Maybe it’s time to let our robot umpire overlords reign supreme. At the very least, Cubs fans would be well within their rights in calling for the technology that will, in theory if not yet in practice, remove human error from strikes and balls, after Chicago was on the wrong end of one of the worst strike three calls you will ever see.
In the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday night, Cubs pinch hitter Tony Kemp had a golden chance to get Chicago back into a game they were trailing 4-2. With a runner on first and no outs, Kemp stepped in against Phillies reliever Hector Neris and quickly went down 1-2 in the count. Neris’s fifth pitch should have evened the count at 2-2, as it was clearly high and outside.
Or so you, your family, your close friends, that one neighbor you hate, and everyone in the world except home plate umpire Marty Foster would think:
It gets even better, or worse if you’re a Cubs fan. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the called third strike was an virtually unprecedented event:
Neris got out of the inning after the Kemp strikeout that shouldn’t have been, handing the Phillies the 4-2 win to open the series. Phillies fans, as always, were courteous about the blown call: