If you watched Game 3 between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, chances are you walked way thinking, “How the hell does Angel Hernandez have a job?”
Well, get ready for more of the same, as the 57-year-old will be the homeplate umpire for Tuesday night’s Game 4 of the American League Division Series.
Hernandez served as the first base umpire Monday night at Yankee Stadium, and had three (!) calls overturned during the game. They had no influence on the outcome — Boston won 16-1 to take a 2-1 lead in best-of-five series — but it was an embarrassing night for Hernandez nonetheless.
Hernandez, who currently is suing Major League Baseball on grounds of alleged racial discrimination, has been slammed for the poor performance. Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez, for one, went off during TBS’ postgame coverage, saying Hernandez is “horrible” and “as bad as there is.”
YES Network also had much to say about Hernandez’s rough Game 3:
So, too, did CBS Sports Radio:
Hernandez declined to comment after the game, but MLB issued the following statement:
So, should the Red Sox be concerned that Hernandez will be behind the plate for a potential series clincher?
Consider this note from WEEI’s Rob Bradford:
“He has never called balls and strikes for a Rick Porcello-pitched game, but has served in that capacity four times over Yankees’ starter CC Sabathia’s career,” Bradford wrote Monday night. “In the four games, Hernandez has been Sabathia’s home plate umpire, the lefty has allowed just five runs over 31 innings.
“This season there has been just one game with such a dynamic, with Sabathia allowing just one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings.”
Now, neither Red Sox fans nor Yankees fans should be concerned about any potential bias. Say what you want about Hernandez, but there’s no reason to believe there’s anything nefarious behind his poor calls.
But can he be relied upon to make accurate balls and strike calls? We shall see.