Joe Nathan strikes out Ben Zobrist for his 300th save on a terrible umpire call

Was this one of the worst calls of the year? Or was it just an incredible pitch?

4/9/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Blog Photo - Joe Nathan strikes out Joe Nathan for his 300th save on a terrible umpire callJoe Nathan racked up his 300th career save last night, but I'm sure he would have liked it to end a little differently, if he had a choice.

For the last out of the game, Nathan struck out Ben Zobrist looking. Sounds decent, right?

Sure... except every single person in the ballpark, including Nathan and Rangers catcher AJ Pierznski, were convinced that it was ball 4. Probably because Pierzynski had to dig it out of the dirt, about 4 inches off the outside corner of home plate.

This wasn't a strike in any way, shape, or form. Yet home plate umpire Marty Foster still called it strike three, ending the game.

Check out the video:


Even Nathan could be seen saying "wow" as he came off the mound. This was an absolutely atrocious call, and could have drastically changed the course of the game. The Rays had a runner on first base, and a walk to Zobrist would have given them 2 men on base with Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce coming up next.

Was this a truly bad call? Or will anyone try to say that Foster made the right call? It had an awful lot of movement, but I'm just not seeing a strike there.
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4/13/13   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

Pat wrote:
I strongly disagree, but I had a feeling someone would make this case. I think the laws of physics disagree with you about where the ball was when it crossed the plate. Or the general area of the plate, as it were.

The curve a ball makes is determined by its spin because there's less air friction on one side than the other. Plus, it doesn't start right away because it takes a moment to start moving to one side or the other. It's not that easy with a baseball, but since I watch a lot of international soccer, I've seen this sort of thing happen a lot, so I know what to look for. This pitch reminded me of several of Beckham's goals.

Trust me, this was a great call. What happened is that the ball was thrown harder than usual producing more spin than a pitcher normally gets on the ball. Plus, the camera angle is deceiving, making it look more to the outside than it was.

4/10/13   |   OneStepBeyond   |   36 respect

Not a strike, never a strike. Blown call at best. Very disappointing due to it being a one run game. But, that’s how baseball do. She’s a cruel beast.
 
"I saw the pitch and, of course, I don't have a chance to do it again, but had I had a chance to do it again I would not have called that pitch a strike.” Marty Foster

4/9/13   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

w_g_walters wrote:
I had to watch this several times. At first, I thought this was a bad call, but then I realized the ball took one hell of a curve that made it look like a ball to the casual fan. But I realized the ump made the right call. It was making such a strong move to the outside at the last minute that it would fool any batter. The umpire had the only great position to see it in the entire ballpark, and he could tell.

If you look at the replay, you can see that 1) the ball was right at the knee, and 2) it's clearly over the plate a split second before shooting to the outside.

GREAT call by the ump.

I strongly disagree, but I had a feeling someone would make this case. I think the laws of physics disagree with you about where the ball was when it crossed the plate. Or the general area of the plate, as it were.

4/9/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

SI's baseball blog look into this, and apparently this ump's strike zone is always more generous on the outside corners than what is in the rulebook (albeit not like that call). Most people just throw up their hands and say that's part of the game, but that's dumb. If the umps aren't going to call it like the rule book, why have it?

4/9/13   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

I had to watch this several times. At first, I thought this was a bad call, but then I realized the ball took one hell of a curve that made it look like a ball to the casual fan. But I realized the ump made the right call. It was making such a strong move to the outside at the last minute that it would fool any batter. The umpire had the only great position to see it in the entire ballpark, and he could tell.

If you look at the replay, you can see that 1) the ball was right at the knee, and 2) it's clearly over the plate a split second before shooting to the outside.

GREAT call by the ump.