Umpire Ron Kulpa admits he blew call that gave Mets win
Home plate umpire Ron Kulpa admitted that he blew the call that awarded the New York Mets a controversial win on Thursday.
Mets outfielder Michael Conforto was hit on the elbow with the bases loaded in the 9th to drive in the winning run. The pitch was clearly a strike, and Kulpa was preparing to punch Conforto out before awarding him first base. Controversially, Conforto appeared to lower his elbow to induce the hit by pitch. You can see the decisive play by clicking here.
After the game, Kulpa admitted that he’d blown the call and should have called Conforto out, as the pitch was in the strike zone.
Umpire Ron Kulpa tells the pool reporter he messed up the HBP call at the end of the game. Quotes below. pic.twitter.com/IzcHochpoI
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) April 8, 2021
MLB rule 6.08 explicitly states that if a batter is hit by a pitch when the pitch is in the strike zone, the pitch should be ruled a strike, regardless of whether he attempts to get out of the way or not. That aspect of the play was not reviewable on the field.
It’s good that Kulpa took accountability for the bad call. It doesn’t change anything, though, and it’s unlikely to make the Miami Marlins feel much better.