A major indicator that an umpire had a rough night behind the plate is when his name is mentioned multiple times during the broadcast and in most recaps. Do your job and you'll be invisible as they say. The reason it was such an 'interesting' night for Doug Eddings is mainly because of a strike call to Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh. A-Gon did not agree with the call and then preceded to ground into a bases loaded, inning ending double play. At that point, as he admitted to in post game interviews, he was going to make sure Eddings tossed him. Let's look at that pitch:
This pitch was outside, there is no doubt, and considering Garces was struggling and had just thrown eight balls in a row, Gonzalez had a right to be upset. This was also the farthest outside that Eddings called a strike to a LH hitter all night. But in actuality this call was not that extreme. There are many umpires that do call pitches in this area a strike, and it was in our generally accepted Adjusted Strike-Zone. What does that mean? Based on historical data, the Adjusted Strike-Zone represents typical deviations for LH and RH hitters. If you are really interested in the science behind this, read Mike Fast's article over at Baseball Prospectus. Here is the pitch shown with the Adjusted Strike-Zone:
Gonzalez was also upset because of an Eddings strike call against him in the fifth inning:
So yes Adrian had a right to be upset, as technically both of these were 'balls', but Eddings let him know with this pitch in the fifth that he was calling them out there, so I am not quite sure why Gonzalez seemed to be so surprised when he called the same pitch in the seventh. OK. Enough giving Eddings the benefit of the doubt. The real issue with Edding's performance behind the plate last night was the fact that his gifts/misses favored the Padres by an astounding 8 pitches. The majority of these came against RH hitters, not LH. Eddings missed a total of eight strikes that were in the aforementioned Adjusted Strike-Zone from Dodger pitchers. Here are a few: Ball 2 to Solarte in the fourth inning (1-0 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 1.09)
As you can see, Ball 1 was also a strike but also missed by Eddings. Kershaw missed his spots on both, but these should have been called strikes. Eddings also missed two strikes to Norris in the fifth. Here is Ball 1 (0-1 count, 2 outs, nobody on, LI 0.43)
There were also a surprising number of gifts given to Padre pitching. Strike 2 to Rollins in the sixth (2-1 count, 2 outs, nobody on, LI 0.22)
Strike 2 to Ellis in the eighth inning (3-1 count, 2 outs, runner at 1B, LI 1.65)
In the very next at-bat, Eddings called this pitch a strike against Guerrero (0-1 count, 2 outs, 2 on, LI 3.49)
I love Gurrero's reaction to this pitch. There are quite a few more that I could point out, but you get the gist. Eddings calls seemed to get even more lopsided after Gonzelez' ejection, but I am not going to full on say that was on purpose. He had a bad night, and his mistakes heavily favored the Padres. But, as this team has done quite a few times, they pulled through and beat the Padres and Eddings in the end....
Close Calls & Reviews:
There were not any challenges or reviews in the game, marking a sixth straight game where the Dodgers or their opponents have not had a replay in the game. Adding to Edding's interesting night was a ball hit in the 8th inning to Justin Turner at 1B. He played it easily and stepped on the bag, but Jim Wolf, the 1B umpire, called it a foul ball. The issue that Mattingly had with it was that until the ball travels past the bag it is HP umpire Doug Edding's call to make. He apparently did not make a signal one way or the other. Upon review you can see that the ball was likely foul and the call was right, but it points to the fact that Eddings may have been asleep at the wheel.
Where Turner is standing doesn't matter, it is where the ball is. I am sure the counter to Mattingly's argument was something along the lines of, "That ball was clearly foul... yadda yadda yadda," but it doesn't negate the fact that Eddings missed making the call and left it to Wolf.