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The Twins and Tigers were supposed to be the main attraction but home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt stole the show with a terrible call.
There are two types of umpires. The ones you notice and the ones you don’t. Hunter Wendelstedt is one of the former.
It would be fine if noticing an ump was a good thing, but it pretty much never is. Instead, baseball fans noticed Wendelstedt on Tuesday because of arguably the worst strike call of the season.
It happened during the bottom of the fifth while the Twins were visiting the Tigers. Eric Haase took a pitch low on a 3-2 count. He tossed his bat and prepared to head for first base but Wendelstedt had another idea, calling it a strike and Haase out to the disbelieve of just about everyone.
Ump Hunter Wendelstedt makes Twins-Tigers game all about him
Haase was the first batter up of the inning for the Tigers. Getting him on base would have been nice start as the team looked to come back from a 6-1 deficit.
Wendelstedt wasn’t just a problem for the Tigers either. Before that terrible strike call, he got into it with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli over his management of the plate.
Minnesota won the game 8-2 as Detroit failed to generate the offense they needed to come back. Would the result have been different if Wendelstedt had gotten that call correct? It’s impossible to say. Game-changing bad calls still deserve to get called out. The next one could be the one that truly impacts results.