May 12, 2022

Plawecki, Victim Of Blown Call That May Have Cost Red Sox A Win, Remains Anti-Robot

This joke of a call from plate umpire Adam Beck happened in the top of the sixth inning of last night's game. The score was 3-3.

Atlanta reliever Collin McHugh had just walked Franchy Codero on four pitches to load the bases with two outs. Kevin Plawecki was at the plate, having doubled in his previous at-bat. The pitch sequence went: foul, foul, ball, ball, foul, ball. Then McHugh threw a pitch very low, out of the strike zone. A competent umpire would have called it ball four, a run would have scored, and the Red Sox would have had a 4-3 lead, with another batter at the plate.

Instead, Beck blew the call. Plawecki was called out on strikes and the inning ended. The game stayed tied until Orlando Arcia hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, giving Atlanta a 5-3 win.

Did Beck's bad call affect the outcome of the game? It's impossible to say for sure. Perhaps the Red Sox still would have lost. But it's equally possible that the Red Sox would have won . . .  by a 4-3 score or maybe 7-3 or 6-5 or any possibility starting from 4-3. What we know for certain is that Beck's blown call changed the final score.

Both Plawecki and manager Alex Cora were ejected for arguing the call. After the game, Plawecki said he would still rather lose games in this way than having the correct call made.
I don't want an electronic strike zone. There's an art to it. Am I mad about the call tonight? Sure. But that doesn't change my mind.
Amazing. . . . I would not be so quick to refer to someone making horrendously wrong decisions as an "artist".

Umpires made egregiously bad calls in several games this week.

I also marveled at this line from Lauren Campbell's NESN article (linked above): "While the call certainly cost Boston a run, it likely didn't cost it the game at the end of the day."

Campbell, if asked to produce any concrete evidence showing the call "likely" did not cost Boston the game, would be unable to point to anything. If the Red Sox had been trailing by 10 runs, then, okay, I'd agree the incorrect call would likely have not made a difference in which team won. But how can you say that the Red Sox would have "likely" lost the game when the proper call would have given them the lead?


FenFan said...

While the call certainly cost Boston a run, it likely didn't cost it the game at the end of the day.

There is so much research out there to show that this is pure and utter bullshit. Not that, to your point, Boston may still have lost the game, it is very easy to show that calls like this DO affect the outcome of a game. What if it had been a strike, and Beck instead called a ball, and then the Sox had scored one or two more runs? What would people have said then? The same?

Yes, I agree that the Sox have been less than stellar over the past two weeks. There's also no guarantee that Boston would have swept the series. That doesn't mean that you through up your hands and say "meh, integrity of the game, blah, blah, blah..."

Like I said in the thread last night, continue to allow this crap (art?) to continue and watch the core fan base get even smaller.

Douglas said...

Plawecki could also just be trying to stay on the good side of all umpires. You can see how sensitive some of them can be.

allan said...

Douglas, that's a very good point. I'm sure that's part of it.