Just as Roy Oswalt’s 1-1 pitch crossed the plate in the bottom of the fifth of Wednesday’s NLDS Game 4, a squirrel took off through the batter’s box, racing from the Cardinals dugout area across the field into the stands down the third-base line.
And Angel Hernandez was so distracted by the scene that he neglected to notice that Roy Oswalt had fired a strike.
The pitch was allowed to stand, but what was pretty clearly a strike on the inside corner was instead ruled a ball by Hernandez. Oswalt was upset initially because he thought Hernandez had ruled a dead ball; by the time he learned he was behind 2-1 in the count, he was clearly infuriated. After a discussion with Hernandez between the mound and the plate, he turned his head, mouthed “wow” and promptly got Skip Schumaker to hit a flyout to center for the second out of the inning.
NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?
Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.
Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.
Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.
Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.
“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.
The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.