Longtime ump Angel Hernandez has 3 calls reversed in ALDS Game 3

ByDavid Schoenfield ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

NEW YORK -- The ball kept finding Angel Hernandez. That isn't necessarily a good thing if you're the first-base umpire.

The 57-year-old veteran umpire saw four plays reviewed at first base in the first four innings Monday of the Boston Red Sox's 16-1 win over New York Yankeesin Game 3 of their American League Division Series -- and three were overturned.

It also appeared that Hernandez might have missed the fourth play, but it was too close to overturn with certainty.

The four plays:

In the bottom of the second, Didi Gregorius was initially ruled safe on a bunt attempt that would have put runners at first and second for the Yankees with none out, but the call was overturned, and the Yankees didn't score in the inning.

In the bottom of the third, Gleyber Torres led off and was called out an infield grounder, but the call was changed to an infield hit. The Yankees failed to capitalize and didn't score.

In the bottom of the fourth, Luke Voit beat an infield single that glanced off pitcher Nathan Eovaldi's glove. The Red Sox challenged, and the call was upheld.

Later in the inning, Hernandez called Gregorius out on a 4-6-3 double-play ball, but the Yankees challenged, and the play was reversed to an RBI fielder's choice.

Hernandez doesn't have the best reputation among major league umpires, but his overturn rate is only slightly worse than average.

Over the past three regular seasons, he has seen 18 calls at first base go to review and 14 be overturned, or 78 percent. The overturn rate among all umpires is 60 percent.

To make matters more interesting: Hernandez will be behind the plate for Tuesday's Game 4. His numbers behind the plate are middle of the pack. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, his correct-call rate on balls and strikes is 91 percent, ranking 35th of 89 umpires this season.

Hernandez has been something of a lightning rod for criticism from players and managers throughout much of his umpiring career. Former major leaguers Chipper Jones and Paul Lo Duca took to Twitter on Monday night to make their feelings known.

The Cuban-born Hernandez is currently embroiled in a racial discrimination lawsuit against MLB, claiming that he has been passed over for promotion to crew chief and postseason assignments. Just last week, U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett ruled in favor of MLB to move the case to New York City instead of southern Ohio, where Hernandez's lawyer initially filed the suit.

Since Hernandez filed his suit in 2017, he was selected for the 2017 All-Star Game, as well as postseason duty in 2017 and 2018. His suit claims he was passed over for assignment because of a feud with Joe Torre, who is MLB's chief baseball officer.

Steve Pearce, who was at first base for the Red Sox for all four plays, said Hernandez didn't say anything to him after any of the calls.

"It happens so fast over there, it's just a good thing we have replay," Pearce said. "Make the game right."

He said there's no concern with Hernandez being behind the plate Tuesday.