Monday, June 29, 2015

Umpire Crew for D'Backs Series

The following umpires will work the series with the Diamondbacks:

Mike Winters - (7.6 RPG, 6.2 BBPG, 16.6 KPG)

Mark Wegner - (8.2 RPG, 5.8 BBPG, 14.8 KPG)
Marty Foster - (7.0 RPG, 5.3 BBPG, 15.8 KPG)
Mike Muchlinski - (8.1 RPG, 6.8 BBPG, 17.2 KPG)

This will be the third time this crew has worked a Dodger series. The last was over the three game series in St. Louis. In that series, Mike Winters ejected A.J. Ellis for arguing balls and strikes. He had a very bad game - that review can be seen here. Muchlinski did not work behind the plate in that series, as he was replaced by Marcus Pattillo, who called a favorable game for the Dodgers.

It will be interesting to see how Mike Winters and the Dodgers interact tonight.

EDIT: Apparently Wegner is working behind the plate, meaning Winters will work the plate tomorrow.

Dodgers at Marlins, 6/26-6/28,2015

So the work involved with running this blog, which is seven weeks old today, has become somewhat overwhelming. I love the Dodgers, and this blog was born out of that love, but, doesn't pay the bills. The last thing I want to do is whine to those of you who take the time to give a shit what I have to say, so take this simply as a lame excuse as to why there were not immediate updates over this past weekend. Sometimes my day job gets in the way, and it was also my birthday this weekend which interfered.

Basically what I am trying to say is please forgive me if sometimes I take a few games off. In those instances there will be 'basic' Blue Review's that are not quite as in-depth as the ones you have become accustomed to. This series with Miami will be one of those...


HP Mike Everitt (Friday)
HP Tim Timmons (Saturday)
HP Todd Tichenor (Sunday)
4th  Tim Welke


Dodgers: Anderson, Liberatore, Baez
Marlins: Nicolino, Cosart, Dyson

Dodgers: Kershaw, Howell, Garcia
Marlins: Koehler, Capps, Ramos

Dodgers:Greinke, Liberatore, Jansen
Marlins: Urena, Phelps, Dunn, Capps, Dyson

Zone Score & Game Score for Mike Everitt

Standard Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLSZ): +1
Dodgers v. RHH (DRSZ): -1

Marlins v. LHH (OLSZ): 0
Marlins v. RHH (ORSZ): +1

Adjusted Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLAZ): -2
Dodgers v. RHH (DRAZ): -2

Marlins v. LHH (OLAZ): -1
Marlins v. RHH (ORAZ): 0


Standard Strike-Zone Game Score: -1
Adjusted Strike-Zone Game Score: -3

Zone Score
 & Game Score for Tim Timmons

Standard Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLSZ): 0
Dodgers v. RHH (DRSZ): +2

Marlins v. LHH (OLSZ): +4
Marlins v. RHH (ORSZ): 0

Adjusted Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLAZ): 0
Dodgers v. RHH (DRAZ): -1

Marlins v. LHH (OLAZ): -2
Marlins v. RHH (ORAZ): 0


Standard Strike-Zone Game Score: -2
Adjusted Strike-Zone Game Score: +1

Zone Score
 & Game Score for Todd Tichenor

Standard Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLSZ): +5
Dodgers v. RHH (DRSZ): +4

Marlins v. LHH (OLSZ): +3
Marlins v. RHH (ORSZ): +2

Adjusted Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLAZ): +2
Dodgers v. RHH (DRAZ): +2

Marlins v. LHH (OLAZ): +2
Marlins v. RHH (ORAZ): -1


Standard Strike-Zone Game Score: +4
Adjusted Strike-Zone Game Score: +3


Obviously the scores that should be discussed here are Tichenor's. Everitt and Timmons had somewhat average marks, and although Tichenor's were not far out of line, his accuracy was. As you can decipher, he had quite a large zone. Ultimately they favored the Dodgers and this series ended up very even in regards to the balls/strikes calls from home plate umpiring.

