After a promising night against Venezuela, Andrew McCutchen was rewarded with his second straight start in a marquee matchup with Puerto Rico, but his evening was cut short when umpire Will Little tossed him in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes.
The typically level-headed McCutchen is known around baseball for his cool demeanor, so it was indeed surprising that he was unable to let things go after a Seth Lugo curveball was called for a third strike. In McCutchen’s defense, the pitch, despite breaking late, appears to be nowhere near the strike zone:
Of all people... Andrew McCutchen gets tossed for arguing this "strike call?" #WBCbaseball #WBC2017 pic.twitter.com/D7tKZrmamK— OddsOnYourSide (@Oddsonyourside) March 18, 2017
Upon hearing the call, McCutchen gestured to Little to express how far outside of the zone the pitch was, but the umpire (who already ejected the Dominican Republic’s manager, Tony Pena, this week) wasn’t interested in letting the game get out of hand. Cutch gestured a second time to earn himself the boot.
Overall, it was a forgettable night of baseball for McCutchen, who continued his struggles at the plate going 0-3 on the night, which brought his batting average to a mere .143 for the World Baseball Classic. He’ll hope to return to the lineup as USA clashes with the Dominican Republic Saturday night at 10pm.