6/12/2013 10:41 P.M. ET
D-backs forced to use four strikes to fan Puig
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- It got lost in the scuffle, er shuffle, Tuesday night, but the umpiring crew missed a strike call on Yasiel Puig during his fourth-inning at-bat.
The blown call led to Puig striking out on what was really strike four.
The issue began with the first pitch of the at-bat, when Puig checked his swing at an Ian Kennedy pitch and it ticked off his bat and went back to the screen.
Home plate umpire Clint Fagan apparently thought the ball hit off catcher Miguel Montero's glove rather than the bat. The D-backs assumed Fagan called it a strike since the runner did not move off of first base and Fagan threw Kennedy a new ball.
Puig swung and missed at the next pitch and then took a ball in the dirt. It was then that Fagan told Montero the count was 2-1 and not 1-2 as the D-backs thought.
"He says, 'I never called the first pitch a strike,'" Montero said. "I'm like, man the first pitch was a foul-tip strike. The ball went back there and the runner is still at first. How do you explain that? I think he didn't remember. Seriously, I don't know. I don't know what to do. I was in the situation where I was like, 'Let's bring the iPad down and show him the replay.' They called an umpire's meeting and came to the conclusion that he never called the first pitch a strike. We all make mistakes, but apparently nobody was watching the game."
Kennnedy stood between the mound and home plate with an incredulous look on his face.
"I go, 'You're kidding me, right?'" Kennedy said he the told the umpire. "'Why did you give me a new ball then? And the ball went over there and the runner didn't go to second. You gave me a new ball, it was a foul ball.'"
Puig then swung and missed at a pitch for what should have been the third strike. Instead Kennedy got him to swing and miss one more time for the four-strike strikeout.
With it having worked out, Montero was free to laugh about the incident Wednesday.
"The guy is so hot they changed the rule for him," Montero said of Puig. "Now we have to get four strikes to strike him out."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.