Lets get the cat out of the bag…the Braves have lost three straight games, two against the Miami Marlins and now a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. Even though it hurt a little, we all stomached the two losses to the (actually improving) Marlins. But Friday night’s defeat came with extra baggage.
That extra baggage was umpire Angel Hernandez.
Now even as a young kid playing ball, you should never blame an umpire for causing your team to lose a game. But last night, Hernandez did not make it easy on the Braves.
And it started on the first batter of the game for the Braves when Hernandez called a pretty high strike three call on Andrelton Simmons. The pitch was so high that the Phillies catcher, Humberto Quintero, threw the pitch back quickly to Cliff Lee….this was strange because one, he thought it was a ball and two, usually when you receive a strike out with no runners on base, the catcher throws it down to the third baseman to “throw it around the diamond” in a sense of accomplishment.
Then in the third inning, Gerald Laird got into a heated argument with Hernandez after his high strike three pitch. This lead to a few words from Laird and an ejection from Hernandez. Before Laird got tossed, Fredi tried to run out to save his catcher but it was too late. And then Fredi got ejected!
After the game, Fredi Gonzalez spoke on this “I was trying to get out to Angel (Hernandez) before you lose a player there but it looked to me it happened real quick…I haven’t seen a replay. Laird was walking away from him but I don’t know if Laird popped off or said something on his way back…I don’t know, that exchange happened so quickly. But it was a situation where a couple things happened that I’ve never seen happen in a major league game…you’ve guys have seen it so I don’t want to keep commenting on that.”
Then, Gonzalez continued on the situation “Even the first at bat against Simmons was a little…..When the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher and he calls strike three, it kind of makes you wonder. And I think he tried to do it again when Laird struck out so…..Angel said those balls were on top of the strike zone so…………..”
Other instances occurred on Friday that were caused for concern that Angel wasn’t playing fair…the Phillies home run to right field where a fan interfered, they even went in to look at the replay and couldn’t get it right. Then on Dan Uggla‘s at bat in the 7th inning, right before he hit the three run home run, he swung at a pitch early in the count and hit the catchers glove which should of been catcher interference and Dan sitting on first base. But Angel didn’t see this happen.
After the game Uggla commented on this “I’m glad Angel didn’t see it”
Yes, we are as well because this actually got the Braves back into the game. The three run home run made the game 5-3 and then Simmons had a sac fly to make the game 5-4.
Post game Gonzalez spoke about the bats on Friday night “We came back (tonight), Danny hit a big three run home run there and Simmons had a sac fly that got us back in the game. I thought we had some better good at bats against Cliff Lee, Justin had a couple off him early in the game and we had some good at bats. For us to come back from 5 down and make it a game in this ball park, we feel we’ve got a good chance…anyone who can get the ball in the air and gets it forward can win a game.”
Brian McCann, who was suppose to have the night off, came into the game to go 2-3 and scored on Simmons sac fly. After the game BMAC spoke to the media “We had one good inning tonight that we really put the pressure on. Cliff Lee was on his game, he was able to use both sides of the plate and have his speeds go up and down; he was on him game until the 6th inning. When Cliff Lee is on his game, you kind of weather the storm and we were able to score four runs off him…you take that as a positive I guess.”
Chipper Jones actually took to twitter about the Angel Hernandez situation
Didn’t take Angel long to screw up the strike zone, did it??? Hang with em, Simba!!!
I will not watch a game, any game, officiated by Angel Hernandez! His incompetence amazes me and I’m tired of MLB doing squat about it! Nite
Our only recourse, as fans, is to turn the station whenever he, or his crew, are on the field. When viewer numbers go down, MLB will notice.
Supposedly the umpire counsel is taking a look at last nights game, updates to come about this…