Pretty darn bad! Jeff Passan — citing Brooks Baseball’s chart of last night’s game — notes that Wendelstedt missed 31 ball-strike calls on Thursday. In the two other games, the umps missed 21 calls combined. Passan nails it:
This is not normal. It is not close. In the Atlanta-San Francisco game
Thursday, Dana DeMuth missed nine calls. With Texas-Tampa Bay, Jim Wolf
was wrong 12 times. Both were reasonable. Both, too, are a good umpires . . . This is a matter of integrity. Umpires, as Yankees manager Joe Girardi
said, “aren’t robots, and they don’t have X-ray vision.” They must,
however, live up to a high standard, and those who don’t ought be
Thinking so is not just a Twins fan whine (or, on basepath calls, a Braves fan whine). The Yankees were victimized just as badly if not worse by the zone than the Twins were.
Some may argue that “hey, it all evens out,” but that’s not satisfying to me. Bad calls extend games for pitchers and force managers to and players to work around them in ways that lead to all kinds of unexpected and uncertain outcomes. The fact that the victim of bad calls on Monday may be the beneficiary on Wednesday is cold comfort.
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).