Sunday, October 6, 2013

Discussions: 2013 AL and NL Division Series

As the 2013 AL and NL Division Series get underway, we again open the umpire forum to discussion. Notes include home plate umpire performance according to pitch f/x and UEFL Rules 6-2-b-a (horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule") and 6-2-b-b (vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"). Plays include significant plays, if such plays occur. For future games, notes include home plate umpire probables. Call +/- also included/highlighted.

- 10/3, PIT@STL 1: HP Umpire Tony Randazzo: pfx (97/99 Balls, 42/46 Strikes = 139/145 = 95.9%) +0 NU.
- 10/3, LAD@ATL 1: HP Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt: pfx (104/107 B, 42/47 K = 146/154 = 94.8%) +0 NU.

- 10/4, PIT@STL, 2: HP Umpire Wally Bell: pfx (97/98 Balls, 50/55 Strikes = 147/153 = 96.1%) +1 STL.
- 10/4, TB@BOS, 1: HP Umpire Chris Guccione: pfx (104/106 Balls, 43/48 Strikes = 147/154 = 95.5%) +1 BO.
- 10/4, LAD@ATL, 2: HP Umpire Marvin Hudson: pfx (95/97 Balls, 30/39 Strikes = 125/136 = 91.9%) +2 ATL.
- 10/4, DET@OAK, 1: HP Umpire Mark Wegner: pfx (96/100 Balls, 40/47 Strikes = 136/147 = 92.5%) +4 OAK.

- 10/5, TB@BOS, 2: HP Umpire Eric Cooper: pfx (78/81 Balls, 35/42 Strikes = 113/123 = 91.9%) +3 TB.
- 10/5, DET@OAK, 2: HP Umpire CB Bucknor: pfx (107/109 Balls, 35/40 Strikes = 142/149 = 95.3%) +2 DET.

- 10/6, STL@PIT, 3: HP Umpire Jerry Layne: pfx (98/101 Balls, 31/41 Strikes = 129/142 = 90.8%) +1 STL.
- 10/6, ATL@LAD, 3: HP Umpire John Hirschbeck: pfx (114/116 B, 41/46 S = 155/162 = 95.7%) +1 ATL.

- 10/7, OAK@DET, 3: HP Umpire Gary Darling: pfx (109/110 B, 44/54 S = 153/164 = 93.3%) +0 NU.
- 10/7, STL@PIT, 4: HP Umpire Sam Holbrook: pfx (100/101 B, 34/38 S = 134/139 = 96.4%) +1 PIT.
- 10/7, BOS@TB, 3: HP Umpire Dana DeMuth: pfx (105/110 B, 43/44 S = 148/154 = 96.1%) +0 NU.
- 10/7, ATL@LAD, 4: HP Umpire Bill Miller: pfx (93/93 Balls, 43/46 Strikes = 136/139 = 97.8%) +1 LAD.
Series Complete: NLDS Dodgers defeat Braves (3-1), net advantage Atlanta, +2 pitches (lost series).

- 10/8, OAK@DET, 4: HP Umpire Jim Reynolds: pfx (105/110 B, 32/40 S = 137/150 = 91.3%) +3 OAK.
- 10/8, BOS@TB, 3: HP Umpire Paul Emmel: pfx (113/116 Balls, 44/47 Strikes = 157/163 = 96.3%) +4 BOS.
Series Complete: ALDS Red Sox defeat Rays (3-1), net advantage Boston, +2 pitches (won series).

- 10/9, PIT@STL, 5: HP Umpire Jim Joyce: pfx (74/76 Balls, 33/37 Strikes = 107/113 = 94.7%) +0 NU.
Series Complete: NLDS Cardinals defeat Pirates (3-2), net advantage St. Louis, +1 pitch (won series).

- 10/10, DET@OAK, 5: HP Umpire Tom Hallion: pfx (104/106 B, 30/40 S = 134/146 = 91.8%) +0 NU.
Series Complete: ALDS Tigers defeat Athletics (3-2), net advantage oakland, +5 pitches (lost series).

