But he can only do so much when he's getting pitches called on him like the one during Tuesday night's loss in Philadelphia.
With a runner on first base and the Cubs trailing by 2 runs, Kemp worked the count to 1-2 before staring at a pitch that seemed clearly high and outside...
...Except home plate umpire Marty Foster had other ideas:
We're not sure what a strike is anymore.... pic.twitter.com/hFzbSybU50
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) August 14, 2019
Yes, that was a fastball, so it's not like it had major break like a curveball or slider.
Here's another angle:
And here's a still shot of Kemp's reaction and how far out of the zone the ball was when it crossed the plate:
That pitch is called a strike exactly...never:
According to @ESPNStatsInfo the strike 3 call on Kemp in the 9th inning had a 0.00 percent chance of being called a strike. (Based on history of that pitch)
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 14, 2019
Who knows how the inning would've played out if that pitch wasn't called a strike, but it certainly took an out away from the Cubs while they attempted to mount a rally in the ninth against Phillies closer Hector Neris. The game ended a couple batters later when Jason Heyward grounded out with a pair of runners on base.
At the end of the day, the Cubs didn't lose because of the umpire - they finished with only 2 runs on 5 hits and allowed a run off an error when second baseman Ian Happ dropped a routine popup.
But Foster's call will go down as just another chapter in the wackiness and tough breaks that follow the Cubs wherever they go on the road, running their record away from Wrigley Field to 23-36.
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