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Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Links: Did strike zone cost Yankees?

By David Schoenfield

Did home-plate umpire Gerry Davis cost the Yankees the game last night? There is some feeling that CC Sabathia got squeezed a little more than Justin Verlander. Here, check out the location charts from Brooksbaseball at It's About the Money.

One of the bloggers from the site says both Sabathia and Verlander had five strikes called balls, while Sabathia had 13 balls called strikes and Verlander had 18 balls called strikes. Verlander threw 120 pitches to Sabathia's 106, so if that count is accurate, Verlander did benefit from a couple extra called strikes, but I don't see evidence that Sabathia was getting squeezed in comparison to Verlander.

Look, it looks like ump bashing is going to be a popular theme this year: Tony La Russa did it in the middle of the game of the other night, Joe Girardi whined last night. But the bottom line: Sabathia gave up 13 baserunners in 5.1 innings; that's not the umpire's fault. Verlander pitched through the tight strike zone to strike out 11 batters, while Sabathia could only put away three. As Ian O'Connor writes at ESPNNewYork, CC is to blame, not Davis ... and Sabathia knows that better than anyone.

Not to mention: No team has benefited from more blown calls over the years than the Yankees. I'm not defending Gerry Davis, but strike zones are never going to be perfect As long as the umps get all the calls in the field correct (well, and we avoid the Eric Gregg Strike Zone), I won't complain.