The Phillies took on the Pirates in a meaningless game on Thursday night. The Pirates won 3-2, but that’s not what anyone really cares about. The fans were there to see umpire Angel Hernandez, and he did not disappoint.
In the bottom of the third, Bryce Harper came to the plate to face Pirates pitcher Luis Ortiz. With the count full, Ortiz threw a pitch down and away, clearly out of the strike zone. Most fans thought that Harper was able to check his swing on the pitch. But most fans do not have years of umpiring expertise like Hernandez. Hernandez sagely decided that Harper did indeed swing at the pitch and called him out.
Harper did not react well to the call.
Bryce Harper lost it on Angel Hernandez after this check swing call pic.twitter.com/JLPpoNLWJy— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 28, 2023
I applaud Hernandez for ejecting Harper from the game. After 81 regular season home games, did anyone in attendance really want to see more of Bryce Harper? I’m sure most of them would much rather see the third base umpire impose himself on the game.
Other stuff that happened:
- Kyle Schwarber led off the game with his 46th home run of the season.
Schwarber looks ready for the postseason pic.twitter.com/Z3cBVLhSdV— John Foley (@2008Philz) September 28, 2023
- There wasn’t much offense after that. The Phillies only managed five hits, and three of them were by Trea Turner. Turner was responsible for the Phillies’ second run when he doubled and then scored on a throwing error by Pirates’ catcher Jason Delay.
- Zack Wheeler didn’t have the cleanest outing, but still only gave up one run in four innings in what basically served as a final tune-up before the playoffs.
- Matt Strahm was less successful, giving up two runs in his one inning of relief. Strahm might be the biggest wild card of any Phillies reliever as they enter the playoffs.
- Seriously, how is Angel Hernandez this bad at his job? A Major League Baseball umpire should not be this well-known among baseball fans.
It’s not just that Angel Hernandez is such a bad umpire, it’s that he almost seems to take pride in it— Smarty loves the Phillies (@TheSmartyJones) September 28, 2023
Anyway, the Phillies head to New York tomorrow to wrap up the regular season with three games against the hapless Mets. Will any of the umpires similarly impose themselves on the game? We can only hope!