Joey Votto has one of, if not the best, batting eyes in baseball. Angel Hernandez is one of, if not the worst, umpire working behind the plate. The two were on a collision course for fireworks today in Cincinnati, where the Red played the Cubs. And friends, what you’re about to see is tough to watch.
Hernandez not once, not twice, but three times rung Votto up on pitches outside of the strike zone.
Now, far be it for me to defend Hernandez here. But the first one — a pristine fastball from Jon Lester, was good enough to get the benefit of the doubt. The second one was really bad and some of the least believable framing I’ve ever seen work. The third one looked worse because Votto ducked down.
Still, it is rough to get punched out on balls outside the zone three times in one game. And Votto, well, he handled it with dignity and class. Perhaps because he was so confused, his world so thrown into chaos that he knew no other way. Maybe he’s still processing it.
As is always the case with Hernandez: if you really dislike him, then your real beef shouldn’t be with him personally but the powers that allow him to keep working crucial games with no consequence. When his name comes up in the rotation fans would be a lot healthier mentally to just accept that it’s going to be a wild ride.