The New York Mets erased a 2-1 deficit against the division-rival Miami Marlins in the bottom of the ninth of Thursday's outing at Citi Field when second baseman Jeff McNeil launched a game-tying home run that included an epic bat flip:
New York went on to load the bases with outfielder and struggling hitter Michael Conforto due up. Conforto largely seemed lost during the at-bat and appeared to strike out looking until he campaigned to home plate umpire and crew chief Ron Kulpa that his elbow was hit by the pitch.
Kulpa agreed and awarded Conforto with the walk-off RBI, but replays proved that Miami's Anthony Bass should've earned a strikeout because Conforto clearly stuck his elbow into the strike zone:
MICHAEL CONFORTO GETS HIT BY A PITCH AND THE METS WIN IT 3-2!!!!! pic.twitter.com/R1QdgiRQJ5— SNY (@SNYtv) April 8, 2021
According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), whether or not a player is in the strike zone when he is hit by a pitch is not subject to video review. Following a short review of the pitch, Kulpa upheld the call and New York's 3-2 win.
Conforto admitted after the victory that he'd prefer to win the game using his bat instead of his elbow:
Michael Conforto discusses the final play of the game:— SNY (@SNYtv) April 8, 2021
"A win's a win, it's over, but I'd like to use the bat next time for sure" pic.twitter.com/V4PWz241ax
Mets manager Luis Rojas and Miami's Don Mattingly also addressed the controversy:
Luis Rojas talks about the final play of the game:— SNY (@SNYtv) April 8, 2021
"We'll take that call and take the walk-off" pic.twitter.com/rJ0iUUwTNz
"He knows it was a strike...I bet he feels awful because they don't want to do that either...they don't want to end like that...but it's probably too late" - Don Mattingly on umpire Ron Kulpa's hit-by-pitch call pic.twitter.com/Pkw9FNNxOU— SNY (@SNYtv) April 8, 2021
The Mets improved to 2-2 on the season, while the Marlins fell to 1-6.