ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field Wednesday, Adrian Gonzalez expressed his dissatisfaction with home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
Gonzalez was particularly upset over his final at-bat, in which Wendelstedt called a strike on a Joel Peralta fastball that proved to be well outside the strike zone. The Red Sox first baseman would ultimately swing and miss at the fifth pitch he saw from Peralta, a high-and-inside offering that proved to be just inside the zone.
"It wasn't even close," Gonzalez said of Peralta's initial pitch. "You're up there trying to have a professional at-bat and look for a pitch to hit and that's called.
"Yesterday there were a couple of pitches that weren't close and were called strikes and it put me in two strikes and then you have to protect,," he continued. "It's just unfortunate. You wish you could keep them on the plate and force them to come in, but that doesn't happen anymore."
When asked if inconsistent strike zones have been a problem throughout the season, Gonzalez said, "Not every time, just at times. When they're good you can be comfortable up there. You know what the strike zone is. When they're not, you have to go up there and hack. It's frustrating."
Gonzalez, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to lower his batting average to .279, came into the game hitting just .148 when putting balls out of the strike zone in play (according to BaseballAnalytics.org). He also was hitting just .287 on balls in the strike zone, after finishing 2011 as the only major league player to hit over .400 in such situations.
"It doesn't do any good," he said when asked if he voiced his complaints to the umpires. "You say something and then you start letting it get into your head and then it starts messing with your at-bat and your approach and what you're trying to do. You get thrown out, I'm the one who gets punished for it. It's not him for not making the wrong call."
The first baseman was also asked if he was concerned about his lack of power, having hit just two home runs this season with his most recent long ball coming on April 17 (a span of 103 at-bats). Gonzalez said not to worry.
"I'll start hitting home runs," he said. "I'll hit a home run tomorrow."
When told of the guarantee, David Ortiz said, "Good. That's good stuff. I can't wait. I know my pinata killer is going to be fine. I've got money on him. I've got money on the killer, because I know that pinata at some point is going to have to drop down."
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