Team USA lost to Puerto Rico by a 6-5 score on Friday night, sending Puerto Rico to the finals and putting USA in a must win game on Saturday night. In the sixth inning of this contest, Andrew McCutchen was ejected for arguing a third strike call (see photo below). McCutchen seemed to think the second strike call was outside, then after a ball in the dirt, he went down looking on a 1-2 pitch that was low and outside. After a quick exchange of words, he was tossed by the home plate umpire.

McCutchen started in right field and batted lead-off. He grounded out to lead-off the game, then lined out to left field in his second at-bat. The ejection came in his third at-bat.

Josh Harrison made his first start of the WBC and played second base, batting ninth. He flew out to center field in the third inning, then popped up to second base in the fifth. In the seventh inning, he grounded out to third base to end the inning. In the top of the ninth, he came up with two outs and the tying run on third base, but Harrison struck out to end the game.

Team USA takes on the Dominican Republic tonight at 10 PM on MLB network. The winner of that game will advance to the finals and round out the four-team field, where Japan and Netherlands were joined by Puerto Rico tonight. Regardless of what happens Saturday night, half of the four Pirates participating in the WBC will see their tournament end and the other two will play in the final round, which is an elimination round consisting of three games total.

Here is a still shot of the pitch called strike three, which got McCutchen ejected.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t wait for the day when cameras and computers call the strikes and balls for the umps. It’s just ridiculous. This leads to what, 30,000 missed calls every season?

    • I am not one of them freddy, but there are a whole lot of people out there who would argue that point with you.

      • People always argue tradition but there are plenty of really flawed traditions out there and many that have gone away. Umps will still make the call but after they get the signal instantly via earpiece or whatever.

    • I reluctantly agree. I don’t like that it would eliminate the need for some of the skill with catching. I wish they’d force the umps to position correctly first and then if they are still blowing calls this bad bring on the robots.

      • They would have to really improve…which they won’t. It’s just humanly impossible to be accurate enough to keep up with the technology available. Even if they improved by 30% there would still be 20,000 missed calls. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I think I got that 30K a year # off a Bryant Gumbel real sports story.

        • Understood. I think I’m fine with them missing close ones. If a pitcher is dominating with pin point control, it’s cool watching them use their dominance to stretch the zone out a bit. The one that are infuriating are like this case, a terrible call on the outside because the umpire decided to set up behind the right handed batters box. I’d like the umpire and the catcher to stay put. If the technology allowed, I’d love to keep the human umpire but have the computer overrule him on blown calls that were out of line with some preset accuracy allowance.

    • Ugh. It’s part of the game. I wouldn’t disagree 100%. I wouldn’t mind a set of games designated for this; For example, Sunday Night Baseball. It would be interesting, but I don’t like the idea of trying to achieve perfection.

  2. Cutch was right, it wasn’t a strike. But I am concerned he hasn’t addressed his mental approach to these situations. I thought his “the umps aren’t treating me fairly” paranoia was a big part of his slump last year.

    • To me it seems that Cutch has a very, very high level of understanding of the strike zone and whether any given pitch will be a strike or ball almost the instant it comes out of the pitcher’s hand. Joey Votto may be the only other hitter in the league with such an acute sense of strike zone awareness and like Votto, the only times you truly see Cutch get really upset with umps is when they steal strikes against him.

  3. Wow, shouldn’t the ump have an umpire box he’s retired to stay in so he can actually see if the ball is over the plate? Might as well take a seat in the dugout to rest his legs

    • As an Umpire, we are taught to be in the slot. The umpire is in the slot, you can see the outside of the plate fine. The call was wrong but he isn’t out of position to make the call.

  4. That was a garbage call, and holy crap, what a short fuse on the umpire. From the side angle it looked like the ball was actually lower than the still you’ve provided here, too. There’s no reason to toss a guy that quick for disputing a strike three call, especially when you so obviously blew it.

    • though the pitch was a ball
      your depiction of the pitch was also incorrect
      thanks for the side angle.

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