The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t exactly gotten off to their desired start to 2022, but things could also be much worse. LA is still tops in the NL West with a 21-12 record (and that’s after losing three out of four at home to the Phillies), but their offense has been wildly streaky and their pitching staff continues to see guys go down with injuries.
On offense, though, the Dodgers aren’t getting the necessary production from hitters who were once focal points of the lineup. Specifically, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Trea Turner and Max Muncy just aren’t doing enough, with Muncy arguably being the worst of the bunch.
Why? Because he’s a valuable lefty bat who can play multiple positions, and the fact he’s hitting just .150 with an 81 OPS+ is really holding this team back. Man, what if this team hadn’t signed Freddie Freeman?
Anyway, Saturday night was the “apparent” low point for Muncy, who was believed to have been caught arguing a perfect strike down the middle of the plate with the home plate umpire. Not knowing the context of the situation, social media ripped Muncy to shreds, questioning why he thought he even had a reason to argue that call with the way he’s been performing to date.
Thanks to Dodgers broadcaster Joe Davis, though, we have more clarity on the back-and-forth, and it had nothing to do with the strike call. Sorry, haters, gotta put this one to bed right about now!
Dodgers’ Max Muncy did not argue that this perfect pitch wasn’t a strike
And it’s not like this occurred at a random point in the game. This was the bottom of the ninth inning with the Dodgers down by two runs. They got the leadoff man (Trea Turner) on against Jeurys Familia and then Muncy came to the plate. He took this strike, but then made it a point to let the ump know that Familia may have balked.
If you look closely, the right-hander didn’t come fully set before uncorking that 97 MPH fastball. That would’ve advanced Turner into scoring position if it was called by the ump.
Had this been deemed a balk, Muncy would’ve been in a 2-0 count and in a better position to get on base. After grounding into a fielder’s choice, though, Justin Turner hit the game-tying two-run homer before the Dodgers lost in extras. If Muncy reached safely, that’s a three-run walk-off blast.
The man is hardly making excuses for his play. He’s never done that. So for everyone to all of a sudden assume he’s now blind and can’t judge a strike over the middle was a short-sighted take that only lasted for 12 hours. Big thanks to Davis for pointing this out, because the last thing we needed was a bunch of trolls getting on the Dodgers’ case for something that wasn’t even accurate.