Multiple members of the Astros were either ejected or involved in heated arguments with home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa after disagreeing with his strike zone and behavior during the contest.
In the second inning, after a low pitch to Astros designated hitter Tyler White was called a strike, individuals in Houston's dugout directed their frustrations toward the umpire. Kulpa stared back at the Astros and eventually ejected hitting coach Alex Cintron after manager A.J. Hinch attempted to defuse the situation.
A pitch later, Hinch resumed his conversation with Kulpa upon noticing that the umpire continued to look in the direction of the dugout as the pitcher was preparing to throw. During their disagreement, Kulpa appears to tell Hinch, "I can do whatever I want," before ejecting the skipper.
The Astros' issues with the umpire continued, as Kulpa and Houston starter Gerrit Cole got into an argument of their own.
Cole seemingly shared his frustrations with Kulpa later in the contest.
The pitcher admitted postgame that he needs to handle such situations more appropriately in the future.
"What he does is out of my control, and I need to do a better job of handling my body language," Cole said, according to MLB.com's Alyson Footer. "As far as what we talked about after the outing, we ended up getting on the same page. I guess that was a positive."
Hinch spoke about the run-ins with Kulpa after the Astros dropped the game 4-0, but he made sure not to blame the umpire for his team's loss.
Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.