The Baseball Analysts did a fascinating study on umpires and their pitch calling based on the count. The findings were fairly surprising:
So the effect of count is indeed significant. In fact, all else equal, each strike in the count decreases the likelihood of a pitch being called a strike the same amount as a pitch being one inch further away from the center of the zone (roughly equal estimates). The number of balls is also significant but the effect is less than half of that of the number of strikes (you can see in the image of strike zone area above, area decreases more as you increase strikes than it increases as you increase balls). The length of break is also significant, pitches with lots of break are slightly more likely to be called a strike. Once we control for break and count there is no significant difference in how the strike zone is called to different pitch types.
This shows two things, one of which is surprising and the other is not. Firstly, I am shocked that as the strikes increase in a count, the umpires shrink the zone. I was under the impression that umpires were more likely to K a hitter for letting a pitch that is close enough pass with two strikes. the less surprising thing, but still interesting to see confirmed by the data, is that pitches that have a lot of break and therefore seem to cross the plate even when they do not are called strikes more often.
The real point here is that umpires are supposed to call every pitch from every player by the same standard. The zone should not be an expanding and contracting area that changes by situation. MLB cannot be happy about studies like this, which may explain why they have decided to ditch the Questec umpire monitoring stystem for one based on Pitch f/x. I am all for the human element of the game in terms of making the wrong call. However, the wrong call for the wrong reason, such as count, is not acceptable.
What do you think? Does this bother you?
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees