It may have been a great win in Boston for the Nationals, and a great moment seeing Bryce Harper become the hero, but not all is good from the Red Sox perspective. Sox manager Bobby Valentine, in fact, thinks the umpires may have stolen the game from them on Sunday afternoon.
After the Nats 4-3 win at Fenway to complete the series sweep, Valentine didnt hold back in his criticism of the way things were called. Here are his thoughts on a ninth inning pitch to Roger Bernadina he felt should have been strike three:
Alfredo struck the guy out on a pitch that the whole ball is on the plate, and Umpire Al Porter calls it a ball.
Bernadina stayed alive and was able to punch a hit-and-run double to score Bryce Harper for the go-ahead run. The Nationals took the lead they would ride to victory, but Boston had their chance at the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
But when Boston was hitting, second baseman Dustin Pedroia took a called strike at 1-1 that Valentine thought was clearly outside of the strike zone. The manager was ejected after leaving the dugout to complain and he brought the issue up with the media later on.
Good umpires had a real bad series . . . a real bad series, said a grim, tight-lipped Valentine attempting unsuccessfully to hide his anger in his postgame press conference. It went one way (for the Nationals and against the Red Sox). There should be a review The game is simple: Throw it over the plate, call it a strike. Dont throw it over the plate, call it a ball. said Valentine. Its simple. Thats all. Thats all anybody asks. I know its been going on for 100 years. Im not the first one to say it. But this was a pretty lousy series Youve got guys busting their butts, battling their butts off, and its not right.
The Red Sox took the loss in all three games against the Nationals and continued their slide as the last place team in the AL East. They are now two games below .500 and clearly frustrated in defeat. To make matters worse, Valentine could be fined for his comments. Now the Red Sox travel to play the Miami Marlins who, however, have lost six straight so maybe they can rebound down south.