A home plate umpire admitted he was "dead wrong" after a call that led to Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon's ejection on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After conferring with his crew, ump Jim Wolf ruled that the Dodgers' Curtis Granderson fouled off a two-strike pitch in the dirt that in-house replay appeared to show he did not make contact with as Chicago led 3-2 in the eighth inning.
Wolf originally called Granderson out before Dodgers manager Dave Roberts protested. The umpires met, but did not call for a crew chief replay review, before Wolf overturned the decision.
Maddon emerged to argue the call to all six umpires and was subsequently ejected for the second time in the series.
As it turns out, Maddon was dead right.
"(I was) dead wrong," Wolf told a pool reporter after the game. "I talked myself into the whole thing."
Granderson proceeded to strike out on the next pitch and the Cubs held on for a 3-2 victory.
That fact did not assuage Maddon after the game.
"I'm not gonna sit here and bang on umpires," Maddon told reporters. "... But that can't happen. The process was horrible. To have that changed -- if Granderson hits the next pitch out, I might come running out of the clubhouse in my jockstrap."
Wolf said he heard "two distinct, separate sounds" on the play, the first being what he thought was the ball bouncing in the dirt in front of catcher Willson Contreras.
The play is not currently reviewable under MLB rules.
Maddon was ejected in Game 1 after arguing a play at the plate that was overturned due to the slide rule.
Los Angeles leads the best-of-seven series 3-1. Game 5 is Thursday night in Chicago.