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Umpire in Chief

Barksdale's Game

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First and foremost I didn't see any of games 4 or 5 this weekend. But the morning after I go to check out the highlights. 

This morning I Google " World Series Game 5" the entire first page of results barely relate to the game. On the first page here are the results I get 

  1.  The Google game summary
  2. POTUS being booed 
  3. Women flashing breast banned (damn I should have watched) ;)
  4. A real story from the Washington post about the game
  5. Several results about Barksdale's aweful game 
  6. Scherzer being scratched

This pisses me off...

So I pull up the actual story on the game, and think pretty routine game, but then I enter the trolling world and read the articles about how awful the umpires are...

So apparently he missed 2 pitches. All 3 of the articles referenced this. One puts trys to say Lance did it out of spite b/c a catcher showed him up..  Really not at this level and not a guy like Barksdale. 

Here are the tweets references and the pitches...


 

 

 

Really... If those are the 2 pitches you are going to hang your hat on to have 3 articles on the #1 SERP to blast Barksdale thats a shame...

No they didn't hit the Foxbox or whatever they want to call it. But we all know how inaccurate that is. I want to see Close Call sport's rating of Barksdale. Give me some objective data. If that's the worst they can come up with for how he did, that's not news worthy. That's trolling, instigating etc... 

So you take the 228 pitches recorded in the game and want to crucify a man on 2 missed pitches (.877%)??? I'll go a step further he may have missed 10 or so but that doesn't hold any water with me any way. 

Since these had such high SERP I was expecting to see really egregious misses and more of them. But 2 out of 228. Go screw yourself this isn't news. 

 

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The optics weren't good in real time.  There were three pitches in question, and only one of them shown above - though I think one of them Barksdale's call was right.

The three I saw had two different catchers (one from each team) ready to throw to third/walk to the dugout on what they (and everyone else) thought was strike three, and Barksdale called a ball, and then you had a batter ready to walk to first, only to have Barkdale call a strike.   There were two egregious misses that I saw - one a full ball outside called a strike, and one with the ball entirely within the strike zone called a ball.

Unfortunately, those three pitches happened with the entire baseball world watching, and likely escalated the entire discussion of robot umpires, which sucks.

It was unusual because, though once in a while you do see a batter start walking before getting a strike call, and sometimes see the pitcher go into his strike three routine, you rarely see a catcher do his strike three routine before realizing it was a ball (as blatantly shown above) - let alone to see each team's catcher do it in the same game.  Like I said, it wasn't a good optic and was just bad timing.  If it happens in a June 20 game between two last place teams nobody hears about it.

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According to Gil:

10/27 HOU@WAS Gm 5: Lance Barksdale: 96/97 Balls + 41/46 Strikes = 137/143 = 95.8%. +0 Nu.

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Cole was on top of his game and was painting the outside edges of the zone. I thought Barksdale was outstanding, I would have passed out from mental exhaustion by the 4th inning. 

Watch Gomes' mitt on that first one. If he sticks the catch, he's probably got the strike, but he pulls it back in. 

All-in-all, the Nats hitters weren't seeing the pitches very well, so they probably shouldn't project onto the umpire. 

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2 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

So I pull up the actual story on the game, and think pretty routine game, but then I enter the trolling world and read the articles about how awful the umpires are...

 

You have no one to blame but yourself. ;)

 

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here is the 7th inning walk, to Zimmerman, that would have been the 3rd out to start with and no controversy. Courtesy of pitch fx

Amazing how teams have """"earned""" a favorable call/or situation/good luck, but been """robbed"" on an unfavorable call/or situation/or bad luck.

Don't hear much about the strike that wasn't, that kept from ending the inning, but just about the ball that wasn't, and did end the inning. Two faced.

And does Barksdale get to whine that he has not seen live pitching since 9/18?, and the bright headlights in the stands shining in his eyes.

 

numlocation.php-pitchSel=543037&game=gid

and the strikeout afterwards, below

 

numlocation.php-pitchSel=543037&game=gid

Cole's plot for the game below

numlocation.php-pitchSel=543037&game=gid

 

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This is the great thing about three scores.

Starting from ML Private (ZE Equiv), Barksdale's score was below league average but not the lowest overall of the postseason.
UEFL f/x paints it as a fairly standard (slightly below average) game.

What really surprises me though is that the ML Public score of 92.3% is a standard result. It's not significantly more nor significantly less than an average "public-facing" score.

When I say "surprises me," I don't mean to say I thought his score have been X or Y—I don't pre-hypothesize, but rather let the numbers do the talking. What I mean by that is I'm surprised that with such an average ML Public score, he's been getting the grief he has...since it's not remarkably better nor worse than an average game.

That tells me two things. First, his most significant misses were crucial pitches (e.g., 2-strike or 3-ball counts), and, second, these misses saw a LOT of play on TV, and reactions from a Nationals club that is really pissed off about getting swept at home. Houston and Washington seemingly swapped RISP stats from Games 1-2 to Games 3-5.

