And Now, Great Moments in Officiating

Cliff_lee_laughIronic smile

The Clifton was not good last night. He released his balls high (no jokes, children), couldn’t develop a steady rhythm, and he almost got his fucking head taken off by a line drive. However, home plate umpire Gerry Davis did him no favors. Look at this strike zone plot from last night (the green dots are balls, the pale red ones are called strikes):


Chart courtesy of

I circled the balls that were touching at least part of the strike zone, and added weight to the five pitches that were well within it. The worst part – for a pitcher – is that there was no consistency from Davis. Lee didn’t get the high pitch, the low pitch, the inside pitch, nor the outside pitch. The strike zone was just small. Only one “ball” was called a strike (highlighted in yellow), compared to the 11 strikes that were called balls. 

Lee, of course, is partly to blame. His command was off all night. He threw 15 (at least, it’s hard to count all of them) pitches that were significantly high- most of them were fastballs. Of the 15 4-seam fastballs he threw, only seven were strikes. Usually, about 70% of his fastballs will find the strike zone. Not good.

Ironically, per Ryan Lawrence, Davis was the umpire in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series, when Lee struck out 10, walked none, and threw 80 of his 122 pitches for strikes.

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5 Responses

  1. While I agree that Lee didn’t get any help from behind the plate, it’d be interesting to see the same grid with Westbrook’s pitches. The zone was inconsistant on both sides, all night, in all directions from the look of things on TV. 6 BB and 3 ER is still not a bad game.
    One question… Why has NOBODY mentioned the fact that our amazing lead-off hitter failed to take the bat off his shoulder during his first at-bat? I swear, Jimmy either swings at crappy first-pitches and hits into weak outs, or doesn’t move the bat off his shoulder about 60% of the time, if not more. That’s not lead-off batting.

  2. The start of that game last night just got off weird, whether it was the 6 oclock start time with the shadows across the field (and I know they’ve all had to play that way before, it shouldn’t be an excuse), missing starters or what, but the team just looked flat.
    Better question, why can’t Charlie use his line-up card a little better? Do I really want Valdez and Ibanez getting the 2 and 3 hole for no other reason than his refusal to bat Howard anywhere other than 4th? I’m not arguing the philosophy altogether by any means, but the 1 game when Vic, Polly, Utley are not in the line-up, put the big guy 3rd and make sure he sees an at-bat the 1st inning. Put Mayberry after him since he’s the only one who’s gone yard in about a year, let Chooch get a shot higher up in the lineup and put the Mendoza bro’s (Ben, Raul, Valdez) at the bottom.

  3. i like it, Bleue. especially the point about for one game just putting Howard in 3rd, Mayberry in 4th, and swapping Ibanez and Ruiz. i have confidence in Howard as a temporary 3-hole hitter because he’s proven that, when he wants, he can hit for contact decently.
    is anyone else seeing some shades of Burrell in Mayberry’s approach at the plate? looks like his big attempts to pull the outside pitch may be his major weakness.

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