Los Angeles Dodgers fans saw it all weekend. The St. Louis Cardinals clearly benefitted from inconsistent umpiring behind the plate, which played an influential role in the Dodgers losing the series by dropping the Saturday and Sunday contests.
The first came on Saturday when Mookie Betts was rung up on a ball off the plate to end the game. It was a 3-2 count with a runner on second and two outs. Should Betts have been protecting the plate?
Sure. But the ump also needs to make the right call, and Paul Emmel failed do that twice in the same inning.
LA lost that one 6-5 and then dealt with similar issues during Sunday's finale with a different ump behind the dish. This time, the crew wasn't so lucky to have Betts politely eat the call and be as professional as possible about it.
They had the pleasure of botching the situation with Max Muncy as the victim. And the man with the second-most homers in MLB didn't let them off easy.
Dodgers' Max Muncy ejected, yells at ump who blew Mookie Betts call
Muncy's ejection wasn't as simple as yelling at the umps to let out his frustration. He spotted inconsistencies with how the calls were being made, and it didn't help that tensions were boiling over from the night prior.
Though this one ended in a 10-5 Cardinals victory, the Dodgers only trailed by two runs at the time of Muncy's ejection and LA rallied the next inning. Things could've been different if the Dodgers were able to capitalize sooner and potentially chase Jack Flaherty from the game. Everyone knows the night prior was almost guaranteed to be different if this call wasn't missed.
What stood out most was Muncy's explanation for his righteous indignation, which is something Rob Manfred and the MLB offices should take note of. He specifically mentioned getting rung up on that 2-2 pitch from the video above despite the pitch prior in almost the exact same location being called a ball.
Muncy said catcher Willson Contreras chirped at the ump, telling him that he had missed the call, leading home plate ump Nic Lentz to call a strike on the next pitch. Once that happened, Muncy lost his cool, admitting that he took it too far when he approached Emmel at third base.
Muncy said he felt the umpiring crew was being "bullied" by the Cardinals, which resulted in inconsistencies that solely disadvantaged the Dodgers.
If that was the case all weekend, then there's absolutely a reason for MLB to be in the know because players cannot be influencing calls. Like Muncy said, whether it was a ball or a strike, it didn't matter -- all that matters was that the calls were consistent so the players would be able to get a grasp on the crew's tendencies. If they're flip-flopping, then there's utter chaos.
Another win for the robot ump crowd.