I think the ball-strike umpring this year is the worst I've ever seen
I've now seen most of about 9 games this season, and I have to say, I'm ready for QuesTech. Strike zones are too wide, they are horribly inconsistent, and I don't see any rhyme or reason as to why.
Here is Matusz's strike zone plot from last night. Note the five green squares in the lower quadrant, denoting pitches called balls that were in the strike zone. Three of them weren't close to being balls, the other two were borderline, but on most nights, every single one is a strike. And the rub is, that's where you want your pitcher to throw it. Great pitches, no reward. All in all, I count 6 called balls that were strikes, one called strike that was a ball.
Now let's look at Williams' plot. He only got two pitches called balls that were strikes, and a whopping five that were well wide of the plate but called strikes. The two red squares way left of the strike zone are the 1st and 5th pitches of Markakis' 2nd at bat. Those calls forced Markakis to swing at a near-identical pitch with 2 strikes, and he grounded out to 3B, not surprisingly.
I am not putting these up to make some general complaint that the calls go against the Orioles. More just a statement of the poor state of umpiring. Looking at the 8th inning, Scott Downs had two pitches comfortably in the lower quadrant that were called balls, for example. Just way too many pitches that are not that close getting called the wrong way these days, and you don't even see consistency during the game any more.
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