Bring on the robots: Giants' season ends on bad strike call originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
It's time for robot umpires.
You'd have to think that more members of the Giants organization feel that way after the way their season came to an end on Sunday. Needing a victory to book a trip to the postseason, the Giants fell 5-4 to the San Diego Padres on a day in which home plate umpire Rob Drake was downright terrible.
On several occasions, Giants hitters were sent back to the dugout after Drake called third strikes on pitches that were well outside of the strike zone. High, low, inside, outside ... there was no rhyme or reason. No consistency. No zone established. He was all over the place.
In the seventh inning, Austin Slater was called out on strikes on a pitch that was off the plate inside. Then, in the bottom of the ninth with the Giants' season hanging in the balance, Drake took the bat out of Slater's hands once again.
See for yourself:
Strike three to end the season? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/jIGOCnFTsJ— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 27, 2020
Rob Drake was awful all afternoon. Ended the game (and season) on this pitch. Bring on the robots. pic.twitter.com/jZeLTD1IMg— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) September 27, 2020
That's not a strike. Nor was the second strike called on Slater:
Take a bow, Rob Drake pic.twitter.com/MEjLV1RcIM— Dalton Johnson (@DaltonJ_Johnson) September 27, 2020
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We can't expect umpires -- human ones, at least -- to be perfect. But they're supposed to be consistent, and they're supposed to enforce the rules of the game. Drake failed to do that Sunday, and while the Padres deserve credit for spoiling the Giants' hopes, it's difficult not to feel like San Francisco got cheated a bit.
The Giants weren't supposed to be a playoff team and surpassed expectations across the board. When the dust settles on the season, they can feel good about the strides they made, but you can be sure they'll still have a sour taste in their mouths.