Close Calls & Reviews:

The Dodgers did not make one challenge over the weekend. The Marlins did challenge a call on Sunday in the seventh inning. Greinke was called safe at 1B after grounding to SS. The challenge succeeded as he was clearly out and the call was overturned.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Umpire Crew for Series with Marlins

The following umpires will work the series with the Marlins:

Mike Everitt - (8.8 RPG, 6.2 BBPG, 15.5 KPG)

Tim Timmons - (8.5 RPG, 5.8 BBPG, 16.7 KPG)
Todd Tichenor - (7.0 RPG, 5.3 BBPG, 15.8 KPG)
Tim Welke - (8.7 RPG, 4.8 BBPG, 15.6 KPG)

This will be the first time this crew has worked games for the Dodgers this season. I always remember Tim Welke for this call against the Dodgers a few years back before replay was available. Tim called Hairston out, not noticing Todd Helton being a few feet off the bag.

Dodgers at Cubs, 6/25/2015


HP Andy Fletcher
1B Jordan Baker
2B Paul Emmel
3B Jerry Meals


Dodgers: Frias, Peralta, Howell, Garcia, Jansen
Cubs: Lester, Jackson, Russell, Medina, Rondon

Zone Score & Game Score for Andy Fletcher

Standard Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLSZ): -1
Dodgers v. RHH (DRSZ): 0

Cubs v. LHH (OLSZ): +1
Cubs v. RHH (ORSZ): +5

Adjusted Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLAZ): -5
Dodgers v. RHH (DRAZ): -1

Cubs v. LHH (OLAZ): -2
Cubs v. RHH (ORAZ): +4


Standard Strike-Zone Game Score: -7
Adjusted Strike-Zone Game Score: -8


I mentioned yesterday that the HP umpires for the first three games of this series have been beneficial to the Dodgers to the tune of +16 pitches. Andy Fletcher cut that in half himself today.

Fletcher's Game Score's indicate one of the most lopsided games in regards to fairness of balls and strikes called by the HP umpire. The only other -8 Adjusted SZ Game Score was from Doug Eddings on June 12th, in which Adrian Gonzalez was ejected for complaining about the strike-zone. You can see that Review here. Safe to say that Fletcher was not good today, both accuracy-wise and consistency-wise.

Full disclosure: I was only able to watch this game from about the fifth inning on. Based on what I read, Joe Maddon and Jon Lester had some words with Fletcher at some point. One thing I have learned since beginning DBR is that when an umpire is as bad as Fletcher was today, no matter which team ultimately ends up getting the benefit of the most mistakes, both teams will be vocal about the calls - and of course that team will likely be the team that is losing.

Andy Fletcher was actually pretty fair to Lester, and the pitch after which the yelling started wasn't even close to being a strike. Lester made comments that he was simply angry over his performance and that his anger wasn't directed at Fletcher or his strike-zone. Regardless, Fletcher being as confronting as he was with Lester looks really bad.

Fletcher made the following gift calls (among others) against the Dodgers:

Seven calls outside of the Adjusted Strike-Zone given to Cubs pitching to RH hitters:

Strike 2 to Hernandez in the first inning (0-1 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 0.87)

Strike 1 to Ellis in the second inning (0-0 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 0l.64)

Strike 1 to Turner in the second inning (1-0 count, 1 out, runner at 1B, LI 0.46)

Strike 1 to Guerrero in the third inning (0-0 count, 1 out, nobody on, LI 0.22)

Strike 1 to Hernandez in the fourth inning (1-0 count, 2 outs, nobody on, LI 0.14)

Strike 1 to Ellis in the sixth inning (1-0 count, 2 outs, runner at 1B, LI 0.19)

These were all (except for the last strike from Jackson in the sixth) the result of Lester throwing his cutter in to RH hitters. I am not quite sure how he could have been getting strike calls there and still fail to make it into the fifth inning. The camera angle really detracts from accurately judging where these locations were. They admittedly did not miss by a lot, but they were balls and out of our Adjusted Strike-Zone.

