Michael Cuddyer had a heated argument over a close strike 3 call to end the Indians-Twins game with Adrian Johnson. He may have bumped him. Was not sure where to post this.This is a reference to the 2-2 pitch which ended the Twins-Indians game, in which Cuddyer was called out on strikes on a fastball from Indians pitcher Chris Perez by HP Umpire Adrian Johnson. The call clinched the game for the Indians as a one run victory, and Cuddyer vehemently argued the call with Johnson (of course, to no avail).
The play is an exciting way to end the game, but most importantly, was the call right? With regard for the UEFL Rulesbook regarding strike zone Quality of Correctness, we first consider the Pitch f/x chart, courtesy of Brooks Baseball.
Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball
Pitch #5 looks outside and therefore a ball, right? Not quite. As shown in Ejections: Ron Kulpa (1, 2), looks can be deceiving. In responding to an overturned challenge of Quality of Correctness ("Incorrect" ==>"Correct"), I wrote
In using pitch f/x to determine QoC, parameters to be judged include horizontal location, vertical location (coordinates of pitch), normalized zone variability or quotient (amount of vertical "stretch" or "shrink" applied to vertical parameters so that the strike zone ranges from 1.5 to 3.5 vertical feet, movement of pitch (known as pfx, and specifically pfx_x and pfx_z), and type of pitch. In regards to pitches which only depend on the horizontal constraints of the strike zone (as is the case here), we specifically consider horizontal location, px. In this plate appearance ( against Kemp), we see pitch (1) with a horizontal location of 0.895 ft; pitch (2) has a location of -0.946 ft. Considering the working strike zone is 22.880 inches (17" plate + 2*2.944")*, we see that 11.440 inches correspond to 0.953 feet on either side of the plate. Since both 0.895 ft and -0.946 ft have an absolute value less than the working strike zone value of 0.953 feet, we must conclude that the call was correct.
*To calculate the working diameter of the strike zone, we use the formula of plate diameter + 2 times ball diameter (one for each side of the plate). The plate is 17" in diameter as defined by OBRule 1.05. The ball is a sphere with a maximum circumference of 9.25 inches as defined by OBRule 1.09. Circumference = pi * diameter; therefore, diameter = circumference / pi; diameter = 9.25 / 3.14159... = 2.944". Adding these figures together yields a working strike zone of 22.880 inches.
Therefore, we can say that definitively, any "px" value less than 0.953 feet from the center of home plate shall be correctly ruled a strike, making any px between -.953 and +.953 a strike... Back to Johnson's strike call to end the game. Johnson's called third strike had a px value of 0.918. Considering the science behind pitch f/x, it is a numerical fact that Johnson made the correct call.