In last night’s Detroit-Arizona game there were several moments where I was completely befuddled by CB Bucknor’s strike zone. But I was going to just consider my bias as a frustrated fan and let it go. Then I saw Tom Gage’s game story and a ball-strike call was the lead for his story. So I thought I would go back to the pitch f/x data and post a couple of the at-bats in question. Except for one thing. The pitch f/x data that had been there throughout the game had disappeared this morning.
One of the moments in question was in the top of the 7th inning when Jeremy Bonderman appeared to freeze Justin Upton with a called third strike on a 2-2 count. Except it was called a ball and Upton would later go on to walk. I was IM’ing with Ian and couldn’t believe the pitch, but I chalked it up to being the frustrated fan of a floundering team.
The other egregious call was in the top of the 8th inning when Curtis Granderson was called out an a fastball that was borderline low, and at least 6 inches off the plate. The frustration of the one call combined with the crappy play of my team had me furious at this latest call. But I thought I would give it some time before posting. I try not to blog angry.
But when I went to post the at-bats in question this morning, the pitch f/x data is gone. There are still plots of the pitches, but not as tracked by pitch f/x and not where the actual pitches were. The system was working last night. It worked the night before at Chase Ballpark and the data still persists. It worked in other ballparks last night where the data still exists.
Perhaps it is some kind of data glitch where things were broken only at Chase only after that game. And in fairness I checked the other games that Bucknor has done this year, and all the data is there. So maybe I’m just irrational frustrated fan guy right now who is pissed because his team isn’t playing better, but I did want to graphically show how bad the calls were. Plus I have a long running disdain for Bucknor for other reasons.
C.B. Bucknor’s umpiring acumen has been well documented. In a 2003 Sports Illustrated survey of players he was voted worst umpire. In a 2006 Sports Illustrated survey of players he was voted worst umpire. So at least he’s consistent in his sucking.