Plays (QOC Coloring: Green [Correct], Yellow [Irrecusable or Inconclusive] or Red [Incorrect])
- PIT@STL, NLDS 1: 1B Umpire Wally Bell punches out Russell Martin at first on a tough play
- LAD@ATL, NLDS 1: 3B Umpire Bill Miller rules Simmons' 7th-inning screecher foul at third
- PIT@STL, NLDS 2: 1B Umpire Jerry Layne rules Mercer safe on fumbled hard grounder
- TB@BOS, ALDS 1: 1B Umpire Eric Cooper doles out the safe sign on a Stephen Drew infield single
- LAD@ATL, NLDS 2: 3B Umpire Tim Welke rules Gattis' grounder to Uribe off third a foul ball
- LAD@ATL, NLDS 2: 1B Umpire John Hirschbeck rules Puig safe at first on infield single
- LAD@ATL, NLDS 2: 2B Umpire Bill Miller calls Dee Gordon out on an attempted 9th inning steal
- DET@OAK, ALDS 1: 1B Umpire CB Bucknor rules Iglesias out at first as Barton fields Lowrie's throw
- DET@OAK, ALDS 1: 1B Umpire CB Bucknor calls Infante safe on infield hit to third baseman Donaldson
- DET@OAK, ALDS 1: 2B Umpire Gary Darling calls Torii Hunter out at second on attempted steal
- TB@BOS, ALDS 2: 1B Umpire Dana DeMuth bangs Myers out on slick play by John Lackey
- TB@BOS, ALDS 2: 2B Umpire Paul Emmel spots the quick tag on Dustin Pedroia's backside
- DET@OAK, ALDS 2: 3B Umpire Tom Hallion rules Moss safe at third, ahead of Cabrera's lunging tag
- STL@PIT, NLDS 3: 1B Umpire Sam Holbrook calls Beltran out on bang-bang play at first
- STL@PIT, NLDS 3: 3B Umpire Paul Nauert rules Francisco safe at third on a strike out-stolen base
- ATL@LAD, NLDS 3: 1B Umpire Bill Miller deems Puig safe as 1B Coach Lopes argues for a balk
- ATL@LAD, NLDS 3: 2B Umpire Tim Welke calls Puig safe on a force out, error advance to second
- ATL@LAD, NLDS 3: 3B Umpire Laz Diaz calls "Time" on Mark Ellis' foul ground ball wide of third
- OAK@DET, ALDS 3: HP Umpire Gary Darling issues warnings after benches clear in the 9th
- BOS@TB, ALDS 3: 1B Umpire Paul Emmel calls Middlebrooks out at first on Cobb's gem
- BOS@TB, ALDS 3: 2B Umpire Mike Winters punches Loney out on Napoli's double play toss
- BOS@TB, ALDS 3: HP Umpire Dana DeMuth rules batted ball that bounces over catwalk foul
- BOS@TB, ALDS 3: 3B Umpire Larry Vanover finds Ellsbury safe by razor thin margin at third
- BOS@TB, ALDS 3: 1B Umpire Paul Emmel calls Escobar safe at first on slow chopper to Drew
- BOS@TB, ALDS 3: 2B Umpire Mike Winters has Berry safe on stolen base attempt in the eighth
- ATL@LAD, NLDS 4: 2B Umpire Laz Diaz rules Hanley Ramirez safe on series' first stolen base
- ATL@LAD, NLDS 4: 1B Umpire Tim Welke calls Elliot Johnson out on Juan Uribe's quick throw
- ATL@LAD, NLDS 4: RF Umpire John Hirschbeck sees a fair ball on Johnson's missed catch attempt
- ATL@LAD, NLDS 4: 3B Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt calls foul on Juan Uribe's bullet down the line
- OAK@DET, ALDS 4: RF Umpire Gary Darling rules home run, upholds call after instant replay review
- PIT@STL, NLDS 5: 1B Umpire Paul Nauert finds Morneau safe on close play at first base
- PIT@STL, NLDS 5: 1B Umpire Paul Nauert gets Mercer out on the backend of a double play
- DET@OAK, ALDS 5: LF Umpire Gary Darling calls Peralta's fly ball a foul ball, inches off the line
Division Series Complete: 33 Close Calls, 26.5 Correct, 3.5 Incorrect, 3 Irrecusable = 80.3% Accuracy.