We all know Barksdale meant that a catcher purportedly "taking off" on him made it tougher to strike the pitch because he couldn't see it from start to finish, but it's much easier for the populace to run with the "FU call" narrative because...sports. I find in my own games that honesty with the wrong player/coach/fan about officiating technique/methods ends up hurting when they spin it however they want to spin it.

This situation reminds me greatly of Manny Gonzalez. Let me explain.

In September, Royals pitcher Mike Montgomery accused Manny of being biased against Kansas City—and him personally ("He was giving that look like, 'I'm going to screw you'") because he was unhappy with pitch calls. 1) Manny's game score of 97.7% contained a skew of +1 KC (favored Kansas City over Minnesota by one pitch). 2) Manny's ejection rate is historically low, as in less often than Ted Barrett, Jeff Kellogg, and Jim Joyce. Doesn't seem to match his character. Analysis of that game: https://www.closecallsports.com/2019/09/montgomery-slams-ump-manny-alleges.html

So, we take Barksdale's track record and an FU call makes even less sense than it would have even if he HAD a reputation for an aggressive attitude.


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On 10/28/2019 at 12:52 PM, Umpire in Chief said:

So you take the 228 pitches recorded in the game and want to crucify a man on 2 missed pitches (.877%)??? I'll go a step further he may have missed 10 or so but that doesn't hold any water with me any way. 

Since these had such high SERP I was expecting to see really egregious misses and more of them. But 2 out of 228. Go screw yourself this isn't news. 

That's not how I think umpires should be evaluated on their plate jobs. When I work, generally 75-80% of pitches in a game can be called correctly by my dead grandmother--swings and misses, foul balls, cock shots, anything out of the zone in any direction by 4" or more. You earn your money on calling about 50 pitches. Miss five and you get a 45/50 or 90%, not  215/220 or 97.8%, from me. That's a B, not an A.

In the two ABs that dumbdumb posted the charts for, there are twelve pitches, and seven of them are "dead grandmother" pitches. He was three of five, or 60%, on the others and the two misses were on payoff pitches. That's going to get peoples' attention, particularly when it occurs on consecutive batters.

Measured as part of his entire body of work, the misses didn't rate a crucifixion, but I didn't find the coverage unwarranted. Timing and context matter.

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1 hour ago, andydufresne said:

That's not how I think umpires should be evaluated on their plate jobs. When I work, generally 75-80% of pitches in a game can be called correctly by my dead grandmother--swings and misses, foul balls, cock shots, anything out of the zone in any direction by 4" or more. You earn your money on calling about 50 pitches. Miss five and you get a 45/50 or 90%, not  215/220 or 97.8%, from me. That's a B, not an A.

In the two ABs that dumbdumb posted the charts for, there are twelve pitches, and seven of them are "dead grandmother" pitches. He was three of five, or 60%, on the others and the two misses were on payoff pitches. That's going to get peoples' attention, particularly when it occurs on consecutive batters.

Measured as part of his entire body of work, the misses didn't rate a crucifixion, but I didn't find the coverage unwarranted. Timing and context matter.

Interesting metric. Cut a rectangular space out of the middle of the strike zone. Up for discussion, maybe a ball width, and measure accuracy on the margin. Does that exist?  Should it, @Gil?

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Don't know if it was here or on CCS's comments where I suggested each pitch gets an "index score" based on its location. The higher the score, the more it hurts you by missing it (and the less it helps you by getting it). These would be your cock shots and balls in the dirt. The fringe pitches - those within a few inches of either line of the zone - will count more for getting them right, but less for missing them. Ultimately, your score would range from 0 to 100, with 100 being a "perfect" game.

12 hours ago, andydufresne said:

can be called correctly by my dead grandmother--swings and misses, foul balls, cock shots, anything out of the zone in any direction by 4" or more

@Gil can correct me if I'm wrong, but any swinged-at pitch is removed from the numbers.

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When you miss a call is much more important than how many you missed.  Miss first pitch of an AB - not really a big deal.  Miss  a 3-2 pitch - significant.

3-2 was missed for both teams.

If you are in the slot I can't understand missing in inside pitch.  I can understand the parallax problem on the outside pitch.

I don't quite believe the stats. While the TV box may not be as accurate as it could be it is consistent. So when watching you can see a pitch in location X get called a ball or strike on different pitches. 

And as the plate doesn't move the in/out lines should be accurate.  The high/low is "off" (think Judge vs Altuve).  

 

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@andydufresne I like your thinking and you've got a point. It would be interesting to see each umpires rating for calls +/- 2-3 inches from a true zone and yes by all accounts those numbers wouldn't nearly be as high. But I think they would be consistent across the board for all MLB umpires at a relatively high rating. 

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