Max Muncy: Cardinals ‘Bullied’ Umpires Into Favorable Calls During Dodgers Series

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The Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up a frustrating series with the St. Louis Cardinals with a 10-5 loss, which also saw Max Muncy get ejected from the game.

The ejection came during the fourth inning after Muncy was called out on strikes. The 2-2 pitch was close enough in the zone where Muncy didn’t have a strong case. However, the pitch before was nearly in the same location but called a ball, and Muncy let his emotions get the best of him.

Although his anger in the game was directed at the umpiring crew, the 32-year-old said it was built-up frustration with what he viewed as the Cardinals catchers strong-arming umpires into favorable calls, he said via SportsNet LA:

“I think it was just kind of a weekend-long frustration that was building up. For me, it wasn’t about the call. These guys are human, they’re going to call the game how they see it. And to me, that’s the beautiful thing about this game. For me, it was how the calls were happening. The pitch before was almost the exact same location. And whether it’s a ball or strike, I don’t care. He called it how he saw it.

“He called it a ball, and for the catcher to sit there and tell him that’s a terrible call, he missed it, he needs to be better, and then the next one, he gives it to him, that to me, is where the frustration is coming from. I felt like that was happening all weekend long. I felt like they were getting bullied, and they gave into it. So for me, that was where the frustration was happening. I didn’t like it, but bottom line I need to be smarter about what I do. I said what needed to be said at home plate and it was over with, and then I took it too far by going to the third-base umpire.”

The umpiring crew was questionable all week for both the Dodgers’ and Cardinals’ at-bats, but the worst call may have come on Saturday when the Dodgers’ comeback attempt was cut short by poor call against Mookie Betts to end the game.

But even with the weekend of poor calls, Muncy acknowledged he should have controlled his feelings about it better:

“I wasn’t referencing [Saturday] night, I was referencing the whole weekend. I was referring to all them, and he took it as I was talking about [Saturday] night. Like I said, I just need to be smarter. It was just dumb on my part and I needed to be smarter about it.”

The Dodgers ended up dropping three of four games against the Cardinals, but they still hold first place in the National League West by 1.5 games. However, they are now set to face a tough test with the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays to finish out their road trip.

With the difficult stretch ahead, it will be vital for Muncy and the rest of the Dodgers lineup to produce, especially with two rookies joining their rotation this week.

Max Muncy leads Dodgers offense

Although Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has regularly said Betts lights the spark for the lineup, he recently deemed Muncy as being the leader of the group and expressed a belief teammates perform based off his production.

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