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Umpire in Blue Jays game missed a shocking number of calls

·3-min read
Charlie Montoyo manager of the Toronto Blue Jays argues with home plate umpire Jeff Nelson during a game against the Oakland Athletics. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Charlie Montoyo manager of the Toronto Blue Jays argues with home plate umpire Jeff Nelson during a game against the Oakland Athletics. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Umpire Jeff Nelson's fingerprints were all over the Toronto Blue Jays' 7-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

According to Twitter account Umpire Auditor, which tracks missed calls across MLB, the 56-year-old missed a total of 27 calls in the game.

The called strikes were so egregious that typically timid Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo got heated enough after two calls on Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Matt Chapman – both called strikes that were several inches outside of the strike zone – to get ejected.

“I’m watching the game and I feel like I had to protect my players,” Montoyo said. “That’s just what it was.”

No, your eyes were not deceiving you. Just take a look at Nelson's scorecard, which makes it obvious just how costly his mistakes ended up being.

Even the most staunch traditionalist can't deny that getting only 68 percent of the strikes called correctly is an abomination that should not happen at the highest level in the sport. In total, Nelson's calls led to an approximate 1.41 run advantage for Oakland, which makes the 7-5 score sting a little bit more.

The Blue Jays weren't the only ones who had calls go against them, but there certainly were some discrepancies.

In one example, a Hyun-jin Ryu curveball going just 69 mph fooled the batter and apparently Nelson, as it was called a ball on the outside. This was just the third pitch of the game. Shortly after, in the bottom of the second, Blue Jays infielder Santiago Espinal got dinged with a strike on the first pitch he sees. The pitch to Espinal was called poorly enough for broadcaster Dan Shulman to even let out a “wow” live on air.

Fortunately for the Blue Jays, they were able to put the early-season loss behind them and win the series against Oakland with a 4-3 victory in the rubber match on Sunday.

The Blue Jays have now been involved in the three least accurately umpired games this season, according to Umpire Scorecards. Toronto's April 9 and 10 matchups against the Texas Rangers ranked second and third worst, respectively.

After the first 10 games of the 2022 season, Toronto sits atop the AL East with a 6-4 record.

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