Phil Cuzzi calls Alex Kirilloff out on a bad strike three call in the tenth inning of Monday's game between the Twins and Dodgers. Cuzzi missed two calls in the three-pitch at-bat. A classic game between the Dodgers and Twins was marred by a brutal sequence of calls by home plate umpire, Phil Cuzzi.

The Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers played an instant classic on Monday. The game went 12 innings and even though it ended in rather anticlimactic fashion, with Los Angeles Trayce Thompson drawing a bases-loaded walk, it was everything you could ask for in a game between a pair of first-place teams.

At least, it was almost everything you’d want out of a game between a pair of first-place teams. Home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi absolutely butchered a critical sequence in the tenth inning.

Minnesota’s Alex Kirilloff came to the plate in the tenth inning. The Twins had already scratched a run across and with the bases loaded and only one out, Kirilloff was looking for some insurance. But Los Angeles pitcher Phil Bickford struck Kirilloff in three pitches. Only one of Bickford’s pitches — the one Kirilloff swung at — found the strike zone.

Bickford’s first offering to Kirilloff was both high and away, but called a strike by Cuzzi. The second pitch was also high and away, but in the strike zone. Kirilloff fouled that one off. As it turned out, that was his only realistic chance at doing anything. Bickford’s third pitch was inside. Not only did it miss the strike zone, but Dodgers catcher, Will Smith was set up on the outside corner and had to reach across the plate to catch the ball. It didn’t stop Cuzzi from ringing Kirilloff up.

When a team benefits from a bad call, it’s not uncommon for its announcers to acknowledge the bad call, but in a cagey way.

There was no doing that here, though.

Baseball fans were similarly frustrated, with the calls for robot umpires getting more prevalent.

[Photo Credit: Bally Sports North]

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. He is Bay Area native living in the Indianapolis area. Michael is also a big nerd when it comes to sports history and to a slightly lesser extent, all history. Beyond that, loves tacos, pizza and random Seinfeld quotes.

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