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Arizona Diamondbacks Blown Calls of the Week: August 9-15

Just when you thought the strike-zone couldn’t get any worse... Rob Drake happens.

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images


  • 56 bad calls in total, an average of 9.7 per game, which is definitely towards the higher end of the spectrum. A pair which reached a dozen bad calls were the engine-room here. All the games were at Chase Field, but there wasn’t any sign of home cooking going on, with only 22 calls favoring the Diamondbacks, compared to 34, or 61%, going against us. That pushes the home tally for the season back below the 50-50 mark.
  • The totals for the year
    Overall: 434-487 (47.1% favor the D-backs)
    Home: 232-242 (48.9%)
    Road: 202-245 (45.2%)
  • Best-called game: Aug 9, 2-3 vs. LAD (Alfonso Marquez). It’s nice to see a close game where the home-plate umpire doesn’t appear to be a deciding factor. There were only four missed calls here, two for each side.
  • Worst-called game: Aug 10, 6-8 vs. LAD (Rob Drake). Ooh, where to start. When I started writing it yesterday, Fangraphs had apparently pulled their chart of the game. I was about to pen a screed about Drake paying them to remove it, but it’s back now. :) Be amazed by the the bottom of Drake’s strikezone, extending down to the shoe-tops! Except when it doesn’t. Balls? Strikes? Who knows? Then gaze upon the lonely called strike on the left, a pitch Ketel Marte took: at least TEN pitches nearer the edge were called balls. There have been games with more blown calls: but with a startling eight < 10% agreement, this is a definite Bad Game of the Year candidate.
  • Worst confirmed call. Perhaps surprisingly, this doesn’t below to Drake - even the Marte pitch was given a pity 2% agreement rating. Instead, it belongs to Ramon De Jesus, in Monday’s game. While his overall performance behind home-plate wasn’t too bad, Zack Greinke certainly got the benefit of the doubt on this one, which missed the zone by close to half a foot.

The individual games

Aug 9, 2-3 vs. LAD (Alfonso Marquez)
  • 4 bad calls (1.59% of pitches)
  • 2 help, 2 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 352
  • Worst call
Aug 10, 6-8 vs. LAD (Rob Drake)
  • 13 bad calls (3.93% of pitches)
  • 4 help, 9 hurt
  • 8 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 1,216
  • Worst call
Aug 11, 3-8 vs. CHC (Mike Muchlinski)
  • 5 bad calls (1.57% of pitches)
  • 2 help, 3 hurt
  • 0 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 388
  • Worst call
Aug 12, 6-2 vs. CHC (Mark Wegner)
  • 9 bad calls (3.10% of pitches)
  • 2 help, 7 hurt
  • 0 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 388
  • Worst call

This game is perhaps worth looking at a bit closer, since it’s the one which ended in the ringing-up of Ben Zobrist on a called strike three that looked low. That led to a post-game call by Zobrist for an electronic strike-zone. However, that might not have saved him. @DiamondbacksUmp didn’t consider the pitch worth tweeting, and even on the Fangraphs projection, you could argue a case that it might have shaved the black at the bottom of the strike-zone. Much fussing over that from the Cubs - less about the worse calls earlier, most of which favored them... Here’s the Fangraphs chart for the game, with the final pitch from Hernandez highlighted in a blue circle. Not much at the top of the zone being called a strike.

Aug 13, 2-7 vs. CHC (Mike Winters)
  • 8 bad calls (2.59% of pitches)
  • 5 help, 3 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 680
  • Worst call
Aug 14, 2-0 vs. HOU (Ramon De Jesus)
  • 12 bad calls (4.46% of pitches)
  • 6 help, 6 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 1,048
  • Worst call
Aug 15, 4-9 vs. HOU (Chris Guccione)
  • 6 bad calls (4.46% of pitches)
  • 2 help, 4 hurt
  • 2 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 514
  • Worst call