Umpiring Report, ALCS Game 5
The umpiring actually had a huge effect on this game. There were only the average number of missed calls, but they stubbornly refused to be rendered moot by subsequent events, with blown calls in many key PA that would have changed their complexion in unknown ways.
-- Kazmir probably got a gift strike low on Drew with a 1-0 count leading off the 2nd. The 7th pitch of that PA was a 2-2 ball, but it should have been a 3-2 pitch. No knowing whether he would have walked him instead of getting him 6-3 on the actual, next 3-2 pitch.
-- Kazmir was probably squeezed inside on the first pitch to Kotsay later that inning, so the 1-0 count that Kotasy singled on should have been 0-1.
-- Kazmir was probably squeezed on an 0-1 low strike to Youkilis in the 3rd. Youklis then fouled off four straight 1-1 pitches before singling. If Kazmir gets the call, maybe he wastes a pitch and the PA ends up the same, but maybe not.
-- Dice-K's second pitch to Iwamura in the 5th was probably a low outside strike, but he didn't get the call. Since he got a swing and miss on a 3-1 pitch that should have been 2-2, this may well have turned a 5-pitch K into a 6-pitch walk that prompted Francona to lift him.
-- Okajima's very first pitch was a clear gift inside strike to Upton. (This was not the first pitch that Marquez clearly missed, but the previous four had been rendered moot by the pitcher getting the batter even after being squeezed.) He ended up fanning him on 5 pitches. Since his 0-2 pitch was a curve wasted in the dirt, the most likely outcome here is that the count goes to 2-2 ... after which we have no idea what might have happened.
-- Kazmir got a ridiculous outside gift strike on a 1-0 pitch to Bay in the 6th (out in RF, I marked it down unhesitatingly as a ball without even waiting for the call). He ended up throwing him a 2-2 ball that should have been a 3-1 pitch. No knowing if he still fans him on 7 pitches, but it seems unlikely.
-- Kazmir probably got a gift low strike on the first pitch to Drew immediately following. Since he missed easily with his next three pitches (his 108th through 110th), you have to wonder whether that saved him a walk. So with perfect umpiring, it's quite possible that Balfour relieves Kazmir with 1 on and 2 out or 2 on and 1 out in the 6th (and of course Lowrie greeted him with a 2B leading off the 7th).
-- Delcarmen was squeezed big-time on the very first pitch he threw (an inside pitch that's called a strike way more often than not), and the 2-2 pitch later in that PA was about as obvious and perfect a low outside strike as you can throw, grabbing 2" of the plate and being 2" above the top of the knees. Was he getting squeezed because he had massive control problems in his previous outing? How different is the game if he fans Bartlett on 4 or 7 pitches instead of walking him?
-- Papelbon got a clear gift inside strike to Longoria with the count 1-1. He missed on a 2-2 pitch that should have been a 3-2 pitch ... but got him to hit into a GDP with the actual 3-2 pitch that followed. So, again, no knowing whether he might have walked him (which would have loaded the bases with nobody out) instead.
-- Balfour probably got squeezed outside on his 1-1 pitch to Crisp in the 7th. Coco lined a 1B on the next pitch, which should have been 1-2 instead of 2-1.
-- OTOH, he probably got a gift low to Pedroia with the count 2-0. Would he have walked him before giving up the RBI 1B on a 3-2 count? Would Papi's 3-run bomb been a granny?
-- The 3rd (1-1) pitch of the immortal Wheeler - Crisp confrontation was a clear low strike that was called a ball. Coco then fouled off strike 2, took ball 3 (which should have been ball 2), then fouled off four consecutive ball fours (only the first two of which were in danger of being called strikes). It's hard to see how this would have changed the PA except for making it all less dramatic and interesting (all the fouls coming on 2-2 pitches rather than 3-2 pitches), but who really knows?
-- Howell's 1-0 outside strike to Papi in the 9th was probably a gift. He's probably not bunting if he's up 2-0, so no knowing what happens instead of the 4-pitch K.
-- Howell probably got squeezed high on the first pitch to Youkilis in the 9th. So the 4th pitch, a 2-1 slurve up in the zone that Youk took for strike 2 (very similar to the first pitch which he also took), should have been a 1-2 pitch. Would Youk have fouled it like he did the next four pitches? Swung threw it to end the inning? Or hammered it?
ALCS Game 5, Alfonso Marquez
|Pitcher ||Inn ||Batter ||Bat ||Ct ||L St ||R St ||Lo St ||Hi St ||BS ||Result |
|Matsuzaka D ||1 ||E Longoria ||R ||0-0 || ||0.7 || ||5.4 ||B ||9 on 3-2 |
|Matsuzaka D ||2 ||C Floyd ||L ||1-1 ||-0.6 || || ||7.7 ||B ||5-3 on 3-2 |
|Kazmir S ||2 ||J Drew ||L ||1-0 ||1.0 || ||0.4 || ||S ||6-3 on 3-2 |
|Kazmir S ||2 ||J Lowrie ||R ||2-2 ||8.7 || || ||3.3 ||B ||L8 on 3-2 |
|Kazmir S ||2 ||M Kotsay ||L ||0-0 || ||-1.3 ||4.7 || ||B ||1B on 1-0 |
|Matsuzaka D ||3 ||A Iwamura ||L ||0-1 || ||5.5 ||2.1 || ||B ||3-1 on 2-2 |
|Kazmir S ||3 ||K Youkilis ||R ||0-1 ||0.1 || ||0.5 || ||B ||1B on 1-2 (sb 0-2) |
|Kazmir S ||4 ||J Lowrie ||R ||1-1 || ||3.9 ||0.9 || ||B ||5-4 on 2-1 |
|Kazmir S ||4 ||J Varitek ||R ||0-0 || ||6.7 || ||2.7 ||B ||[K on 7 pitches] |
|Matsuzaka D ||5 ||A Iwamura ||L ||0-1 ||-2.4 || ||1.0 || ||B ||BB on 3-2 |
|Okajima H ||5 ||B Upton ||R ||0-0 || ||-2.8 || ||6.9 ||S ||K on 2-2 |
|Kazmir S ||6 ||J Bay ||R ||1-0 || ||-5.5 ||7.9 || ||S ||K on 3-2 |
|Kazmir S ||6 ||J Drew ||L ||0-0 ||2.4 || ||-0.2 || ||S ||8 on 3-1 |
|Delcarmen M ||7 ||J Bartlett ||R ||1-0 ||-2.0 || || ||5.8 ||B || |
|Delcarmen M ||7 ||J Bartlett ||R ||2-2 || ||2.3 ||2.0 || ||B ||!! 9 pitch BB !! |
|Papelbon J ||7 ||E Longoria ||R ||1-1 || ||-2.5 ||9.2 || ||S ||6-4-3 on 3-2 |
|Balfour G ||7 ||C Crisp ||L ||1-1 ||-2.7 || || ||9.4 ||B ||1B on 2-1 |
|Balfour G ||7 ||D Pedroia ||R ||2-0 || ||2.8 ||0.3 || ||S ||1B on 3-2 |
|Wheeler D ||8 ||C Crisp ||L ||1-1 || ||7.4 ||1.5 || ||B ||1B on 3-2 |
|Howell J ||9 ||D Ortiz ||L ||1-0 ||-3.2 || ||6.5 || ||S ||K on 1-2 |
|Howell J ||9 ||K Youkilis ||R ||0-0 || ||5.7 || ||0.9 ||B ||1B on 3-2 |