How bad of a call was it ...
The Rays were understandably upset about the called third strike on Ben Zobrist that ended Monday's game, which home plate umpire Marty Foster admitted after the game that he got wrong.
Here is an idea of just how bad a call it was based on the PitchFX data provided by brooksbaseball.net. The red square toward the bottom left of the box is the pitch in question.
Foster initially told Maddon it was a better pitch than it looked because catcher A.J. Pierzynski didn’t handle it well. But after watching a replay in the umpires’ room. Foster admitted that he blew it.
“I saw the pitch and of course don't have the chance to do it again,’’ Foster said, “but had I had a chance to do it again I wouldn't call that pitch a strike.’’
Maddon protested vehemently and continued for several minutes after the field cleared. Calmer afterward in his office, he said:
"My only comment on the whole situaiton, my only thought is that can not happen in a major-league baseball game. That kind of call can not occur. I don't even want to say "under those circumstances, last inning, the last out of the game." I'm not even going to go there,. That call can not be made in a major league baseball game.''
Maddon makes the point that not only did it potentially keep the Rays from winning one game, but there could have been a carryover effect for several days that could both help them and hurt the Rangers.
“Without getting to really unload my brain right now, which I am very tempted to do, all I want to say is that can not happen in a major league baseball game,’’ he said.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan admitted that they were fortunate to get the call and said may have bene the last person on the field to know the game was over.