54 comments :

Gil Imber said...

Gattis was out by several feet and Marvin Hudson would have been able to nail that call even had he wandered into the stands for a frankfurter. For that matter, Rock Hudson would have gotten that call right and he's not so mobile anymore. I understand that a point of this site is to highlight good umpiring, but this isn't North Korean state media. You don't need to glorify things that aren't glorious. Umps are in the right position to make calls probably 99% of the time. That play was completely unremarkable.

Gil Imber said...

Any thoughts on the peculiar LDS crew positions? In PIT/STL, Wally Bell (who has been an interim crew chief for most of the year) will have the plate in Game 2, instead of the presumptive Game 4. In ATL/LAD, Laz Diaz has a more accomplished playoff record than both Hudson and Wendelstedt, yet he won't get a plate in the LDS. Historically, crew alignments have been determined by seniority and playoff experience.


Two thoughts occurred to me: (1) Bell and Wendelstedt/Hudson (likely Hunter) are World Series umpires this year and MLB wants to make sure they get a plate in before the WS. (2) Crew assignments are based on plate work evaluations this year, with the people with the best plate work on each crew being given the most important games (and the worst plate guy not being given an assignment).


Of course, this doesn't explain the bizarre (and absurd) pairing of DiMuro and Bucknor on the same crew.....

Gil Imber said...

According to mlb.com, Larry Vanover is the ump not working the plate in the TB/BOS series

Gil Imber said...

Not only is Bucknor getting a plate job but he is getting Game 2 with Wegner getting Game 1. I think plate job order has everything to do with strike zone accuracy throughout the year. Ever since pitch fx started making their XML numbers public I have been grading Umpires using that and the order pretty much correlates. For example I fully expected Gooch to work the plate over Vanover because he has shown to be one of the most accurate Balls/strikes guy in in the league while Vanover can be all over the place. Same with Randazzo vs Nauert, Randazzo is significantly more accurate than Nauert behind the plate. And Hudson is more accurate than Wendlstedt, although Hunter was good last night.

I was also surprised that Bucknor and Dimuro are on the same crew as they are generally considered to be among the weaker Umpires in the league. But between the two Bucknor is decent behind the plate while Dimuro is one of the worst in the league. Still surprised he got Game 2 over Wegner though. I thought it would be Bucknor, Reynolds, Darling, Wegner, Hallion, Dimuro.

As far as World Series I think it is going to come drone a group of these guys:

CC's (2 or 3)
Hirschbeck
Demuth
Darling
Hallion
Winters

2nd Timers (1 or 2)
Bell
Holbrook
Miller

1st Timers (2)
Wegner
Cooper
Reynolds
Randazzo
Emmel

My Final Picks:
Hirschbeck (CC)
Emmel
Holbrook
Wegner
Darling
Demuth

Gil Imber said...

I think you're missing the 2 obvious picks among crew chiefs: Welke & Kellogg.

Gil Imber said...

I know it's still very early (I write this with only 4 games completed & ATL/LAD game 2 in progress), but compared to last year and 2011, the umpires seem to be doing much better behind the plate so far this postseason. Agree or disagree?

Gil Imber said...

Kellogg isn't working the division series, ergo, he's not going to work the World Series unless they dramatically alter the rules that they typically use.

Gil Imber said...

Which brings us back to the baffling playoff assignments. Jim Wolf, Alfonso Marquez, Brian Gorman, Gary Cederstrom, and others at home, CB Bucknor getting an assignment and a plate game.

Gil Imber said...

True, but Kellogg did work the plate for the TB/Texas tiebreaker & his work in that game would be enough for me to give him the nod in the WS IF enough of the crew chiefs working the DS fuck things up (and given some of the CCs, I can see this happening) OR if ones like Hallion and Winters don't get a plate assignment.

Gil Imber said...

But is it confirmed yet that the LCS crews are the wildcard game crews again? Because if not, then I think we'll see Wolf, Marquez, and Cederstrom later on this month (and hopefully Gorman too.)

Gil Imber said...

