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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Royals announcers left speechless after umpire misses strike on first pitch of game

Cole Ragans throws the first pitch to Gunnar Henderson during Royals-Orioles game

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Cole Ragans on Saturday was on the wrong end of potentially the worst missed strike call of the season so far.

The Royals were facing off against the Baltimore Orioles in the second contest of their three-game series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Ragans threw a fastball right down the middle to open the game against Orioles leadoff hitter Gunnar Henderson. Home plate umpire Ryan Blakney somehow called the pitch a ball, which left the Royals’ Bally Sports broadcast booth in disbelief.

“Fastball is right down the middle for ball one,” said Royals’ play-by-play announcer Ryan Lefebvre.

“What?! My goodness! Not on pitch one!” replied color commentator Rex Hudler.

“What part of that pitch is not a strike?” Lefebvre added.

The pitch didn’t end up haunting Royals. Henderson still struck out on four pitches without Henderson ever swinging the bat.

Ragans even got a generous strike-three call on a borderline pitch near the bottom of the strike zone. Perhaps it was a gesture from Blakney to make amends for the blown call on the first pitch.

The Royals, however, ended up losing 9-7 after the Orioles put up seven runs in the 2nd inning.

Kansas City nearly mounted a comeback when they got as close as 8-7 in the bottom of the 7th. But they fell just short of overcoming the 7-0 hole Baltimore buried them in.

The Royals were outhit 15-8 in the contest. Henderson was one of five Orioles players with a multi-hit effort in the victory.

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