Marty Foster called a fair and consistent game this afternoon. On paper his calls slightly favored the Dodgers but just by two calls with an insignificant impact on the game. His called Strike 3 to Justin Turner to end the game was arguably his worst call of the afternoon, and with an AB LI of 2.76 it was a very big miss. All things considered his performance behind the plate was acceptable, but the last two pitches to Turner at the end really soured what was otherwise a great game for him. This Strike 3 call to Kozma to end the fourth inning was slightly inside, but technically in the Adjusted Strike-Zone:
I chose to highlight this pitch and screen-capped it from both telecasts in order to highlight the difference the CF camera angle can make on 'eyeballing' a pitch location. I tweeted about this yesterday (@dodgerbluereview). The Cardinals telecast has their CF cameras positioned in a straight line with the rubber and home plate. This makes it much easier to judge pitch location while watching the game. SportsNet LA chooses to use the slightly off-center angle that is better for presentation (the pitcher never blocks the view) but skews perception when judging exactly where a pitch is. This is why sometimes the actual data showing where a pitch was located doesn't seem to line up with the TV replay. You need to remember to account for the angle. As seen in this example, while the SportsNet LA off-center view makes it look like the pitch caught the inside corner, you can see from the straight-line angle that it was in fact a or three inches inside off the plate. There were only two 'bad' calls made by Foster today. One was a missed strike call to Joc in the sixth inning:
This AB had a LI of 0.80. Pederson would draw a walk but be stranded at second.
The other beneficial call for the Dodgers was this strike 3 call to Peralta in the bottom of the sixth:
Peralta was leading off the inning and the AB had a LI of 0.45.
Finally, here are the final two pitches of the game to Turner:
Turner had a legitimate reason to be upset, particularly with the third strike. It was the farthest outside Foster had called a strike to a right-handed hitter all afternoon.
This is a good example of how even though an umpire and his Game Scores might favor one team, his impact on the game can be entirely different because some pitches are more important than others. Marty Foster had a very good afternoon calling balls and strikes and was mostly consistent. He technically gave the Dodgers more breaks, but the final two pitches of the game negated that fact.
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