Fletcher missed numerous strikes for Dodger pitching, which combined with the above, resulted in his horrible Game Scores.

A few misses for Dodger pitching:

Ball 1 to Coghlan in the first inning (0-0 count, 2 outs,runner at 2B, LI 1.15)

This call was probably the result of A.J. not attempting to frame the pitch. It did catch the lower edge of the zone however.

Ball 1 to Coghlan in the eighth inning (0-1 count, 1 out, nobody on, LI 0.28)

There are others, but you get the idea.

A really bad performance from Andy Fletcher, both accuracy-wise and from a fairness perspective.

Close Calls & Reviews:

There was a review in the seventh inning for a ball hit by Justin Turner that was initially called a home run. Review clearly showed the ball hitting the lip of the netting and not clearing it, resulting in an overturned call. Although this was the correct call, it could have had huge implications as Turner slowed up after the home run signal was given by #B umpire Jerry Meals, Had Turner been tagged out in-between bases he could have been technically ruled out after the determination was made that it was not a home run. That would've been fun.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dodgers at Cubs, 6/24/2015


HP Jerry Meals
1B Andy Fletcher
2B Jordan Baker
3B Paul Emmel


Dodgers: Bolsinger, Howell, Peralta, Liberatore, Nicasio, Jansen
Cubs: Hendricks, Russell, Grimm, Jackson, Medina

Zone Score & Game Score for Jerry Meals

Standard Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLSZ): +3
Dodgers v. RHH (DRSZ): +3

Cubs v. LHH (OLSZ): +2
Cubs v. RHH (ORSZ): -1

Adjusted Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLAZ): +2
Dodgers v. RHH (DRAZ): -3

Cubs v. LHH (OLAZ): -2
Cubs v. RHH (ORAZ): -3


Standard Strike-Zone Game Score: +5
Adjusted Strike-Zone Game Score: +4


In similar fashion to Paul Emmel yesterday, Jerry Meals called a favorable game for the Dodgers. In fact, this crew has a net of +16 calls over the series. The area that Meals had the biggest difference helping the Dodgers was to LH hitters, where Meals had three misses with Cubs pitchers (and no gifts), and two gifts to Dodger pitching (0 misses). He also had some pretty bad misses with RH hitters at the plate.

His biggest mistakes included:

Strike 1 to Denorfia in the first inning (1-0 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 0.87)

Ball 1 to Grandal in the second inning (0-0 count, 2 outs, nobody on, LI 0.37)

Ball 1 to Bolsinger in the third inning (0-1 count, 1 out, nobody on, LI 0.59)

Ball 2 to Bolsinger in the fifth inning (1-2 count, 1 out, nobody on, LI 0.18)
Strike 1 Coghlan in the eighth inning (0-0 count, 1 out, nobody on, LI 0.55)

One interesting call that went against the Dodgers was the called third strike to Adrian Gonzalez in the sixth inning. Gonzalez let Meals know that he didn't like the call, and you can see that it was in fact outside. I noted and tweeted that the location was almost identical to the strike called against Adrian in the June 12th game in which he got ejected. Here they are in comparison:

Strike 2 on June 12th called by Doug Eddings

Strike 3 called by Meals last night

Strike June 12 (Blue), Strike June 24 (Red)
Adrian knows exactly where both of those pitches were, and was angry about both. The only reason he chose to be more vocal about the first was because of the situation.

Close Calls & Reviews:

There were two reviews in the game, one asked for from each team, with both teams losing their respective challenges. In the fifth inning the Dodgers challenged a catch that Coghlan made in LF on a ball hit by Rollins. Coghlan seemed to have possibly been aided by the ground after the ball was moving around and he hit the grass. It was pretty clear that the ball never hit the ground and the Dodgers lost the challenge. They are now 5-14 with challenge requests.

