Juan Soto took a called third strike in the third on a changeup down in the zone that MLB’s GameDay pitch tracker had clipping the bottom of the zone. Soto didn’t like it.
Back-to-back backwards Ks by Dozier and Anthony Rendon in the fifth, on a 2-2 cutter out of the zone away to Dozier, and a high 2-2 fastball that had Rendon shaking his head at umpire Tony Randazzo, resulted in some drama.
Rendon reacting the way he did, which is relatively rare, led Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez to let Randazzo know that he needed to pick up his game. It didn’t get particularly heated, but the second-year manager was hot enough that he got tossed. Martinez said after the game, a 7-3 loss, that he didn’t think he deserved to be ejected.
WATCH: Davey Martinez discusses his ejection by home plate umpire Tony Randazzo for arguing balls and strikes. pic.twitter.com/6xpWejv3Rr— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) April 17, 2019
“I was in the dugout, I just told him, ‘Hey, let’s go. You’ve got to be better than that.’ I didn’t cuss, I didn’t say much other than, ‘Let’s go,’ and what really irritated me was him putting his hand up in my face, pretty much, so I can tolerate a lot of things, but don’t do that. I have a lot of respect for umpires, everybody knows that, I typically don’t complain too much about them but him walking down towards our dugout when I’m in the dugout?
“I hope the league looks at that, because you know, like I said, I didn’t say much to get really tossed, but he felt like I said enough.”
Tony Randazzo ejects Davey Martinez pic.twitter.com/HqZGjCH4VD— Rudy Gersten (@DCBarno) April 17, 2019
Asked if was just the two called third strikes on Dozier and Rendon that set things off, Martinez said it was those and more.
“It was just some of the calls,” he explained. “The three-second delay on Soto, the calls on Dozier, the one on Rendon, we could go on, but like I said, I’m not much to complain about umpires, they’ve got a job to do, I get it, but at some point I’ve got to say my piece, and Rendon doesn’t ever hardly complain, and when he complains, it was about that time.”
Brooksbaseball.net and MLB’s GameDay both had the called third strike to Dozier as a ball, though they didn’t necessarily agree on the location of the pitch to Rendon:
No. 6 to Dozier:
No. 5 to Rendon:
Dozier got jobbed. That pitch didn’t look like a strike live, and doesn’t look like one on the pitch charts.
We’re conditioned to think that if Rendon doesn’t swing, it’s not a strike, but that might be bias after watching him hit throughout his career and admiring his plate discipline.
Did Martinez deserve the ejection? Did Randazzo overreact? Was it inconsistency that was frustrating the Nationals, as FP Santangelo suggested was likely on the MASN broadcast?
Will the league actually look at the calls and the ejection and chastise Randazzo if they do agree with Martinez, or will everyone forget about this by the time the second game with the Giants starts tonight?