The start of the ALDS in Houston didn't exactly go the way Minnesota Twins fans wanted. Bailey Ober gave up a quick 3-0 lead and it appeared as though the good vibes from the AL Wild Card win might have worn off.
Minnesota completely shifted the game in about five pitches in the seventh inning, thanks to back-to-back home runs from Jorge Polanco and Royce Lewis, but up until that point, things were pretty frustrating.
Much of the angst was directed at home plate umpire Brian Knight and some questionable calls he was making. The strike zone seemed to fluctuate based on who was pitching and who was hitting, and it started to have an impact on the Twins approach to the game and effect the outcome of the game.
Twins fans were furious with umpires in ALDS Game 1
Pretty much from the start of the game, Twins fans were calling out Brian Knight for missing calls and moving the strike zone around on Minnesota's hitters and pitchers.
In the top of the sixth, Verlander sent Carlos Correa down on a called third strike that looked like it was inside. Knight rang Correa up, ending the inning and once again enraging fans at home.
Complaining about the umpires oftentimes come across as a lame way to explain away a loss, but there seemed to be some legimtiate gripes with the way Knight was calling the game. The same pitches that were painting the corners and getting called as balls for Twins pitchers didn't get called the same way for Houston.
This likley contributed to a situation in the top of the seventh when Willi Castro was sent down looking at a pitch that was getting called as a ball for Twins pitchers but was a called third strike this time.
Minnesota made plenty of mistakes that cost them, but bad umpiring goes beyond just being obviously frustrating to watch at home. It impacts the way hitters approach their at-bats, and we saw it across the board in Game 1.