This will probably be covered somewhere else tonight, but this really stuck out to me. I’m not really sure where I stand on the whole umpire vs. robots argument, but after tonight I can say the robots are making quite a compelling case.
With a runner on 1st and 3rd, one out, down by a run, and Milton
Bradley up, our Win Expectancy (WE) was .478. In other words we had a 47% to win the game at that point. Then this happened:
Heath Bell threw 4 straight fastballs, all of them out of the strike zone. The second, third, and fourth pitch were all in pretty much the exact same area. But instead of being ball four, it was strike one. Then Bradley had to try to hit two high fastballs which nobody really has a chance to hit.
If Bradley would have walked, we would have had the the bases loaded and one out. Our WE then would have been .556, again meaning we had a 55% chance of winning the game. And while that 8% isn’t mind blowing, it’s better than what it was.
I know that Kotchman’s ground ball would have been a double play and the game would have been over, but I’ll take my chances with bases loaded and one out over what we had.