Well, MLB‘s umpires have done it again. The Atlanta Braves were shafted in the fifth inning of Wednesday night’s game by home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor. It was after an error that put men on the corners and then a four-pitch walk by Braves’ starting pitcher Alex Wood loaded the bases. Jason Werth put up a decent at-bat until Wood threw a perfect 3-2 pitch that caught Werth looking. Well, so I thought.
Bucknor’s incompetence shined through once again as he called ball four, which blew the shutout, allowing the Washington Nationals to score their first run of the night. Wood didn’t hesitate to exclaim his distaste with the call, but he was saved by his manager Fredi Gonzalez, who took the fall and was ejected arguing the call. It looked like Bucknor knew he blew the call, it almost looked like he was even acknowledging his mistake to Gonzalez, though, I seriously doubt it.
Wood then gave up a sacrifice fly, giving the Nationals a two-run lead in a game where the Braves just couldn’t seem to hit. Roger McDowell pulled Wood from the game after that, Wood made sure to get his money’s worth as he yelled some perfectly called for, but not safe for work, comments toward the mound.
Umpires know that they’ve been bailed out, and it’s only a matter of weeks until they almost never have to endure the wrath of wronged ballplayers. Unfortunately, this kind of call will continue to happen as replays will not be utilized for ball and strike calls.
Bottom line is, Bucknor is the worst umpire in the game and how he still has a job, I cannot fathom.