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Arizona Diamondbacks Blown Calls of the Week: August 16-22

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Angel Hernandez In Reasonably Well-Called Game Shocker!

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

So this was the week where the umpires briefly wore white arm-bands, in protest at Ian Kinsler only being fined, and not suspended, for his criticisms of Angel Hernandez, saying Hernandez “needs to find another job”. The fine was an “almost unheard” amount - word is, however, that it was actually $10,000. While that’s probably quite a lot for you or me, Kinsler is earning $11 million this year, so the amount represents about 112 innings of work for him. I kinda have to agree, that’s not exactly going to serve as any kind of deterrent. But should it? You can kinda see why MLB doesn’t want to encourage thus kind of thing. But there are times when criticism is not just legitimate, it’s entirely warranted - and Kinsler had legitimate grounds for complaint.

As for the umpires, I’d say they need to suck it up in those cases. Their subsequent whining, and arm-band protest, just makes them look like special snowflakes in search of a safe space. The best way to avoid becoming the target of abuse is to do your job competently, and realize that nobody attends baseball games to see you. You are there to facilitate the game, not get in the way of it. Meanwhile, the D-backs got their turn with Hernandez this week. But it actually didn’t go too badly...

Summary

  • 45 bad calls in total, an average of 6.4 per game - one of the better weeks the men in blue have had. It helped that none of the games reached double-digits in blown calls.
  • The split was almost even as well: all the games were on the road, and the overall split was 22 in favor of the D-backs, 23 against. But there was a sharp difference across the three cities. In Houston, the ratio was 11:2 FOR Arizona; in Minnesota, it was 7-15 against us; and in New York, 3-6 against.
  • The totals for the year
    Overall: 456-510 (47.2% favor the D-backs)
    Home: 232-242 (48.9%)
    Road: 224-268 (45.5%)
  • Best-called game: Aug 21, 3-2 @ NYM (Mike Estabrook). There were only three calls here tagged as mistakes, and that low number is especially laudable, as this was the only game this week which went extras, with almost 350 pitches thrown.
  • Worst-called game: Aug 20, 5-12 @ MIN (John Tumpane). There probably wasn’t much that could have saved this came from a Diamondbacks’ perspective, with the team falling into a 9-0 hole at the end of the first inning. But Tumpane’s game didn’t just have the most blown calls of any umpire, they also went against Arizona by an 8-1 margin. Unfortunately, neither Fangraphs not Brooks Baseball appear to have a chart of Tumpane’s strikezone for the game, so we will just have to take @DiamondbacksUmp’s word for it.
  • Worst confirmed call. The same goes for this category: the lack of any alternative maps means that the word “confirmed” should probably be struck from the record this week. I wonder what’s up with the lack of charts? Maybe it was part of the umpires’ secret settlement with Rob Manfredi...

The individual games

Aug 16, 5-9 @ HOU (Dana DeMuth)
  • 5 bad calls (1.64% of pitches)
  • 4 help, 1 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad call
  • Bad call score: 428
  • Worst call
Aug 17, 4-0 @ HOU (Paul Nauert)
  • 8 bad calls (3.27% of pitches)
  • 7 help, 1 hurt
  • 3 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 670
  • Worst call
Aug 18, 3-10 @ MIN (Ted Barrett)
  • 7 bad calls (2.40% of pitches)
  • 3 help, 4 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad call
  • Bad call score: 588
  • Worst call
Aug 19, 0-5 @ MIN (Angel Hernandez)
  • 6 bad calls (2.07% of pitches)
  • 3 help, 3 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad call
  • Bad call score: 528
  • Worst call

Oh, god: it’s an Angel Hernandez start! Hide your wife, hide your ki... What? It didn’t actually suck? Actually, that’s the second game in a row involving the Diamondbacks where Hernandez has been perfectly mediocre. There was also one on May 24 where he had only five blown calls. However, just like closers with blown saves, it will take a few more decent outings before we feel even somewhat confident in his abilities, following the Blowmageddon which was his April 8 outing. The 18 blown calls there still ranks among the most of the year.

Aug 20, 5-12 @ MIN (John Tumpane)
  • 9 bad calls (2.89% of pitches)
  • 1 help, 8 hurt
  • 4 outrageously bad calls
  • Bad call score: 764
  • Worst call
Aug 21, 3-2 @ NYM (Mike Estabrook)
  • 3 bad calls (0.86% of pitches)
  • 1 help, 2 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad call
  • Bad call score: 232
  • Worst call
Aug 22, 7-4 @ NYM (Jerry Layne)
  • 7 bad calls (2.34% of pitches)
  • 3 help, 4 hurt
  • 1 outrageously bad call
  • Bad call score: 546
  • Worst call