I hate grousing about the strike zone, because usually it’s even – good or bad – on both sides. And that might be the case today. But, man, the pitch before Jason Hammel gave up a two-run homer to Will Middlebrooks, he threw a perfect two-seamer on the outside of the plate for strike three. Except it wasn’t called strike three. It was called a ball. That’s a two-run blown call by the ump.
That said, Hammel gave up at least three other shots that, on a day with no wind, are way out of the park. As it stood, the Padres got three warning track outs, and Hammel chuckled. I was over it.
… BUT THEN THE SAME ******* THING HAPPENED IN THE SEVENTH INNING.
Brian Schlitter comes in with two on and two outs, strikes out Wil Myers with a perfect pitch. Except it’s called a ball, unbelievably. Next pitch? Three-run homer, giving the Padres a 5-4 lead. I was apoplectic.
Joe Maddon was, too, because he essentially said the same things to homeplate ump Sam Holbrook (“All five runs”), and was promptly tossed.
All right. I’m taking a breath. Every season, games like this happen. The team loses when it “shouldn’t” have lost. When the fates conspired to steal a win through no fault of the Cubs (well, you know, except the bad extra pitches by Hammel and Schlitter). It happens.
Outside of that, the Cubs played a winnable game today, despite a rough debut for Kris Bryant at the plate (0-4 with 3 Ks). Bryant played excellently in the field, though, so at least there was that.
All in all, the game, itself, leaves you with an incredibly sour taste in your mouth at the back end of what was otherwise a very fun day.
OK, I’m back to being angry: