Max Muncy had already hit his 30th home run of the season when he found himself in a big at-bat during the eighth inning of Saturday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox.
The Dodgers had already scored a run but trailed 7-5. The bases were loaded and one hit from Muncy was potentially going to tie the game. Former teammate Chris Martin had just entered the high-leverage situation.
Muncy quickly fell into an 0-2 hole before fouling off Martin’s third pitch. The fourth was below Muncy’s knees, clearly out of the strike zone, but he was rung up by home-plate umpire Jordan Baker to end the inning.
Muncy immediately flung his bat toward the Dodgers’ dugout and protested the call. Baker responded by ejecting him, and after the loss, Muncy shared details of their exchange, via SportsNet LA
“I told him the ball was down, to which his response was, ‘You threw your bat.’ That kind of locked me up a little bit and so then I just responded with, ‘I need you to lock it in with a big situation like that.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, OK.’ And threw me out. It was as simple as that.”
Muncy added he was surprised by the ejection — his first of the season — and said that was the lone pitch he had an issue with Baker’s call:
“I don’t know about the other guys, but to me, I actually felt like he was very good. There were some pitches that I didn’t argue but I thought maybe it was a ball. Then I went and looked, and he got them right. So I thought he did a very good job all day to me, at least, and I just knew right away that one wasn’t a strike.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts rushed out of the dugout as Jason Heyward began to step in between Muncy and Baker. Roberts also was tossed, his first ejection of 2023 as well, and agreed with Muncy’s real-time reaction of the pitch being out of the zone:
“Jordan is a good umpire. Obviously he’s been around for quite some time. Max and I both felt the ball was down. In a big spot, there’s a lot of emotions. I didn’t feel that he warranted to get tossed. I don’t know what he said. Obviously when you’re arguing balls and strikes, I wanted to support Max and voice my opinion as well.”
Even with the opportunity taken away from the Dodgers, they went on to load the bases in the ninth inning. Mookie Betts was in position for his fourth hit of the season and some dramatics in his return to Fenway Park, but the game ended on a line-drive out to deep center field.
Max Muncy part of rare Dodgers history with 30 home runs
Muncy has reached 30 home runs in four of his six seasons with the Dodgers. He’s among six players in Dodgers history to hit a minimum of 30 homers in four separate seasons.
Gil Hodges and Duke Snider are the Dodgers franchise leaders with six seasons each of at least 30 home runs. Eric Karros accomplished the feat five times, while Mike Piazza and Roy Campanella are tied with Muncy at four.
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