The best pitcher in baseball got some help

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

14 thoughts on “The best pitcher in baseball got some help

  1. Steve Karsay

    He gave an extra 4 or 5 inches to Verlander on the outside edge vs lefties, then magically in the top of the 9th the strike zone normalized and we almost rallied. As good as JV is hes going to be that much tougher to square up when hes getting calls like last night.

    Give me robo-umps!

    • williamjtasker

      Yup. You nailed it.

    • dar34

      Don't I seem to remember this same strike zone for Verlander last year in the ALDS??

      • srosegots

        Yep. Verlander was getting a better zone than CC and it affected the game

  2. Joef

    Let's not forget the blown second strike call in the young ab in the 4th. Hughes can't get a call IN the zone, verlander gets 5 inches off the plate.

  3. Phil

    Sam Holbrook is an embarrassment to human beings who have the ability to see. He's as blind as a bat and as ignorant as a mule.

  4. a57se

    Based on that chart it looks like Verlander got 6 called strike on Balls……..Not that big of a deal to me. Like any sport, when you lose, every little thing seems important. Bottom line is the Yankees haven't hit well. They had the same problem last year in the Post-season…..the pitching has been OUTSTANDING, it is a shame we can;t score any runs.

    • Several things: 6 pitches is massive. Appears he threw around 25 pitches off that side of the plate, and that means 1/4 of them were called strikes instead of balls. Of course, more importantly, 8 pitches is more massive — and that's how many he was given. That's 1/3.

      Second: It's not just the incorrect strikes — when you're calling strikes in the opposing batters box (make no mistake, that's where these were) — suddenly the batters have to SWING at pitches that far off the plate. Contact on pitches that wide is going to end up being weak or non-existent.

      Third: If the same strike zone had at least been given to our pitchers, that'd be fine. But note the green triangles inside of the red boxes — those are pitches thrown by Yankee pitchers much closer to the plate that were called balls.

      Awful game by Holbrook, and unfortunately biased.

      • a57se

        I've played plenty of baseball in my life and understand how bad calls by the umps can affect an at-bat but what you fail to mention in your response and what was ignored in the post is that their are NINE instances where pitches WERE in the strikezone that were NOT called strikes……I seriously doubt this chart is atypical.

        • a57se

          Oops, I obviously misunderstood the chart, there were 3 or 4 pitches that were in the strike zone that were not called strikes for Verlander……
          Something else the chart doesn't show is where the catcher was set-up, oftentimes a pitch the catcher doesn't have to move for has a better chance of being called a strike then if the pitch is on the other side of the plate from the catcher……

          • williamjtasker

            I've never bought the idea of the pitcher hitting the catcher's glove. If the catcher's glove is off the plate, it's a ball. If umpires cannot call the strike zone correctly, they should get some sort of computerized system to do it for them. The strike zone in MLB is a joke.

          • a57se

            It has been like that for over 100 years, not that big of a deal to me…the umps do the best they can.
            This article and your response kind of reminds me of the Texas Rangers broadcasters, they are the worst homers but when it comes to balls and strikes, they take the cake. Every time a Rangers pitch doesn't get a call they bitch and every time one of their hitters don't get a call they bitch but they NEVER show the opposite unless it is egregious, then all they can sya is the Rangers deserved the call for all the bad ones against them!!
            To quote the great Tom Hanks:
            "Crying!! There's no CRYING in Baseball!!!"

          • williamjtasker

            You obviously don't know me very well. I want the correct strike zone for every ballgame and every team.

  5. a57se

    Maddoz and moreso, Glavine were masters at this, they;d routinely get calls on pitches 6 inches off the plate….

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