Tuesday night's display at Dodger Stadium will be long remembered for Dodgers rookie James Outman's Reestablishment Party, the ninth inning's wild heroics on both sides, and some all-time, two-out hustle from Will Smith on a Chris Taylor smash towards second base.
Luckily, because of all those theatrics, it probably won't be remembered as one of the worst-umpired games of the 2023 season behind the plate. It still was, though.
Umpire CB Bucknor, ranked 76th in MLB this season in efficiency behind the plate (out of 85 umps), has technically taken a step forward in accuracy this season. Last year, he finished third from the bottom.
You wouldn't know he was mid-renaissance if you'd only watched Tuesday night's showdown, though. Bucknor missed 24 calls behind the plate, according to the Umpire Auditor, many of them egregious. Don't believe us? Just watch the full compilation!
Dodgers, Blue Jays both defeated home plate umpire CB Bucknor
Luckily, MLB has introduced the challenge system to remove catastrophic mistakes on plays at the plate and mad dashes to first. We're still ways away from the automatic ball-strike challenge, though, so Bucknor has free rein to miss the corners and call "paint" on misses off the plate to his heart's content.
Ultimately, though, shoutout to Brusdar Graterol for getting a solid six inches off the plate inside against Bo Bichette in extras, even though it ultimately set up Bichette's smash to right and a play at the dish that went the Dodgers' way. Bad umpiring is a bummer, but we'll take home cooking.
Bucknor was so bad on Tuesday he must've thought his enemy Oli Marmol had been fired and rehired as the Dodgers' bench coach.
The Dodgers and Jays will be back at it for the rubber match on Wednesday at 1:10 PST before a much-needed off day and a visit from the Reds. Luckily, any of Bucknor's Wednesday mistakes should get handled by the replay room before they have a chance to affect the outcome of this one.