Near Perfection For Darvish, Controversial Call For Kupla

Yu Darvish pitches one-hitter

Written by Josh Hoffert (@WhatTheHOFF)


Yu Darvish pitches one-hitter (near perfect game)

Yu Darvish pitches a one-hitter

Yu Darvish pitched a near no-hitter the other night against the Houston Astros.  In a game that saw Darvish strikeout 15 batters, it also saw something we have been seeing too often lately; controversial calls by the home-plate umpire.

After striking out two more batters in the sixth, Yu was well on his way to a perfect game.  The count was full when it appeared another strike was thrown.  By the initial reaction of Darvish, he seemed to think he had another K, but a ball was called and Jonathan Villar took his base.

The video below will show that the ball appeared to drop off at the end.  In my honest opinion, it looked like a strike to me.  The pitch takes place as soon as the video starts, so be sure to reset it a bunch of times to get a good look at the ball.

The call ended up being a “ball” and the runner took his base.  It’s clearly an arguable call, so I don’t blame AJ Pierzynski for standing up for his pitcher.  What really bothers me though, is the fact that the umpire – Ron Kupla – feels the need to toss Pierzynski from the game.  Here’s what AJ had to say about the situation:

“Was it a strike? I don’t know, obviously I thought it was and Ron didn’t, and I was upset we walked the guy and I said a bad word and I was ejected.”

I don’t know what exactly Pierzynski said to Kupla, but I highly doubt it was enough to actually get him tossed from the game.  To me, this was just an overreaction.  The ejection was completely unnecessary.

A controversial call was the end of Darvish’s bid for a perfect game.  Meanwhile, Carlos  Corporan ended Yu’s effort at a no-hitter in the eighth with a home run.

All in all, it was a great pitching performance by Yu Darvish.  The way the game unfolded though, makes me question the umpires of the MLB.  I only expect Pierzynski to stand up for his pitcher in a situation like that.  What kind of competitor would he be if he just let it go?  So he said a “swear word”, get over it Ron.  WhatTheHOFF?

Do you think the pitch was a strike?  And did Ron Kupla have the right to eject AJ?


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