Umpire Laz Diaz called a strike that wasn’t a strike to end the A’s season and send the Astros to the ALCS
There are plenty of unsatisfying ways to see an MLB playoff series end. On Thursday, umpire Laz Diaz demonstrated one of the worst.
On a full count in the top of the ninth, Khris Davis watched a pitch from Ryan Pressly. Even though the ball sat below the strike zone, the ump called the strike and the series.
If you need to see the video to believe it, here it is:
Let’s be clear, the likelihood of the A’s pulling off the comeback was slim. They trailed 11-6 with two outs in the inning. However, a walk would have loaded the bases.
Houston scored five runs in the fourth inning. The A’s had all the momentum. Crazier things have happened.
Laz Diaz’s questionable reputation was on display in the Astros-Athletics game
A’s fans weren’t the only ones who have noticed Diaz’s questionable strike calls throughout the playoffs.
The Yankees had major complaints just a couple of days ago.
It’s really the principle of it all that grates. These are the playoffs. The level of umpires should rise along with the competition.
On the plus side, the outcome of the series was more the result of the teams than the umpires. The Astros found their groove and even got Jose Altuve to heat up. They scored five runs or more in each outing against Oakland. Meanwhile, the A’s pitching staff was blasted throughout the season.
Even if the called strike was a bad way to end the series, the Astros won it fair and squad (without trash cans or buzzers at least).