Friday, June 8, 2012

Umpire Odds & Ends: Combined No-Hitter

Major League Baseball and the UEFL witnessed the fourth no-hitter of the 2012 season Friday night, a six-pitcher effort by the Seattle Mariners and the 276th regulation no-hitter in Major League Baseball history (starting pitcher Kevin Millwood left after six innings with a groin injury). This is the first combined no-hitter of the season, the 10th combined no-hitter in MLB history, and the first since the Houston Astros' of the New York Yankees on June 11, 2003. It comes exactly one week Johan Santana's Adrian Johnson-aided no-hitter and was umpire Brian Runge (18)'s second Major League no-hitter of the season. Runge's previous no-hitter was also at Safeco Field, when Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Mariners on April 21st. Runge becomes the 10th umpire in Major League history to call balls and strikes for multiple no-hitters in a single season. The Mariners threw a total of 114 pitches, 67 of which were callable (43 balls and 24 called strikes).

As in the three previous no-hitters this season, there was one noteworthy and close call that kept this no-hitter intact. The first was in Humber's perfect game, when Runge's ruled Brendan Ryan swung on the final pitch of the game (QOC: Correct). The second call was made by Umpire Angel Hernandez on a foul ball during Weaver's no-hitter (QOC: Correct). The most recent controversial call was Adrian Johnson's ruling of a foul ball on a batted ball by Carlos Beltran that hit the foul line during Santana's no-hitter (QOC: Incorrect).

Tonight's close and noteworthy call occurred in the top of the 9th with no outs, when Dee Gordon grounded out to shortstop Brendan Ryan. 1B Umpire Ted Barrett ruled Gordon out at first, drawing a brief argument from Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly. Though Quality of Correctness from individual replays appeared inconclusive, split screen footage of the call appears to show Gordon's foot on the bag prior to Justin Smoak's catch, rending this QOC Incorrect.

Video: Wihelmsen completes no-hitter as part of combined six pitchers
Wrap: Six Mariner Pitchers Combine for No-No

Here is a quick look at the statistics of how Brian Runge called the Mariners' combined no-hitter (Kevin Millwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League, and Tom Wilhelmsen):

Total Pitches: 114
Swinging Strikes: 16
Foul Balls: 14 (Including the Angel Hernandez called foul ball)
In Play, Out: 18
Callable Pitches: 67
Balls: 43
Called Strikes: 24

Correct Called Balls: 39
Incorrect Called Balls (Called balls within the 
strike zone): 4
Correct Ball %: 90.7%

Correct Called Strikes: 22
Incorrect Called Strikes (Called strikes outside the strike zone): 2
Correct Strike %: 91.7%

Correct % of Called Pitches: 91.0%

Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball
(Note: Green and Red squares represent pitches thrown by Seattle pitchers)
*Note: Brooks Baseball is promoting a Sabermetrics seminar hosted by those at the Jimmy Fund with all the money collected going to cancer research, the link to the seminar can be found here.


Anonymous said...

Did Runge take Pryor out of the game? Can umpires do that if a pitcher is doing as poorly as Pryor was? That's how it looked to me but I've never seen an umpire do that before. Maybe he was calling time because the Mariner's manager was calling for a pitching change? I'd appreciate clarification. Great site btw. I'm learning tons!

Anonymous said...

I am really dissapointed in Ted Barrett on that call. I really like Ted and think he was one of the best in the game but he just flat out blew that call. I was watching the play real time and knew this call was incorrect the moment it happened. Barrett got caught up in the moment and didn't want to make Jim Joyce type headlines if the call was incorrect. Unfortunately he was wrong here. Close play, but you have to call it the same way in the ninth inning as the first inning.

Anonymous said...

still looks pretty inconclusive to me from the first split-screen replay.

Arik said...

I agree with anon11:47, play is inconclusive at best.

red said...

Here's a couple of slow-mo replays on the two close plays.

The dee gordon play is super close, and is inconclusive from all angles. Slow down the video and go frame-by-frame at 1:22. You can see the ripple on the bag and shadows change as his foot contacts. By that time the ball is obscured by the glove, but it's unclear whether it's actually caught yet. Maybe some people have magical superpowers to just "know" in real time whether it was right/wrong, but I don't see how when replays are still inconclusive.

red said...

oops. correct link for above comment:

UmpsRule said...

It's pretty hard to be disappointed in Barrett for making a call when you can't even conclusively say he was wrong. And let's not forget, contrary to popular belief, tie does not go to the runner.

Nate said...

Split screen replays could be slightly off calibration to each other. I know this isn't an ejection, but if it were, I would challenge this as inconclusive. (And I've never challenged a ruling)

OSheaman said...

Isn't it funny how someone can "know" the call was wrong when it goes against their team? Amazing how the human eye works that way.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:20 PM: There's no way you "knew" anything about that play, so save your disappointment for yourself.

Anonymous said...

If there were replay, there is no way you can overturn that call, not enough definitive evidence. Sometimes bad calls remain bad calls, but you do not want to ever overturn good calls, as the NFL has done a few times.

Anonymous said...


That has got to be the most pitchers ever in a combined no no.

Brett said...

I watched it several times now, Frame by Frame at 1:22 appears to be the only frame that shows any conclusive evidence for me. It appears that the ball is in the glove before Gordon's foot contact the base. The base itself has shown no signs of contact by producing a ripple or any indentation. Looks to me like Barrett got this one right. Think Gordon may have slowed himself by lunging, his steps seemed to be out of sync near the bag.

Lindsay said...

Correct, six pitchers ties the combined no-hitter record set by the Houston Astros on June 11, 2003 vs. the Yankees (Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel, Billy Wagner).

Mike said...

If you cannot tell if he is safe or out live then it's unfair to judge on a replay and say the call was incorrect. I watched the game live and thought he got him for sure but that play is what we umpires call a "whacker!" I would have called him out too. And I'm no fan of Ted Barrett. As a plate guy he's pretty inconsistent at best. I don't think this combo no-no has any of the taint that Santana's does.

Jon Terry said...

You know, if this wasn't a no-hitter, we wouldn't even be talking about this call . . .

Lindsay said...

hough Quality of Correctness from
individual replays appeared inconclusive,

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