There's no way to dance around it, Phil Cuzzi screwed the Minnesota Twins on Monday night in Los Angeles.
Minnesota lost to the Dodgers 9-8 in extra innings, but it was the umpiring of Cuzzi that stood out as a key factor in helping massage that score into existence. The Twins had chances to beat the Dodgers and the loss isn't solely on the bad calls of Cuzzi -- but they certainly helped snuff out momentum when the Twins built some up.
One of the worst calls, and most impactful, came in the top of the tenth inning. Alex Kirilloff came to the plate with bases loaded and one out, a situation that should have produced at laeas one run if not more.
But as soon as Kirilloff stepped into the batter's box he was doomed.
Cuzzi's strike zone was all over the place, and Kirilloff went down looking at what seemed to be a clear ball that was called for a third strike.
Twins announcer Dick Bremer calls out umpires after horrible Alex Kirilloff strikeout
Almost everyone watching saw the exact same thing, that Kirilloff had been dealt an incredibly bad hand by Cuzzi. Twins announcer Dick Bremer certainly saw it and didn't hold back in criticizing the umpiring.
"He never had a chance in that at-bat," Bremer said on the Bally Sports North broadcast of the game. "In a key spot, you've got to be better than that. He had to reach across the plate."
Cuzzi was so bad behind the plate, especially on that call, that even Dodgers announcers were calling him out.
That's how you know it's bad.
This call would have been outrageous on its own, but it was coupled with an earlier call that ruled a David Peralta foul ball was actually fair turning it into an RBI double.
Minnesota was eventually walked off after a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 12th inning, ending one of the weirdest and most frustrating games in recent memory.