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Strike Zone Newsbeat

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

An Illustrated Guide of Missed Strike Calls

The Stab
A classic as old as our appreciation of framing. If you want to present a pitch as a strike, a still glove is key. This one was a strike, and it wasn’t a cross up; it was just Daulton Varsho making a mess out of a pitch he had to know was coming:

Did Jean Segura’s half-hearted bunt attempt throw him off his mechanics, or perhaps confuse the umpire’s sense of the bottom of the zone? Maybe! For a call like this to get missed, something has to go really wrong. That pitch was six inches above the bottom of the zone, squarely in not-even-close-to-a-ball territory. The worst part of this one is that it would have been easily avoided. J.B. Wendelken didn’t miss the target by much. If Varsho had kept his glove down the whole time rather than first pulling it up and then recovering back down, I’m fairly certain this would have been called a strike.

This isn’t the most exaggerated stab you’ll see. That motion, though – reaching down for the ball with the glove – just looks like a ball. It wasn’t a ball, of course. We have the luxury of the white strike zone box – and exact three-dimensional coordinates – but between that dipping motion and the bunt attempt, it was simply a missed call. Usually, umpires get these right. Stab often enough as a catcher, though, and you’ll lose strikes. There’s a reason Varsho grades out as indifferent at best with the glove. It’s not this pitch in particular, but it’s an accumulation of things like this pitch.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2022 at 02:32 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: strike zone, umpires



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