Marvin Hudson, after I completely trashed him yesterday, called a very favorable game for the Dodgers last night. He was far from being accurate with his strike-zone, as he made a total of 11 mistake gifts (Adjusted SZ), and five mistake misses (Standard SZ), but they primarily favored the Dodgers. The main difference was the ever-intriguing outside corner of the LH Adjusted Strike-Zone. In this region Hudson gave the Dodgers two strikes on two pitches, while giving the Rangers zero of five pitches. Let's look at a few: Strike 1 to Odor in the ninth inning (0-0 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 2.22)
Was pretty much in the same location of Ball 3 to Ethier in the bottom of the ninth (2-0 count, 0 outs, runner at 1B, LI 2.25)
Hudson also gave Dodger pitching this call: Strike 2 to Gallo in the fourth inning (2-1 count, 0 outs, runners at 1B & 2B, LI 2.42)
But didn't give Ranger pitching this call: Ball 4 to Grandal in the ninth inning (3-2 count, 0 outs, nobody on LI 2.18)
The other misses in Hudson's OLAZ Score were higher and not quite as bad, but still misses. For the night, Hudson only really had three bad calls that went against the Dodgers: Strike 1 to Adrian Gonzalez in the sixth inning (0-0 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 1.31)
Strike 1 to Callaspo in the ninth inning (1-0 count, 0 outs, runners at 1B & 2B, LI 3.42)
Strike 3 to Puig in the eighth inning (1-2 count, 0 outs, nobody on, LI 1.77)
The most glaring observation I have had since starting this project a little over a month ago is how low most umpires are willing to call strikes. There have been quite a few articles written about this and it is a topic for a post at another time, but looking at those two called strikes to Puig and Callaspo I thought I would mention it. Marvin Hudson was a very good friend to the Dodgers last night, and that is before we even discuss how the game ended....
Close Calls & Reviews:
Chad Fairchild was given the night off after taking a shot straight to his face...mask last night. Chris Segal, was called in to replace him at 3B. Segal is not necessarily a rookie as much as he is a 'fifth man.' He has worked numerous games this season. In the seventh inning Elvis Andrus tried to take an extra base after a slow groundball made it through the hole into LF. Ethier made an accurate throw that seemed late. After review the safe call was overturned and Andrus was called out. Apparently even though he beat the ball to the bag, he came off the bag between having his hand on it and before hooking it with his body. As I live-tweeted, I am surprised they overturned it. I have mentioned it before, but this is one of those calls that I personally think is a detriment to the game. Sometimes we do not need to microscopically review every 1000th of a second and judge actual contact with a bag. I am of course happy with the result, but I think overturning this call is a little ridiculous. After winning this review, the Dodgers are now 4-13 on challenges.
Lastly, the balk call. After calling Hudson out yesterday for his ability to make himself the center of attention... he single-handedly ends the game with a balk call on Kela. OK, let's be perfectly clear here, it was the right call, and Greg Gibson noticed it from 2B and was also about to call it, but I still think it is funny that after I mention it after his balk call against Kershaw yesterday he does what is pretty much the most significant call an umpire can make, a balk call that ends the game.
Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) from fangraphs tweeted this replay following the game with the description "ehhh, sick of this. blue team wins." It is so accurate. Can you imagine somebody who isn't aware of the game or the rules watching that ending? Very funny.