There are bad ways to lose a baseball game and then there's what happened to the Minnesota Twins on Monday night at Dodgers Stadium.
Here's how wild it was: Minnesota lost a one-run game on a bases loaded walk in extra innings and that was probably the third or fourth most outrageous thing that happened. While it's usually a crutch to call out umpiring as a factor when a team loses, such a thing was undeniable with some of the calls that Phil Cuzzi and his crew were making.
Two calls specifically stood out, one so bad that even Dodgers announcers were left scratching their heads over it.
One happened in the eighth inning, when David Peralta seemingly hit a routine foul ball. Instead, umpires ruled that it was fair and Peralta reached second on a game-tying RBI double. That play helped the game go to extra innings, where Alex Kirilloff was subjected to one of the strangest strike zones a player will probably see all season.
Cuzzi sent Kirilloff down looking at what seemed to be an obvious ball but was instead called a third strike. That came in a situation where the Twins had the bases loaded and one out.
Dodgers announcers can't believe how bad Phil Cuzzi is behind the plate (Video)
It's a pick your poison situation in terms of which call to be most upset about, but the Kirilloff at-bat even had Dodgers announcers raising an eyebrow or two over how bad it was.
That's how you know it's bad when even the announcers for the team actively benefiting from the lousy umpiring are puzzled by it. Credit to the Dodgers announcing team for their honesty, both in calling out the bad calls but admitting they'll take it if they're breaking their way.
Minnesota had other opportunities to put the Dodgers away, but the bad calls certainly didn't help. Pablo Lopez gave up back-to-back home runs in the first inning and the Twins ultimately surrendered nine runs in a loss.
That being said, while it's hard to feel good about a loss -- especially one like this -- it's worth crediting the Twins for taking one of the best teams in baseball to the brink and needing bad umpiring to be a deciding factor.