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Home plate umpire Jim Wolf admitted he made a mistake during the Chicago Cubs‘ 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.
According to Jay Cohen of the Associated Press, Wolf told Jim Litke of the AP he watched the replay of what should have been strike three on Curtis Granderson‘s at-bat in the eighth inning and realized he made a mistake.
Granderson swung and missed at a pitch with two strikes and was initially called out, but he said he foul-tipped it. While the play wasn’t reviewable, the umpires huddled and decided to overturn the call and rule it a foul ball.
Chicago manager Joe Maddon came running out of the dugout to protest and was eventually ejected, while the fans at Wrigley Field erupted into a chorus of hostile boos at the poor call.
It was all part of an eventful eighth inning in the do-or-die game for the Cubs.
Maddon turned to All-Star closer Wade Davis for the two-inning save with a 3-1 advantage, but Davis proceeded to allow a solo home run to Justin Turner, walk Yasiel Puig and retire Andre Ethier before the Granderson at-bat. Fortunately for the home fans, Davis struck Granderson out on the ensuing pitch after the controversy and ultimately fanned Chase Utley with two on following a Yasmani Grandal walk.
Davis needed 34 pitches to escape the eighth and threw 48 total, and Maddon said he would be unavailable for Thursday’s Game 5, per Chris Emma of 670 The Score.
While Cubs fans were surely pleased with Wednesday’s win to preserve their season and pull within 3-1 in the NLCS, they apparently missed what would have been a memorable show had Granderson taken advantage of his extra opportunity.
“If he hits the next pitch out I might have come running out of the clubhouse in my jock strap,” Maddon said after the game, per Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Wolf likely never would have forgotten his mistaken call then.