Veteran umpire Angel Hernandez had an ALDS he probably wants to forget. On Monday night he served as the first base ump, where he somehow blew three different calls. They all went to replay and were overturned. Talk about a brutal night. Because of the way the rotation shook out, Hernandez found himself behind the plate for a critical Game Four. That’s where he ran into CC Sabathia.
Sabathia had a laborious, and ultimately costly, start for the Yankees. He allowed three runs on five hits over three innings of work. He struck out just one batter. After the game, however, he wasted little time in expressing his disapproval of Hernandez’s work.
He had this to say members of the media assembled in the locker room:
“I do need to say this, though, I don’t think Angel Hernandez should be umping a playoff game. He’s absolutely terrible. He was terrible behind the plate today. He’s terrible at first base. It’s amazing how he’s getting a job to umpire in these playoff games.”
The left-hander later doubled down on the sentiments, saying: “He’s bad. I don’t understand why he’s doing these games.”
Sabathia took umbrage with Hernandez’s strike zone in particular. There were a few egregious miscalls, but I thought that it was solid based on the eye test. A closer look shows that his zone wasn’t exactly terrible.
The two have history, however, and that undoubtedly lingered in Sabathia’s mind. On the other hand, Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello heard the comments and offered his own assessment.
Rick Porcello wasn’t having this. He said: “Throw the ball over the plate C.C. I thought Angel Hernandez called a good game. You gotta out the ball over the white part of the plate and then you get the strikes called.” https://t.co/uF4yORR3cO— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) October 10, 2018
Sabathia, 38, will hit free agency this winter. He signed a one-year, $10 million contract last December. The left-hander had a mostly positive season, logging 153 innings of 3.65 ERA (4.16 FIP) ball in 2018. He definitely wants to play next season, and the Yankees need pitching. As long as he’s not their top target, I’m so down for another year with Sabathia. If anything, I want him to outduel Porcello with Hernandez calling balls and strikes.