We’re at the point in the Major League Baseball season where announcers are getting more and more fed up with the umpiring around the league. It seems that as the season has gone on, the ball and strike calls have gotten worse. For a league that relies so heavily on officiating, it’s a bit of an ominous sign with the playoffs just a little over a month away.
Anyways, the broadcast booth that was incredulous over a missed call was the Texas Rangers on Monday night. With the Rangers leading 3-1 in the 11th inning of an extra-innings game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Doug Eddings called a 1-1 pitch out of the zone a strike.
Rangers outfielder Adolis García had just taken Ball 2 from Diamondbacks reliever Kevin Ginkel. Well, at least everyone at Chase Field, thought so, including Rangers analyst C.J. Nitkowski, who is filling in for play-by-play voice Dave Raymond.
“Nooo, what?! What in the world?!”
“That is… that is incredibly frustrating,” analyst David Murphy said.
“I mean, not only is it outside, but it’s missed location,” said Nitkowski.
“It’s a big-time missed location,” added Murphy
You can listen to Nitkowski and Murphy vent their frustration from the Bally Sports Southwest broadcast below:
"Nooo, what?! What in the world?!"
"That is… that is incredibly frustrating."
"I mean, not only is it outside, but it's missed location."
"It's a big time missed location."
The Bally Sports Southwest Rangers broadcast couldn't believe this call in the 11th inning.⚾️?♂️ pic.twitter.com/wUCvF3UaJ8
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 22, 2023
Did this directly affect the outcome of the game? It’s a thinly-veiled argument at best, even though García struck out two pitches later. Could he have added an insurance run if the count was 2-1 instead of 1-2? Maybe, but the Rangers still handed their bullpen a two-run lead heading into the bottom half of the frame.
After getting the first two batters out in the 11th, veteran reliever Will Smith imploded. He intentionally walked Ketel Marte, who hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, only for Geraldo Perodomo and Tommy Pham to have back-to-back clutch doubles to give the Diamondbacks a 4-3 walk-off win.
Tommy Pham with a 2-run single to give the D-Backs a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Rangers in the 11th! ⚾️pic.twitter.com/Y5yw9OHMCL
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) August 22, 2023
We’ll have to see how Eddings grades out, but it seems like the Rangers have a legitimate gripe here. That pitch was no were close to being a strike. And regardless of how the game turned out, it’s unfortunate that umpires still have as direct an impact on a game as they do.
Good on Nitkowski, Murphy and broadcasters around the league for continuing to call out poor umpiring. This season has been one of the worst in recent memory for those behind the dish and those in the broadcast booth have certainly held them more accountable than the league has.