The Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks met up for an important game in the NL playoff race on Saturday night at Chase Field.
Entering the game, the Rockies were 1.5 games back in the NL West and 2 games out of the Wild Card race, while the Diamondbacks were 2 games back in the NL West and 2.5 back in the Wild Card.
The Rockies took a 6-5 lead into the ninth, but Arizona was threatening with two outs and runners on first and second. Rockies closer Wade Davis had a 1-2 count on Nick Ahmed, and threw a 90-mph cutter under Ahmed’s hands, trying to catch the inside corner. The cutter from the veteran right-hander never made it to the inside corner, and instead went under Ahmed’s hands in the right-handed batter’s box.
However, home plate umpire Paul Nauert thought otherwise, and called strike three to end the ballgame.
Fox Sports Arizona play-by-play man Steve Berthiaume had the appropriate reaction for the egregious call to end a big game:
“Oh come on. That is not even close to a strike, Paul Nauert.”
"That is not even close to a strike." pic.twitter.com/7Wwj04ZWXF
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) July 22, 2018
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) July 22, 2018
So yeah- that’s a cutter that never cut. This isn’t like a difficult-to-read breaking ball that crossed the plate. It never was in the strike zone!
Ah, but the human element! This is what the fans came to see. Always good to have obviously garbage calls decide hard-fought, three-hour efforts in games that impact playoff races.
But seriously, it’s beyond time for an automated strike zone already. At the very least, MLB should start doing what the Mexican League recently did- suspend umpires for inexcusably awful calls.