You're right, that play doesn't meet the "close call" criteria (similar to the famous ESPN "20%" study). Play removed. Thanks for the feedback.

Gil Imber said...

I don't know that they will be, but if you look at those crews, at least 4-5 of the umpires on each look like they'd make sense for LCS crews. They are guys with LCS and World Series experience, and thought of highly by the league. Maybe they replace Knight and Barksdale with more experienced guys, but that's only two slots.

Gil Imber said...

The numbers would support you there. Every Division Series except BAL@NYY in 2012 had at least one game with a <90.0% performance (BAL@NYY's low was 91.8%).


The lowest this Series is LAD-ATL Game 2 Hudson, with 91.9%. The second lowest? Wendelstedt's 94.8%. Adjustment to the Miller Rule from 2012 to 2013 (see the 2012 Summit) might have somewhat of a role as it standardized how vertical location fits into QOC, but as far as trends, I'm noticing less pitches thrown in the strike zone being called balls. In other words, umpires are more apt to strike actual strikes this year.

Gil Imber said...

I totally disagree with your call that Bill was wrong on the stolen base.

Gil Imber said...

Inconclusive at best.

Gil Imber said...

I've only watched the first 2 innings of the Detroit Oakland game but so far I cant stand the announcers. Just my opinion.

Gil Imber said...

Espn just posted a still picture showing he was actually out by a lot. I'm surprised they actually wanted to show that an umpire got a call right.

Gil Imber said...

Hirschbeck was CC in 2010 and Dana DeMuth has never worked one as a Crew Chief so I am thinking the league will try and get him a spot

My Final Picks:
DeMuth (CC)
Reynolds
Wendelstedt
Bell
Winters
Darling

Gil Imber said...

Tottally agree with you, Buck Martinez sounds like an total idiot.

Gil Imber said...

The photo sold me. Out, great shot, even better call.

Gil Imber said...

Aside from the baffling decision to give CB Bucknor a plate assignment, let alone a playoff assignment period, I like the way they have the playoff rotations set up. They have Joyce, Welke, Hallion, and Winters in place to do a potential deciding Game 5 in their respective series, and you can't much better than those guys.



Overall, I'd say the umpiring has been strong in the games I've seen so far.

Gil Imber said...

I did forget to add Welke but did not forget about Kellogg. Like Brian said, Kellogg is not working a DS so we will not see him in the fall classic this year. My thinking is that Knight and Barksdale will only work the WC games since it is their first Playoffs and they will be replaced by Kellogg, Kulpa and Dreckman in the LCS's (they worked the wild card game but not a DS). I cannot decide if just Knight and Barksdale will be replaced by guys from the play in game or if someone like Timmons or Cuzzi will be done after their respective WC game. My personal guess is we will see all three of Kellogg, Kulpa and Dreckman working LCS's and Knight, Barksdale and Timmons will be done. The reason that is my guess is they still get Playoff credit for working that one game since the WC game is part of the Playoffs but the play in games are not.

Gil Imber said...

Russ, maybe you could post your numbers? There definitely are many people here, myself included, who have prejudices against (or in favor of) certain umpires and the numbers would be helpful to see

Gil Imber said...

http://m.imgur.com/a/77f84

Tough call but take a look at the GIF, it doesn't look like Simmons is holding the ball securely and firmly at the point shown in that pic and appears to lose contact when he does close his glove...

Gil Imber said...

That's reaching quite a bit in my opinion.

Gil Imber said...

What if the call on the field was Gordon was safe?

I've read enough of these boards to know when it's as close as that was the ump is defended vehemently... Jim Joyce/Galarraga comes to mind... Actual possession was brought into question as a way to defend Joyce with no replay even close to as good as the GIF showing the moment of secure possession...

It's close and a call either way is reasonable, but it's inconclusive at best...

Gil Imber said...

Does Dana Demuth always call his outs with his right hand slightly higher than his belt line?

Gil Imber said...

I look at CB Bucknor's plate scores tonight & juxtapose the score with the number of national writers who were mentioning him tonight on twitter, and I really wonder about the accuracy of pitch FX. If it was off ever so slightly, CB called several strikes that were balls. Further, I worry based on the comments about Nelson that QuesTec scores are accorded too much weight in the determination of playoff assignments. A guy like Bucknor frequently makes mistakes on the bases.

