Giants

How bad was Angel Hernandez in Giants' loss to Dodgers?

Giants
Angel Hernandez

Log onto Twitter. See Angel Hernandez is trending. Log off of Twitter. 

That's usually how it goes for baseball fans and media, and the order of operations struck again Monday night in the Giants' 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was evident after just the third batter of the game that we could be in for a long night with Hernandez calling balls and strikes. 

Buster Posey struck out looking on a Trevor Bauer curveball that was nowhere near the strike zone with one on and one out in the top of the first inning. The usually calm and collected Posey couldn't believe it. Even for Hernandez, this one was bad. 

Real bad. 

"It just really messes with hitters' heads," NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic said on Giants Postgame Live. "You mentioned he's trending on Twitter. He's trending on Twitter a lot. This is not just tonight. He's trending on Twitter once every couple weeks. And it's one of those things where you don't even have to ask why. 

"I don't understand why they don't do something about it. I think eventually we're going to have robot umpires, and they're gonna be really upset about it and it's gonna be because guys like this. You just can't trust it. They're gonna get better umpires in there. If they can't replace guys like this, they're gonna replace them with robots."

 

How bad was Hernandez in the Giants' loss? It's a bit complicated. 

His umpire scorecard shows he actually was better than expected, but he certainly didn't do the Giants any favors. He finished the night with a 95 percent overall accuracy, which is better than the 94 percent MLB average. However, his 94 percent overall consistency was below the 96 percent average. 

Hernandez called 139 of 146 taken pitches correctly. That's seven missed calls. Here's where it gets bad for the Giants. Hernandez's calls were in favor of the Dodgers by plus-0.63 runs. He was against the Giants by minus-0.53 runs. 

And his three worst missed calls in terms of change in run expectancy were all against the Giants. 

The called strike three against Posey easily was Hernandez's worst missed call of the night for more than one reason. It first and foremost just wasn't near the strike zone. Not even close. 

What makes matters worse, though, is the fact that he took the bat out of the hands of the Giants' best hitter. After Monday night's loss, Posey now is batting .231 with 21 strikeouts on 1-2 counts. But he's hitting .289 with 16 strikeouts on 2-2 counts, which is what he should have been in had Hernandez called a ball. 

Alex Dickerson followed Posey with a groundout to end the top of the first inning. The Dodgers then started off the bottom of the first with back-to-back homers, giving them an early lead. All could have been different if Posey were to see at least one more pitch. 

Hernandez's second-worst missed call came in the top of the third to LaMonte Wade Jr. The missed call was near the top of the zone and again way off the plate on a 2-0 count. This time, the Giants made Bauer pay. Wade homered on the next pitch he saw, making Hernandez's error less costly. 

But No. 3 on this list again badly cost the Giants. 

Mike Yastrzemski was the Giants' leadoff hitter in the fifth inning, with San Francisco down 3-1. He struck out on a 93.2 mph sinker that was well above the zone. The red dot with "4" on it is the pitch Hernandez called strike three on Yaz. 

MLB.com

Posey lined out after Yastrzemski's strikeout, and Dickerson ended the innning with a pop out to catcher Will Smith. 

RELATED: Giants' trademark depth goes missing in loss to Dodgers

The numbers show Hernandez might not have been as terrible as it seemed. His misses also hurt the Giants more than the Dodgers, and some in critical moments. Let's not pretend the three listed above were isolated incidents, too. There were more where that came from.

This again was another night Hernandez was trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. It won't be the last, and it might have been one more push for baseball to take another human element out of the game.

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast