Diamondbacks-Dodgers umpire struggles with the strike zone
We’re not saying being an MLB umpire is easy.
We’re not saying anyone is perfect.
But when it’s a one-run game throughout and a seemingly inconsequential call might alter the game, well, there will be complaints. And when the strike zone is inflating as the game goes on, that’s not always welcome.
For the Arizona Diamondbacks, the odd strike zone called by noted punch-out lover Tom Hallion first became a problem in the fourth inning.
Trailing 1-0 with the lead-off man, Ketel Marte, on via a walk, Paul Goldschmidt took a strike three from Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood that was more than below the strike zone.
Per @Diamondbacksump, only 6 percent of umpires make the same call.
That first out would be a killer because with two outs, Jake Lamb doubled to move Marte to third. Had Marte been at second, it’s possible he would have been waived home to tie the game.
The D-backs grew more agitated when Brandon Drury struck out to lead off the top of the seventh. This time, the Wood pitch appeared well outside.
Drury had words for Hallion about the strike call, and manager Torey Lovullo came out of the dugout to talk to the umpire through the entire commercial break in the middle of the inning.
“I haven’t had a chance to look at the pitches,” Lovullo told FOX Sports Arizona after the game. “I don’t know what happened. (Drury) might’ve been frustrated. We need to make sure we turn the page as quickly as possible and be ready for tomorrow.
“I just wanted to make sure that Tom knew I had spoken to Brandon and he was going to be OK going back out there. I just wanted to make sure we didn’t lose one of our best players.”
Like Lovullo, people weren’t pleased with Hallion.