No, this is not an April Fool’s joke a week late. The extremely low and extremely outside breaking ball from Joe Nathan was called strike three against Ben Zobrist. And to make matters worse, the pitch – which caused catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s glove to touch the ground – ended the game and snuffed out a Tampa Bay comeback attempt that had seen the Rays score two runs in the eighth and a run in the ninth to cut the deficit to one run.
Congratulations to Joe Nathan on picking up his 300th career save, but as the guys from MLB Network and Joe Nathan himself said about the called strike three…WOW!
Home plate umpire Marty Foster acknowledged he blew the call after the game, and said that if he had it to do over again he would not have called it a strike. The Rays can only hope that they do not find themselves in a position where one win is the difference between a division title or playoff berth at the end of the season, or this will leave an incredibly bad taste in the mouth.
Reaction from the MLB Network crew and an interview with Joe Nathan
React from Rangers manager Ron Washington
React from Ben Zobrist and Rays manager Joe Maddon