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.