— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) May 18, 2018
Entering the bottom of the 12th in the Giants’ Thursday night game against the Colorado Rockies, the Giants trailed 5-3 after a Carlos Gonzalez single plated two runs to give the Rockies an advantage.
Brandon Crawford led off for the Giants in the bottom of the 12th, hoping to ignite a rally in response. But instead of drawing a crucial walk, Crawford had the bat taken out of his hands.
In a 3-2 count, a pitch clearly below the NBC Sports Bay Area on-screen strike zone was called a strike by home plate umpire Chris Segal, turning a leadoff walk into a leadoff strikeout. The Giants were understandably frustrated, and both Crawford and Bruce Bochy vigorously argued the call, with both eventually being ejected from the game by Segal. A pitch earlier in the at-bat that crossed the plate and was higher up in the zone had been called a ball.
The call could have affected the Giants’ chances to tie or take the lead in the frame, as Austin Jackson and Pablo Sandoval later walked in the inning to set up a two-on, two-out situation for Gregor Blanco, who flied out to right to end the game. If Crawford had walked, that two-on, two-out situation would instead have been a bases-loaded, one-out situation.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle detailed why Crawford was ejected after the game.
Crawford said he was ejected because he refused ump’s directive that he pick up his bat, which he had dropped thinking he had walked. “I’ve never heard of that in a major-league game before.” #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) May 18, 2018
Bochy also offered his postgame take:
"It's frustrating." – Bochy on the Crawford strike three. pic.twitter.com/vD9wI0f6Qy
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 18, 2018