Umpire CB Bucknor Completely Botches End of Braves-Nationals Game with Insane Call (Videos)
Every year CB Bucknor is voted the worst umpire in Major League Baseball by players. If you want to understand why, just look at the debacle that unfolded in Atlanta on Tuesday night, where Bucknor was behind the plate for the Nats’ 3-1 win over the Braves.
The strike zone? Oh, it was ridiculous alright.
Jayson Werth just struck out. Didn’t swing at any pitch, yet somehow the umpire called 3 of these strikes… pic.twitter.com/5njgsP143q
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) April 19, 2017
But that’s not the big story here. The big story is the way the game ended. If there was a baseball Hall of Shame, this scene would be etched on Bucknor’s plaque.
With the Braves trailing by two with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, infielder Chase d’Arnaud swung and missed on a 1-2 slider from Washington close Shawn Kelley. Catcher Matt Wieters couldn’t quite hold on to the ball, but because there were runners on all the bags, he didn’t have to throw down to first. He just stepped on the plate and the game was over. Nats players started high-fiving each other. Braves players headed to the locker room. The stadium grounds crew started bringing out the rakes and hoses and various other items they use to keep the field in pristine condition.
Only, the game wasn’t over. Even though d’Arnaud missed the last pitch by a good six to eight inches, CB Bucknor thought he’d gotten a piece of it. So after conferring with the other umpires, he brought everyone back out there and made them do it again.
Check it out:
Nationals announcers Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo were absolutely flummoxed by the bizarre turn of events. You can hear some of their opinions in the edited clip provided by MLB. But some of them were conveniently cut out.
Here’s what you would have heard if you were watching the actual broadcast live:
The Braves were just as confused as the Nationals.
“I guess I tipped it. I didn’t feel it. I thought the game was over,” said Chase d’Arnaud. “The next thing I know, I’m back up there.”
“It looked like he missed it by about eight inches and they called a foul tip,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker.
Nationals outfielder/wild-eyed lumberjack Jayson Werth was particularly incensed:
“This is my like my 14th year in the big leagues. You see a lot of things, but when it’s consistently not with the standards of the league, I think something needs to be done. I just can’t believe that every time it’s bottom of the barrel. Every time. I know I’m handcuffed here. I can’t say a whole lot. I don’t want to get suspended. But these games are serious. That’s the thing. These games mean a lot. The game is over there, and all of a sudden it’s not over. I’m not even talking about balls and strikes or anything else. It just blows my mind that in a big league baseball game that can actually happen.”
Can you even imagine the shitstorm that would have ensued had d’Arnaud stepped back to the plate and cracked a game-tying hit?
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]