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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

Umpire Lance Barksdale robbed Nationals of strikeout for worst reason

Lance Barksdale Nationals

The Washington Nationals have a truly legitimate case for being upset with home plate umpire Lance Barksdale on Sunday night.

Barksdale robbed Tanner Rainey of what should have been a strikeout of Michael Brantley in the top of the sixth inning of Game 5. With a 2-2 count to lead off the inning, Rainey threw a heater low and in that should have been called strike three. But Barksdale did not call it a strike.

In his exchange with Nationals catcher Yan Gomes, Barksdale seemed to blame the catcher for jumping up too early after catching the pitch, suggesting that was the reason for him not calling a strike.

Gomes received the pitch and jumped up as if he were going to throw the ball to his third baseman because he was expecting a strikeout call. Barksdale seemed to hold that against Gomes. That’s just a truly silly reason for an umpire not to call a third strike.

An inning later, Barksdale blew a full count pitch call on Victor Robles and called strike three for what should have been ball four. Instead of having a 2-out rally and chasing Gerrit Cole from the game, the inning ended with the Nats down 4-1. They ended up losing 7-1.

Rainey was able to get out Michael Brantley on the pitch after Barksdale missed the call, but he never should have been put into that position in the first place.


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