It's never a good look for Major League Baseball when the home plate umpire is trending on Twitter, but that's what unfolded during Tuesday night's Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros at Fenway Park.
Every umpire is going to get a few calls wrong, that's human nature. And the league clearly is OK with that because it hasn't instituted robot umpires or some sort of computer system to call balls and strikes.
But it's a problem when more than 20 calls are missed, which was the case with Laz Diaz during the Astros' 9-2 win Tuesday night. ESPN's Jeff Passan tweeted an eye-opening graphic detailing each of Diaz's 21 mistakes.
Here's another graphic illustrating Diaz's missed calls Tuesday night. His 88% accuracy rating was the lowest of any umpire in a game this postseason, per The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.
The most pivotal missed call came in the top of the ninth inning. The score was tied at two and Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi threw a pitch that caught the corner of the strike zone, which should have resulted in Jason Castro striking out and the inning ending.
Instead, Castro got another chance and he made Eovaldi pay with an RBI single to center field that put Houston on top 3-2. The Astros poured it on from there and went into the bottom of the inning up 9-2.
Earlier in the game, J.D. Martinez struck out on a pitch way outside the zone (pitch No. 7 on the graphic below):
We're in October. Each of these teams is two wins away from the World Series. The stakes are almost as high as they go. The MLB needs to put its best umpires behind the plate in these games to ensure the players themselves have the most profound impact on the outcome.