In yesterday’s loss, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the 7th inning for arguing a check swing call that didn’t go the Cubs’ way.
With Trevor Cahill pitching to Paul Goldschmidt, it looked like the Cubs righty had struck out Goldschmidt on a 3-2 pitch with a nice changeup, on which Goldschmidt couldn’t quite hold up.
Except after an appeal to first, the umps said he did hold up his swing. It was a walk, and Joe Maddon was not happy:
What do you think on that one?
I have to admit, I thought after watching the front view that it was an egregious missed call, but the side view made it surprisingly close. The definition of a swinging strike it murkier than you may have thought (which is to say, there really isn’t one), with umpires required to determine whether the batter genuinely offered at the pitch (yes, sometimes we use markers like breaking the wrists, passing the plate, etc. – but those are just ways to assist the determination). It’s often just a “I know it when I see it” kind of thing.
On that one? I think it was probably a swing. Goldschmidt goes all the way down with the pitch, and comes quite a ways forward. His wrists don’t break, to me, he offered at that pitch and, sensing in that instant that he was going to whiff, used his mighty forearms to hold himself up. But I think he was too late. I know it when I see it, I guess.
But it was reeeeally close. I can’t fault the home plate ump for not calling it (I actually rather dislike when the home plate ump calls a checked swing strike instead of just asking the base ump), nor the first base ump for not calling it (though, again, he probably should have). I also can’t fault Maddon and Cahill for beefin’, because it sure looked like a swing.
There was no significant impact on the game, though the Cubs did have to go to the bullpen for the final out in that inning.