. Yesterday, things somehow got worse as an umpire called one of the worst strikes in recent memory.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, Detroit Tigers catcher Eric Haase was up at the plate facing Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer with the Tigers trailing 6-1. With the count at 3-2, Smeltzer threw a fastball well below the bottom of the strike zone, seemingly sending Haase to first base with a walk.

The umpire hesitated to actually make a call and as Haase started walking to first, the umpire made up his mind and decided to call a 3rd strike against Haase in a truly awful display of officiating.

While bad umpiring isn’t exactly something new in the MLB, this is just a whole new kind of awful. It’s impossible to understand how an umpire could look at that pitch and call it a strike. There might not be anybody in the world besides that umpire who would have looked at that pitch and called a strike.

It’s a call that will only serve to strengthen the arguments for automated strike zones at a time when minor league baseball has begun experimenting with them. An automated strike zone certainly wouldn’t have allowed this strike to be called.

Whether or not an automated strike zone is the answer, it’s clear that the MLB needs to do something to fix what has been consistently bad umpiring this season.