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Entries in strike zone (8)

Friday
Oct072011

Tigers vs. Yankees Game 5: Ted Barrett's Strike Zone

Home plate umpire Ted Barrett seemed to have a wider than normal strike zone in last night's game five between the Tigers and the Yankees.  Against left-handed batters, he appeared to be calling strikes on pitches well off the outside part of the plate.

Click image to enlarge

Tigers' pitchers seemed to have benefited the most from the wide strike zone.  Overall, Barrett called eleven strikes against Yankee batters that were outside of the strike zone, while only calling four against Tigers' batters.  Granted, when you compare the two heat maps, you can see that Yankee pitchers didn't throw as frequently to the same outside location as Detroit pitchers.  However, it is noteworthy that some of the areas do overlap showing a discrepancy in strike calls.

Friday
Sep022011

Jon Lester's 43 Pitch First Inning vs. The Yankees

After last night's game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, NESN broadcasters Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo discussed Jon Lester's 43 pitch first inning.  Remy said that it looked like Lester wasn't getting some calls from home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez that looked to be strikes.

Here's Lester's heat map from that first inning:

Jon Lester's First Inning vs. The Yankees (9/1/11)
43 Pitches, 26 strikes

Of all the pitches he threw in that first inning, there was only one that was called a ball yet was located inside the strike zone - a 0-0 pitch to Nick Swisher, who eventually struck out swinging.

Jon Lester - Called Balls within the Strike Zone (1st inning)

The only other pitch Marquez called incorrectly was a 2-1 strike to Mark Teixeira that was located off the outside edge of the zone.

Jon Lester - Called Strikes Outside the Strike Zone (1st inning)

There was a lot of talk about the strike zone throughout the game, but overall Marquez was fairly consistent.  And Lester's long first inning was likely not the result of any squeezing on Marquez's part.

Thursday
Aug252011

Who Is Benefiting from an Expanded Strike Zone?

Minimum 300 pitches thrown out of the strike zone (Click image to enlarge)

The above graphic shows all the pitches that were called strikes by umpires this season even though though they missed the strike zone. The list is sorted by called strike percentage, showing which pitchers have benefited the most from a generous strike zone.

Umpires seem to like the AL East; seven of the top ten pitchers with the highest called strike rate on balls out of the strike zone play in that division. Then again, Luis Perez of the Blue Jays has the worst rate in the league at 2.9%. Livan Hernandez of the Washington Nationals has the highest total number of called strikes out of the zone with 182.