On Saturday evening, way down South in the town Sherman set ablaze, one of baseball’s finest pitchers, Brandon Woodruff fired a strike on a 1-2 pitch, inside the pitching zone over the right side of the plate. The inning was done with runners on the bases, stranded again with the game tied 1-1. Astonishingly, CB Buckner, the guy in blue behind the plate called it a ball. The catcher, Pina, held the glove where it was thrown, well inside the strike zone. Woodruff glared at the ump in futility.
This is the same ump who consistently calls balls outside the strike zone strikes. He has clearly been judged as one of the worst umpires in baseball.
But he is the jury and the judge on thrown balls.
He and he alone determines the fate of the game. And he doesn’t even play.
On the next pitch, Dansby Swanwon smacked the fastball over the left field fence to take a 4-1 lead which the Brewers could never overcome during the rest of the evening.
The Brewers had won seven straight road games And in this game, Wong, Garcia and Cain had multiple hits. But that one single pitch by Woodruff took the toll of momentum in another direction.
Perhaps it is time for baseball to take a hard look at the lessons tennis learned decades ago. Electronic equipment must be brought in to call the balls and strikes. Sure, purists with object, just like they did in tennis years ago. But today, the electric eye tells the truth. It sees balls on the line and over the line. It see balls inside the lines. It calls them the way it should be called.
Empires are still important in baseball for plays at the plate and bases, down the lines, on the fence line and if it were a catch or not.
But as long as umpires call balls and strikes, this game is phony. It suggests it could be rigged. Not to say that Saturday nights game wasn’t on the level. It just was another example that people like last night umpire should not be calling balls and strikes.