Thursday, December 2

Dodgers Walker Buehler come forward after terrible missed strike three call against Braves in the National League


There are missed strike calls, and then there is this.

Dodgers starter Walker Buehler and everyone at Dodger Stadium and everyone watching from home thought he had struck the third strike against Braves outfielder Joc Pederson with a perfectly positioned cutter in the low inside corner. . Instead, the pitch was called a ball to make it a 1-2 count.

It fell apart from there. As always seems to be the case in baseball, Pederson took his second chance and singled to push the runner from third and put runners in the corners, reducing the Dodgers’ lead to just 2-1. Five batters later, the Braves led 4-2 and Buehler left. The Braves have already reached Chavez Ravine leading the series 2-0.

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There really wasn’t much more that Buehler could have done in that inning to keep his team up front. It started with Freddie Freeman overcoming the change with a single to left before Ozzie Albies flew. Then Austin Riley raised a fly to center field that looked like a routine fly.

Instead, this happened.

Gavin Lux’s crash was certainly not ideal, especially as it put two runners in second and third. Then, after getting ahead of Pederson, he threw a penny from a cutter at the former Dodgers outfielder.

Instead of strike three, plate umpire Jerry Meals called it a ball. The strike zone, courtesy of Baseball Savant, shows otherwise.

Baseball savant

Number 3 is the playing field in question. Without a doubt, that is a strike. The No. 5 hit right field for a base hit to drive Freeman home.

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How much did that change the likely outcome? After Riley’s double, the Dodgers’ probability of winning, according to Baseball Savant, it was at 63 percent. It fell to 55 percent on Pederson’s single.

The next hitter was Adam Duvall, who dropped a broken bat single to the left that carried Riley home and put runners at first and second. Probability of winning: 55 percent of the Braves win. Travis D’Arnaud walked to load the bases and shortstop Dansby Swanson singled to shortstop Corey Seager, who couldn’t make it on the hole, allowing Pederson to score.

Buehler’s opponent, Charlie Morton, struck out looking before Eddie Rosario walked on a bases loaded to make it 4-2. Freeman, batting for the second time in the inning, lined to the left on the first pitch off Alex Vesia, who had just come in to replace Buehler. The inning ended the Braves’ chances of winning at 70 percent.

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Meals’ strike zone has been a bit all over the place. There have been several calls during the game that have gone in favor of the pitchers, as some, including the Twins’ third baseman, Josh Donaldson, have pointed out on Twitter.

But certainly, when the missed call from strike three immediately precedes a run by the opposing team, it stands out a bit more.




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