Jason Benetti and Craig Monroe Photo Credit: Bally Sports Detroit

MLB is back, and while some players are still getting up to speed, umpire Ángel Hernández appears to be in midseason form.

Hernández made another one of those amazingly awful calls he has become famous for on Thursday, and Detroit Tigers play-by-play man Jason Benetti and analyst Craig Monroe couldn’t hide their shock during their Bally Sports Detroit broadcast.

In the top of the 11th inning, New York Mets reliever Michael Tonkin threw a pitch up and in to Tigers slugger Spencer Torkelson, who clearly checked his swing as he backed away.

Torkelson immediately pointed to his hand, indicating he’d been hit by the pitch. Home plate umpire Hernández, however, ruled it a foul ball.

The Tigers immediately challenged the call. A short time later, Hernández indicated he had actually ruled Torkelson swung at the pitch, despite the fact he clearly didn’t swing. Also, Hernández gave the palm-to-palm signal used to signify a foul.

“He did his hands palm to palm, which usually means foul tip,” Benetti said.

“Yes,” Monroe agreed.

“He’s saying it’s a strike,” Benetti asked incredulously.

“Yes, he’s saying he swung, and that’s why he called it a strike,” Monroe said (analysts really should earn hazard pay when trying to explain how Hernández operates).

“No, see, that’s – he didn’t swing,” Benetti said.

“At all,” Monroe finished.

“There’s no way he can call that a swing,” Monroe said. “Unbelievable.”


Hernández has a habit of confounding everyone with some of his calls. Baseball fans were just as baffled as Benetti and Monroe at his decision Thursday.

[Codify; Photo Credit: Bally Sports Detroit]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.