The home plate ump at the Red Sox-Yankees game on Sunday is being criticized for a blown strike call. The awful miss led to a second chance opportunity for a New York hitter.
The call seemed so obvious that the batter actually began walking back to the dugout. When the strike signal wasn’t made, he surprisingly returned to the box.
The controversial call was made during a second inning at-bat by Harrison Bader. The Yankee outfielder faced a two-strike count against Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta.
The righty dealt a beauty of a pitch over the heart of the plate, surprising Bader with a fastball. Not being able to get the bat off his shoulders, it seemed like your everyday, routine strikeout looking.
Not so fast.
Possibly surprised himself, the ump failed to make the call. This as Bader, Pivetta, and catcher Reese McGuire all made their ways off the field.
“Oh my God.” pic.twitter.com/devtUE6TIH
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 20, 2023
“What are we doing?” the booth commentator asked. “Junior Valentine, hello!”
He wasn’t the only person asking. Baseball fans and followers quickly raced to social media to post reactions to the missed call.
Did the umps quiet quit today? pic.twitter.com/xWzAI7CrLC
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 20, 2023
“Junior Valentine is the only person in the entire ballpark who thought this was a ball. What a joke,” this fan wrote.
Some of the worst missed strike calls I’ve ever seen.
Red Sox have been getting robbed lately. pic.twitter.com/RGae6aX3ae
— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) August 20, 2023
The pitch did appear to come right down the middle.
Junior Valentine is a war criminal pic.twitter.com/SP9CSqa9Dp
— Nate (@_NateGardner) August 20, 2023
Doesn’t get much easier than that.
Valentine wasn’t the only one missing calls on Sunday. Oft criticized Angel Hernandez was also in the ump show headlines after he, too, missed a ball/strike call in a game between the Braves and Giants.
Tough day to be behind the dish.
Luckily for the Red Sox, the ump’s missed call wouldn’t cost them in the rivalry game with the Yankees. Bader struck out on the next pitch and Boston would go on to win, 6-5.