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Arizona Diamondbacks blown calls of the week, Apr 26-May 2

No prizes for guessing this week’s winner.

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images


  • 48 bad calls in total, averaging 8.0 per game. But there was a sharp split here, with two games returning only two and three gaffes, while the others all reached double digits.
  • 20 of those calls helped the D-backs, while 28 hurt. Just the one road game this week, which did see the expected 3-8 split against the D-backs. The five games at Chase Field saw a much narrower 17-20 split, as we’ve been seeing all along.
  • The totals for the year
    Home: 69-76 (47.6% favor the D-backs)
    Road: 31-65 (32.3%)
    The odds of that road split happening by chance are basically so small (less than 0.07%), I’m not going to bother calculating them going forward.
  • Best-called game: Apr 27, 6-2 vs. SDP (Eric Cooper). Mr. Cooper managed only two bad calls, representing less than 1% of all the pitches thrown.
  • Worst-called game: We have a three-way tie at the top, with 11 bad calls. The highest percentage of bad pitches went to Mike Estabrook in the Saturday game against Colorado. But the worst total bad call score went - and this is my unsurprised face - to Jerry Layne in the Sunday contest of that series. Which, of course, also brought us this blunder:
  • Worst call of the week month year geological epoch:

I note that Layne has not been part of his crew for the past two games in Chicago. I can only hope this is actual disciplinary action by MLB, and not an early vacation. On the strike-calling front, however, we go with this one by Estabrook, independently verified through another source.

Apr 26, 5-8 vs. SDP (Tom Woodring)

  • 10 bad calls (3.18% of pitches)
  • 2 help, 8 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 830
  • Worst call

Apr 27, 6-2 vs. SDP (Eric Cooper)

  • 2 bad calls (0.83% of pitches)
  • 1 help, 1 hurt
  • 0 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 144
  • Worst call

Well done, Mr. Cooper. This is the best-called game of the season to date, according to the auto-tracker, with just two questionable calls, and nothing worse than 20%.

Apr 28, 1-3 vs. COL (Toby Basner)

  • 3 bad calls (1.12% of pitches)
  • 1 help, 2 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 252
  • Worst call

Basner was almost as good here. That’s a name you should probably remember, because he was also the man who, while umpiring second-base, initially made no call on the A.J. Pollock play. This game suggests he knows what he’s doing behind home-plate as well.

Apr 29, 6-7 vs. COL (Mike Estabrook)

  • 11 bad calls (3.42% of pitches)
  • 6 help, 5 hurt
  • 4 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 962
  • Worst call

Apr 30, 2-0 vs. COL (Jerry Layne)

  • 11 bad calls (2.88% of pitches)
  • 7 help, 4 hurt
  • 5 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 1,016
  • Worst call

I’m including this one for our amusement: I had to laugh at seeing the above, because if true, it would be conclusive evidence of the searing incompetence of Jerry Layne. Unfortunately, cross-checking it with other sources does suggest the above was a glitch. But Layne’s certainly doesn’t escape entirely: for example, the one below does withstand corroboration, and stands as a badly blown call.

Though as we’ve already discussed, Layne’s biggest problem wasn’t behind the plate...

May 2, 6-3 @ WAS (Brian O'Nora)

  • 11 bad calls (2.93% of pitches)
  • 3 help, 8 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 864
  • Worst call

This seemed a curiously inconsistent strike-zone, which is perhaps more frustrating than one that’s merely loose or tight. 11 bad calls in a regulation game might seem bad, considering it’s the same number as in Sunday’s 13-inning marathon. But there were virtually the same number of pitches thrown in both games; yesterday’s had just six fewer, thanks to the struggles of both starters.