Yankees’ bete noire Hernandez gives them needless edge in Miami

MLB umpire Angel Hernandez officiated the Yankees vs. Marlins game on August 12, 2023.
Inna Zeyger
Monday August 14, 2023

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MLB fans can’t forget umpire Angel Hernandez, who is prone to make mistakes. His erroneous umpiring in New York led to the Yankees losing a game to the Astros in early August. However, the same umpire helped the Yankees on Saturday against the Marlins though with only more mistakes.

Hernandez’s performance behind the plate during the game saw him register 15 missed calls, according to Umpire Scorecards. While these errors inadvertently favored the Yankees, providing them with an extra 0.68 runs though the team ultimately fell short with a 3-1 loss.

Amidst the high-stakes matchup between the New York Yankees and the Miami Marlins, which held significant implications for the playoffs, umpire Hernandez’s continued mistakes helped him emerge as one of the most notable figures in the game.

Errornous Hernandez indirectly helped the Yankees

Notably, Hernandez held the lowest rating among all umpires in the league on that particular Saturday and holds the least favorable position in terms of accurate call rate for the entire season.

During the Yankees vs. Marlins game, Hernandez’s accuracy in calling balls and strikes stood at 89%, which was 4% below the anticipated accuracy. Similarly, his consistency rate remained at 89%.

The seventh inning proved to be Hernandez’s most challenging period of the day, marked by his three most impactful incorrect calls in relation to changes in run expectancy. The pivotal at-bat involved Yankees left fielder Billy McKinney facing Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara.

Umpire Angel Hernandez is seen during the Yankees vs. Astros game at Yankee Stadium on August 06, 2023.

Despite Hernandez’s irregular performance, Alcantara persevered and managed to complete the entire game. Notably, Alcantara, the reigning NL Cy Young awardee, has now secured the highest count of complete games in MLB for the third time within a span of five years.

Mistakes galore

After undergoing back surgery, the 61-year-old Hernandez had been absent for the majority of the 2023 season. In an attempt to regain his rhythm after his prolonged hiatus, he embarked on a minor league rehab assignment in July. Paradoxically, even during his time in Triple-A, he garnered attention for his erratic and subpar calls, mirroring his inconsistencies at the major league level.

Marking his return to the majors on July 31, Hernandez assumed the role of the second base umpire in the opening game of the series between the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers. His call of Nationals outfielder Alex Call as safe during a stolen base attempt was promptly reversed by a replay review, a straightforward decision that should have favored the Brewers.

In the third game of that same series, Hernandez took up the mantle of the plate umpire for the first time in the season. A crucial missed strike call during the second inning contributed to a home run for the Brewers.

Hernandez’s history of receiving criticism from fans, analysts, players, and managers is nothing new. His performance, measured in terms of both accuracy and consistency, aligns him with umpires like Laz Diaz, Doug Eddings, and CB Bucknor—regarded as some of the least effective in MLB.

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