In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Denorfia for some reason tried to stretch a hard hit ball off the wall into a double. Van Slyke made a perfect throw, and the Dodgers were lucky to get a strong bounce off a metal door on the LF wall, but getting caught at 2B for the last out of the game when you are down three runs is bad. The out call was upheld and the Dodgers won the game.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dodgers at Cubs, 6/23/2015


HP Paul Emmel
1B Jerry Meals
2B Andy Fletcher
3B Jordan Baker


Dodgers: Greinke, Nicasio, Liberatore, Garcia, Peralta, Jansen
Cubs: Hammel, Rondon, Strop, Motte

Zone Score & Game Score for Paul Emmel

Standard Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLSZ): +6
Dodgers v. RHH (DRSZ): +2

Cubs v. LHH (OLSZ): 0
Cubs v. RHH (ORSZ): +1

Adjusted Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLAZ): +2
Dodgers v. RHH (DRAZ): 0

Cubs v. LHH (OLAZ): -5
Cubs v. RHH (ORAZ): 0


Standard Strike-Zone Game Score: +7
Adjusted Strike-Zone Game Score: +7


In case you needed any more evidence that the Dodgers are struggling right now, look no farther than last nights DBR results compared to the game results. Not that our metric of evaluating fairness and advantages in the officiating of games should have a direct correlation to wins and losses, but Paul Emmel was very favorable to the Dodgers with his ball/strike calls last night and it didn't help.

Specifically, Emmel was favorable to the Dodgers by giving very few strike calls to LH Dodger hitters on the outside corner. Jimmy Rollins was given a few breaks in his at-bats and still ended up 0 for 4. Is it time for Seager, or even Kike everyday? Well, that isn't what this blog is about (but yes).

Emmel helped the Dodgers with the following (missed) calls:

Ball 1 to Pederson in the first inning (0-2 count, 1 out, nobody on, LI 0.61)

Ball 2 to Callaspo in the third inning (1-1 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 0.99)

Ball 3 to Rollins in the third inning (2-1 count, 0 outs, runner at 2B, LI 1.48)

Sidenote: This is one of the worst misses I have seen since starting the DBR project. Not sure how this was not called.

Ball 3 to Rollins in the sixth inning (2-1 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 1.34)

Ball 4 to Grandal in the ninth inning (3-1 count, 2 outs, runner at 1B, LI 2.19)

There were a few more misses, on top of four clear gifts to Dodger pitching, but ultimately these didn't help the Dodgers pull out a victory. Emmel called a game that heavily helped the Dodgers, arguably giving them three extra outs, two to Rollins in crucial at-bats.

Close Calls & Reviews:

In the bottom of the second inning, with two outs and nobody on, Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel hit a foul ball off of first base. Adrian tracked it, reached slightly over the tarp to catch the ball only to have a fan snag it instead. The Dodgers challenged and rightfully the call of fan interference was called resulting in out 3 to end the inning.

I was fairly vocal about this on Twitter (@dodgerblureview), expressing my disgust with this guy. Not only are you risking the ball hitting your newborn, or for all anyone knew Adrian leaping into into the stands (ala Jeter or Justin Sellers), you are breaking a league-wide rule of interfering with a ball in play. A decade ago a guy pretty much lost his ability to live in Chicago because he did the exact same thing (albeit a slightly different scenario).  So not only did the Chicago Cubs security allow the guy to remain in his seat, he was lauded as some sort of folk hero, AND for the next few outs of the game, ignored the play on the field to look at his phone, risking his poor infant taking another foul ball to the head.

