The Rays players and manager Joe Maddon weren't the only ones shocked by the blown call that ended the Rays' 5-4 loss Monday night to the Texas Rangers.
As Maddon was charging out of the dugout to plead with home plate umpire Marty Foster about the strike three call against Ben Zobrist, which clearly showed the pitch by Joe Nathan was about six inches outside, Rays fans took to social media sites to express their disdain over the ending.
And while Foster admitted that he had indeed blew the call after seeing the replay after the game, that did little to quell the reaction.
Here's a sampling from Twitter:
The last pitch, a curveball, was low and outside. Zobrist put both hands on his helmet and took it off in disbelief while Maddon quickly came out and argued with the umpires for several minutes, even standing in front of them at the gate where they exit the field.
“I saw the pitch and of course don't have the chance to do it again,” Foster told a pool reporter after the game. “But had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn't call that pitch a strike.”
A.J. Pierzynski, the new Rangers catcher who was once traded for Nathan, said he heard Foster call strike, and went out to congratulate his teammate on becoming the 24th major leaguer with 300 saves.
“Did I draw it up like this for my 300th (save)? No. But we'll take it,” Nathan said. “I knew I was throwing it there. The fact is I thought it was ball four. I thought he might offer at it. When he didn't, my mindset went more to concentrate on what we've got to do with (Evan) Longoria now. I think I might have been the last guy on the field to realize the game was over.”
The Rays may have been a little more diplomatic in their reaction, but they made it clear that they thought it was a bad call.
“My only comment on the whole situation, my only thought is that cannot happen in a major league baseball game,” Maddon said, adding: “To have the game stolen from you is very difficult.”
“I was very shocked. And I think everybody was shocked,” Zobrist said. “I was just trying to explain to him (Foster) that it wasn't just outside. It was down, too. I mean it was a ball. But like I said, Marty's like everybody else. He's going to make mistakes at times. It's part of all of us as we're trying to get better in the game.”
Added Jeremy Hellickson, who celebrated his 26th birthday by being the losing pitcher: “That was probably the worse call I've ever seen. That was horrible.”
Foster said Maddon was very professional.
“He was frustrated and I understand,” Foster said. “He acted probably the best he can under that situation.”