Gil Imber said...

General question. Does PFX remove pitches from consideration that were butchered by the catcher like ZoneTrack does?

Gil Imber said...

I'll bet Jerry Layne was around 80% for his game today.

Gil Imber said...

That might be generous.

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/fastmap.php?pitchSel=all&game=gid_2013_10_06_slnmlb_pitmlb_1/&sp_type=2&s_type=7

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/fastmap.php?pitchSel=all&game=gid_2013_10_06_slnmlb_pitmlb_1/&sp_type=3&s_type=7

Gil Imber said...

I've seen enough games played now that I think I can make a legitimate guess as to who the WS umpires are going to be (though I'll probably be way off)
- Dana DeMuth (CC)
- Chris Guccione
- Wally Bell
- Tony Randazzo
- John Hirschbeck
- Tim Welke

Gil Imber said...

Jay was out at third....watch to see the angle at the end. EXTREMELY difficult call - another reason why instant replay will improve the game!

Gil Imber said...

Yeah. It'd say it's clear on the replay that he was out.

Gil Imber said...

I thought C.B. had a good year and deserved his playoff assignment and so far he has done a very good job,so every one leave him alone.

Gil Imber said...

Do umpires have to have worked the plate in the division series to be considered for the world series or is simply being in the division series warrant automatic consideration?

Gil Imber said...

The numbers posted for Miller add up to 136/139 (or 97.8%)

Gil Imber said...

Simply being in the DS. Otherwise, half of the CCs would not be eligible unless the series went 5 games.

Gil Imber said...

Does anyone know why the Fransisco steal is still yellow? If the goal is to be objective, then it should definitely be red.

Gil Imber said...

Gary Darling just botched in my opinion an instant replay review. The fans clearly reached well into the field of play and took away an opportunity for the right fielder to catch the ball. I think out Sitios have been the correct call.

Gil Imber said...

Agree. I think it's a flaw in review that the CC has the final say....forcing him to overrule himself. Same issue with the missed HR review in Cleveland earlier this year.

Gil Imber said...

I agree as well. The side view at 1:30 clearly indicates that the ball had a really good chance to be caught. Nobody knows what would have happened, but in my opinion the fan interference rule is also meant to discourage the public from intervening. Had the umpire ruled an out in this case, this would have prevented such incidents from occurring again in the future. Instead, this encourages home fans to lean over the fence and take an out from the visiting team.

Gil Imber said...

Gil, can you explain the red lined call in the NLDS game 3. It is highlighted, saying the pickoff attempt to first should have been ruled a balk. The video doesn't support your ruling and the plate umpire Hirschbeck and second base umpire Welke are in a much better position to call this a balk, which they didn't. Why is this "miss" attributed to Miller?

Gil Imber said...

It's possible the ball was past the perpendicular extension of the bottom of the outfield fence, the front of the green padding. Thus he might not have reached into the playing field and was entitled to try to catch the ball.

Gil Imber said...

It was actually Jay on the steal - and he was definitely out....just another blatant example of the "objectivity" that left this board a long time ago - it's a shame.

Gil Imber said...

The free leg moves prior to the step off; the call is a crew call and is not exclusively U1's or any other umpire's.

Gil Imber said...

Thank you for your response but this is not good video. It is impossible for a right handed pitcher to pick a runner off of first base without "breaking" his front leg. If they are two separate moves I would agree but this was a simultaneous movement.

Gil Imber said...

While we're waiting on the numbers for Tom Hallion, wasn't he the umpire who missed only one pitch during an ALCS game between the Tigers and Rangers?

Gil Imber said...

How do you figure "No advantage" on Hallion's numbers. It's definitely Det +4.

Gil Imber said...

Hallion called that outside strike to lefties all night

Gil Imber said...

Gil,

What would it take to "sell" you on the Jay steal? The overall numbers at the bottom don't mean much if there are obvious errors not accounted for....

Gil Imber said...

An angle that includes depth perception. I still have an inconclusive call.

Gil Imber said...

Is this good enough?

Gil Imber said...

Don't see an image...

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