Umpire Rob Drake picked a bad time to have rough day behind home plate.
Drake’s strike zone seemed to be twice the size of a normal one during the season finale on Sunday, drawing the ire of the Giants and their fans all afternoon. The most egregious call proved to be the nail in the Giants’ coffin, a called strike three on Austin Slater that looked a foot low.
Strike three to end the season? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/jIGOCnFTsJ
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 27, 2020
The performance reignited a discussion about robot umpires on social media, many willing to sacrifice the “human element” to avoid incidents like Sunday’s. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow was floated that idea on “The Murph & Mac Show” Monday morning, and quickly put the kibosh on it.
“Hell no. No chance. Never,” Kruk said of the prospect of robo umps. “I’ll go down to my grave saying that. The umpires are such a great part of this game. All year long we’ve been applauding the type of strike calling we’ve seen on a consistant basis.
“Rob Drake, he’s a bigger strike zone, I’ve always enjoyed his games. Yesterday I didn’t enjoy his game. That’s the thing about umpires, you never know what you’re gonna get. Even guys you have a track record with, guys you know, guys you’ve enjoyed watching work, sometimes they fall short. There was four particular calls yesterday that were critical in the game and it had a lot to do with the outcome of the game, and they were frustrating.
“I’ll never take a shot at what I think is a pretty good umpire. I’ll never demand that he never umpire again or be overly critical about him, I’m just not going to do it.”
Listen to the full interview below.