Phillies' Kyle Schwarber Criticizes Angel Hernandez After Ejection in Loss to Brewers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 25, 2022

Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber reacts after striking out against Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Kyle Schwarber might be counting down the days to the strike zone being enforced electronically if Sunday was any indication.

Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader struck the Philadelphia Phillies slugger out looking on the penultimate out of Milwaukee's 1-0 victory. The only issue was the fact the 3-2 pitch was clearly out of the strike zone and should have resulted in a walk.

Instead, umpire Angel Hernandez called Schwarber out, which led to quite a response from the 29-year-old:

ESPN @espn

Kyle Schwarber was not happy with this called third strike. <a href="https://t.co/WSjs5LyYDQ">pic.twitter.com/WSjs5LyYDQ</a>

"I'm not here to bury anyone, but it wasn't very good," Schwarber told reporters. "You wish ... I don't know how to really say it. It just wasn't very good. Guys were doing a really good job tonight of not saying much. It just got to me to where I was going to stick up for some other guys."

This is not the first time Schwarber's demonstrative response to being called out on strikes on a questionable call led to headlines.

When he was a member of the Chicago Cubs in 2019, he charged at Gabe Morales when the umpire said he went around on a potential check swing. The third strike call ended the game, and teammate Javier Baez had to hold Schwarber back to prevent the situation from escalating even more.

Yet controversy is also nothing new for Hernandez.

He is one of Major League Baseball's umpires who many fans know by name because of his questionable calls in the past. Schwarber's outburst was more of a response to a game of frustration than one single call.

"It's difficult to overstate how consistently bad these calls were," Kevin Skiver of Sporting News wrote. "ESPN's announcers had no grievance with Schwarber's tantrum, saying Schwarber was 'speaking for both sides' on the broadcast. As early as the fifth inning, ESPN's announcers were asking Bryce Harper in an on-field interview if strike zones as wide as Hernandez's was on Sunday forces you to change your approach. His inconsistency was noticed and noted early on."

Hernandez, who was born in Cuba, sued Major League Baseball in 2017 and alleged racial discrimination was behind the league's decision to pass him up as a candidate to work the World Series.

He said chief baseball officer Joe Torre in particular had a grudge against him.

Yet he lost that lawsuit with U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken saying, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), "The explicit reason MLB offers—that according to Torre, Hernandez 'has not demonstrated the leadership ability and situation-management skills in critical high-pressure roles on a consistent basis'—is presented in clear and specific terms."

Schwarber's demonstration is yet another reason baseball fans will know Hernandez by name as his umpiring career continues.