Victor Robles strikes out on bad call by umpire Lance Barksdale
The Washington Nationals were robbed of a potential rally in the bottom of the seventh inning on Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night by a bad call from home plate umpire Lance Barksdale.
Victor Robles was batting with a full count and a runner on first with two outs and his Nats down 4-1 to the Houston Astros. The 3-2 pitch from Gerrit Cole was on the upper edge of the strike zone and outside. Robles took the pitch and started to head to first but was called out on strikes by Barksdale.
MLB.com tracked the pitch as being outside (see ball labeled “6”):
What a godawful call by Lance Barksdale on strike three. (6) pic.twitter.com/ShGtLutG1H
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 28, 2019
A gift For Cole pic.twitter.com/L43EgNUI6K
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) October 28, 2019
The worst part for the Nats is the timing. Juan Soto had homered in the inning and Ryan Zimmerman later walked. Cole was towards the end of his outing, so if that had been a walk, he probably would have been pulled and a reliever would have had to enter the game in a tough situation. Instead, relief pitcher Joe Smith got to begin the bottom of the 8th with a clean frame.