Let me ask this simple question: What would have been the result if Hammel hit a screaming line-drive foul instead of a lazy pop-up? What if it is this ball:
Instead of how it actually played out?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dodgers at Cubs, 6/22/2015


HP Jordan Baker
1B Paul Emmel
2B Jerry Meals
3B Andy Fletcher


Dodgers: Kershaw, Liberatore, Garcia
Cubs: Wada, Wood, Russell, Strope, Rondon, Motte

Zone Score & Game Score for Jordan Baker

Standard Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLSZ): +3
Dodgers v. RHH (DRSZ): +2

Cubs v. LHH (OLSZ): 0
Cubs v. RHH (ORSZ): +2

Adjusted Strike-Zone
Dodgers v. LHH (DLAZ): +3
Dodgers v. RHH (DRAZ): +1

Cubs v. LHH (OLAZ): -1
Cubs v. RHH (ORAZ): 0


Standard Strike-Zone Game Score: +3
Adjusted Strike-Zone Game Score: +5


So of course the question everyone's asking is whether or not Kershaw's pitch to Kris Bryant (the pitch before his two run home run) was a strike or not, and of course the answer is.... sort of.

Technically the pitch was a ball, based on the Standard Strike-Zone, which is the width of the plate (17 inches). But, as all readers of this blog know, the actual strike-zone is a tad wider - about an inch and a half beyond the plate on either side to RH hitters. So where was that pitch exactly?

The pitch was 9.27 inches off the center of the plate, or 3/4 of an inch off the outside corner. Considering the pitch was square in the middle of the zone vertically (at 2 ft. 3 inches), almost every umpire in the game would call it a strike. But if you look at HP umpire Jordan Baker's results from the last game he called balls and strikes, you will notice that he actually doesn't give much of an expanded corner outside to RH hitters.
Here are Baker's calls in his last game (Padres at Braves, June 11th) in the same region. He called seven of seven pitches in the expanded outside region of the Adjusted Strike-Zone balls, and even called a ball there that was in the Standard Strike-Zone. From this we can garner that the ball call to Bryant was not an anomaly for Baker. The only thing hurting Baker's case for not calling a strike was this call:

Strike 1 to Enrique Hernandez in the 8th inning (1-0 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 1.35)

This pitch was .28 inches closer to the plate at .49 inches off the corner, an indiscernible difference from the Kershaw/Bryant pitch. Here it is in comparison to the Bryant ball.
This is a perfect example of the arbitrary strike-zone having a direct influence on a game. There is a strong case to be made that Kris Bryant should have been called out on strikes, ending the third inning. At first I thought the main culprit here was Baker's reluctance to pull the lever on a strike call to end an at-bat and the inning for the home team. But he did that exact thing twice in the game, calling Wada out on strikes to end the second inning, and ringing Coghlan up to end the eighth inning.

So your guess is as good as mine on why he didn't call strike 3 to Bryant. A conservative outside strike-zone to RH hitters aside, and the randomness of the moment caused him to stand there and make no call. This was a miss that directly cost the Dodgers two runs.

The funny thing is, besides this call, Baker actually favored the Dodgers for the rest of the night. His +5 Game Score indicates a positive difference of 5 pitches helping the visiting team. Accuracy-wise, Baker was pretty bad. I will try and dig into this a little more in an update, but I want to get this Bryant stuff posted.

Close Calls & Reviews:

There were no challenges or reviews in the game, but there was however a protest. In the sixth inning a  few lights in an outfield bank of lights went out. There seemed to be a noticeable difference in center-field but nothing that the umpires deemed unplayable conditions. Joe Maddon ultimately decided to protest, claiming it would be unfair if the lights came back on at some point. This protest was made even more ridiculous by the fact that the Dodgers were in the field at the time. The biggest hindrance of not having full lights would be difficulty the fielders would have in seeing the ball. So if the lights came back on later in the inning, it would actually be a benefit to the Cubs.

This was all about stalling. Maddon knew that his club had the lead, the game was official already (having passed the 5th inning mark), and the rain was coming. Not only would he possibly be able to shorten the game if a rain delay happened,  but he also forced Kershaw to stand around waiting for about 10-15 minutes. It is a classic 'baseball move,' of which the like happens all the time. Fair play on his part, and fair play on Kershaw at one point raising his voice and asking "WTF already!?"