Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey: Umps are ‘afraid’ to call strikes at Yankee Stadium

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Minnesota Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey was not thrilled with the performance of the umpiring crew during Monday’s game against the New York Yankees.

The Minnesota Twins, who were coming off a series loss to the rival Kansas City Royals, traveled to the Bronx on Monday afternoon to play a makeup game against the New York Yankees. After the Twins carried a 5-0 lead earlier in the game, the Yankees left the field on a walk-off 6-5 victory.

Pitcher Tyler Duffey, who surrendered three earned runs in two innings of work against the Yankees, expressed his displeasure towards the performance of home plate umpire Jeff Nelson during a postgame press conference. Duffey even went as far to say that not getting strike calls seems to happen a lot in Yankee Stadium.

“It’s frustrating when you go out and do your job and execute a pitch you wanted to throw on purpose, you hit your spot you’re trying to hit, and the umpire just flat-out misses it,” right-hander Tyler Duffey said postgame, via theScore.

“It seems to happen a lot in this stadium, for some reason. I don’t know if they’re afraid to punch people out in Yankee Stadium, but that’s the way it goes.”

You can listen to Duffey’s full comments in the video below, courtesy of Bally Sports North.

Tyler Duffey says umps are “afraid’ to call strikes at Yankee Stadium

Duffey points out a lot in his postgame presser, but the one pitch that loomed large was on a 3-2 count against Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner in the bottom of the eighth inning. Even though the knuckle curve hit the top of the strike zone, Nelson called it a ball to put Gardner on base along with Anthony Rizzo. Manager Rocco Baldelli was ejected from the game for arguing the call and Duffey was pulled in favor of Alex Colome.

The Twins’ 5-2 lead disappeared after outfielder Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer to right field to tie things up immediately afterwards. The Yankees later won in the bottom of the tenth inning after Gary Sanchez hit a game-winning RBI single.

It certainly does sting that if the pitch were called a strike, the eighth inning would have ended and prevented Judge’s game-tying homer. But, the Twins will look to put this game behind them when they face the Cleveland Indians in a doubleheader on Tuesday.

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