Anthony Rendon missed 14 games while a left elbow contusion healed, before returning to the Washington Nationals’ lineup for the first time since April 26th, six days after he’d been hit on the left elbow in an April 20th game in Miami. Rendon tested the elbow after the hit-by-pitch, and it didn’t react well, so he ended up going on the 10-Day Injured List on April 30th.
In his first at bat upon being reinstated from the IL, Rendon got hit by a pitch thrown by the Milwaukee Brewers’ “opener” Adrian Houser. Rendon shrugged off the 94 MPH fastball that caught him on the upper arm/ribs on the left side, and took his base, then K’d swinging the second time up, and grounded into a double play in his third trip to the plate, before he took an 0-2 pitch from Freddy Peralta for a called strike three in what was a 0-0 game in the seventh inning in Miller Park.
Rendon did not like home plate umpire CB Bucknor’s called third strike, and he let the ump know it, going so far as to walk over and tap the ground where he thought the pitch was, just outside the zone on the opposite side of the plate...
Rated R for language (we assume). pic.twitter.com/zMfVzPSAre— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 8, 2019
Was it a strike? MLB.com’s GameDay image shows a pitch that clipped the outside edge on the way outside...
Here are BaseballSavant.com’s views (from the Batter’s & Umpire’s perspective):
Brooksbaseball.net has it catching the outside corner (inside of the zone):
So... too close to take? Bad call by Bucknor? No reason to get tossed in a 0-0 game? If Rendon doesn’t swing it is not a strike?
Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez was asked for his thoughts on the ejection.
“I couldn’t come out fast enough,” Martinez said.
“One, I couldn’t get up the steps that quick, and when you draw the line with your bat, umpires tend to not — but he felt he had an argument there, and he’s frustrated. I’m not going to blame him for that, I mean, he knows, just it was unfortunate.”
“I told him he was wrong, maybe a couple other words,” Rendon said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game.
“I know better in that situation not to get tossed, but he definitely got the best of me, so ... happens.”
Also, Rendon brought props to his post game interview:
Anthony Rendon ends his postgame press conference by taping to his locker two photos from the last pitch of his final at-bat, the pitcher’s view and the umpire’s view. CB Bucknor called it a strike and ejected Rendon. Both photos show the ball outside.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) May 8, 2019