Have you ever been at the tail end of a work day where all you’ve wanted to do is go home?
Unless your place of occupation is located in Wisconsin—in which case, condolences—you can probably relate to umpire C.B. Bucknor’s coda to the Pirates’ 5–4 win over the Brewers Wednesday afternoon.
With two outs, a full count, and a runner on first for Milwaukee in the top of the ninth of a game with critical postseason implications, Bucknor wrung up Brewers catcher William Contreras on a 98-mile-per-hour fastball from Pittsburgh pitcher David Bednar that was clearly out of the strike zone.
Contreras appeared surprised, as did the Pirates’ television commentators.
C.B. Bucknor with one of the wildest strike three calls to end a game you’ll see
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 6, 2023
“Strike three called on a ball a half a foot outside,” Pittsburgh play-by-play announcer Greg Brown told viewers as the Pirates celebrated their victory.
The loss moved the second-place Cubs within a game and a half of Milwaukee in a tight NL Central race, and more importantly sent Bucknor home, another day’s work in hand.