On Saturday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates and their gigantic shortstop took on the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. Angel Hernandez was part of the umpire crew, but was in the field this time around. He still managed to make a scene in the bottom of the third inning.
Brett Phillips was up to bat and smacked a grounder to second. He was thrown out without much trouble but hustled down the line and made it close enough for Hernandez to blow the call.
Not great! Fortunately, unlike when Hernandez is behind the plate, the Pirates had the ability to remedy the situation and challenged the call. Replay proved Phillips was out by a foot and change and the call was reversed.
In fairness, everybody blows a call like this sometimes. But benefit of the doubt is hard to come by when you’re the umpire under the biggest microscope in baseball like Hernandez is after the years he’s spent making bad calls. Pittsburgh escapes the consequences this time.