Tuesday’s game between the San Francisco Giants and the Tampa Bay Rays was the second career game for Giants rookie outfielder Wade Meckler. A number of questionable strike calls were made against Meckler in the game, and Giants manager Gabe Kapler decided to stand up for his rookie.
Meckler struck out swinging in his first at-bat and had a number of borderline pitches go against him as strikes. His second at-bat started the same way, as the first pitch appeared to be high. But this time, the Giants dugout took exception to the call.
A number of players and coaches inside the Giants dugout including Kapler decided to shout in frustration at home-plate umpire Chad Whitson.
Whitson took exception to that, ejecting Kapler before he ever even stepped onto the field to argue to call. Kapler then came onto the field to air his grievances with Whitson’s strike zone in defense of his rookie player.
Umpire Chad Whitson ends the night early for Giants manager Gabe Kapler. pic.twitter.com/sGNHX34HNl
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) August 16, 2023
Kapler got an ovation from the Giants crowd for defending Meckler, and fans at home agreed that some of the calls going against him in the game were questionable at best.
Gabe Kapler has been ejected arguing balls and strikes, and he had a good case. Home plate ump Chad Whiteson stole three strikes from Wade Meckler in his first two at-bats. pic.twitter.com/o4gaqlbGQD
— Evan Webeck (@EvanWebeck) August 16, 2023
wade meckler has been getting absolutely shafted with the strike zone man. good for gabe for sticking up for the rook.
— alex 🦖 (@bantheshift) August 16, 2023
Giants manager Gabe Kapler ejected for arguing balls and strikes after the second Wade Meckler strikeout.
Kapler's 2nd ejection of the year, 7th as a manager.
Zack Littell through 4 scoreless on the mound he showed up Kapler on last year. pic.twitter.com/SkH7LCzivL
— Danny Emerman (@DannyEmerman) August 16, 2023
— Thomas B (@BaseballThomasB) August 16, 2023
Gabe Kapler just went at home plate ump Chad Whitson for a ball/strike call on Wade Meckler.
Maybe his ejection will light a fire under the #SFGiants you know what
— Matt Lively (@mattblively) August 16, 2023
Part of Kapler’s decision to argue with the call is certainly about defending a rookie hitter. Another was to potentially fire up his team, who had been held scoreless with only one hit at that point in the game.
It may have done that for Meckler, as he went on to get the first MLB hit of his career in his third at-bat of the game.
Wade Meckler, you've got yourself a big league knock 👏 pic.twitter.com/dkFcAVv9WJ
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 16, 2023