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Arizona Diamondbacks Blown Calls of the Week: July 4-9

Hoo-boy. This week’s report will be adapted by Peter Jackson into a trilogy...

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images


  • 60 bad calls in total. I think this is the first time we’ve reached double-digits, with an average of 10.0 per game. You know it’s a bad week when you have to reduce the font size significantly on the @DiamondbacksUmp log file, to fit all the calls for one game onto your screen. Clearly, certain umpires need a break as much as the players. The split was exactly even, 30 in favor of Arizona, and 30 against us.
  • However, there was a major difference in performance between the two series here, and apparently, the two umpiring crews. MLB Crew G, under the shambling horror which is Tom Hallion, averaged 14 per game over the series in Dodger Stadium. These were fractionally in favor of the D-backs, at 22-20, but over three games decided by one run, you’ve got to feel they were an unwanted influence. In contrast, the three games at Chase Field, controlled by MLB Crew O and Paul Emmel, averaged less than half that, at six per game. These fractionally favored the Reds, by an 8-10 margin.
  • The totals for the year
    Overall: 333-355 (48.4% favor the D-backs)
    Home: 185-175 (51.4%)
    Road: 148-180 (45.1%)
  • Best-called game: July 8, 0-7 vs. CIN (Paul Emmel). Crew chief Emmel led from the front, showing Hallion how it should be done, with five missed calls over the course of the game. However, as we’ll see, there was still significant reason to be critical of his performance.
  • Worst-called game: July 5, 0-1 @ LAD (Tom Hallion). To mis-quote Paul Hardcastle.
    All those who remember the game
    They won't forget what they've seen.
    Destruction of players in their prime
    The number of blown calls was nineteen...
    N-n-n-n-n-n-n... Nineteen.
    Yeah. In a year of hellish strike zones, Hallion’s was the worst of all, surpassing the 18 by Angel Hernandez + Stu Schuerwater in April (the former was independently picked by Fangraphs yesterday, for worst strike call of the season so far). Just about anything in the upper third of the strikezone was a ball. That was at least consistent. Anywhere else? Both pitchers and hitters took their chances, apparently. In a game which was enthralling drama otherwise, it’s a shame you were left to feel it was an edition of the umpshow. I don’t blame Torey Lovullo in the slightest for coming out and having a lengthy chat with Hallion. I might have been a good deal less respectful and calm.
  • Worst confirmed call. From the same game, and clearly visible at about five o’clock on the above chart. I’ll leave it to you to count how many pitches higher than this one, were called balls by Hallion.

The individual games

July 4, 3-4 @ LAD (Mark Ripperger)
  • 11 bad calls (3.33% of pitches)
  • 5 help, 6 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 932
  • Worst call
July 5, 0-1 @ LAD (Tom Hallion)
  • 19 bad calls (7.45% of pitches)
  • 12 help, 7 hurt
  • 11 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 1,694
  • Worst call

Technically, the above wasn’t quite the worst call recorded by @DiamondbacksUmp. That honor would belong to this one, which was called a strike, even though the pitch apparently missed the zone by... more than ten feet. I discarded that entry. I think it’s safe to call it a glitch in the matrix, and is perhaps a useful reminder than even #RobotUmps are not infallible...

July 6, 4-5 @ LAD (Phil Cuzzi)
  • 12 bad calls (4.23% of pitches)
  • 5 help, 7 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 982
  • Worst call
July 7, 6-3 vs. CIN (Quinn Wolcott)
  • 6 bad calls (2.11% of pitches)
  • 2 help, 4 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 524
  • Worst call
July 8, 0-7 vs. CIN (Paul Emmel)
  • 5 bad calls (1.60% of pitches)
  • 4 help, 1 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad call
  • Bad call score: 408
  • Worst call

A generally well-called game got off to an inauspicious start with the fifth pitch VERY badly blown by Emmel, as shown above. Taijuan Walker said, “I thought I struck him out. I thought it was a good pitch. It looked like it was right down the middle and it kind of made me mad. I kind of let that sit with me for too long. I can’t do that. I have to shake it off and go back to pounding the zone. It just kind of got away from me.” For by the time Walker was subsequently able to record an out, the Reds were three runs up. Now, given the offense was blanked entirely, it’d be hard to argue this cost us the game. But it does show how much impact one mistake can have.

July 9, 1-2 vs. CIN (Brian O'Nora)
  • 7 bad calls (2.51% of pitches)
  • 2 help, 5 hurt
  • 3 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 576
  • Worst call