Toronto is in an 0-2 ALCS hole at the hands of Cleveland, leading Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista to imply Sunday that his club is up against both the Indians and the series’ home plate umpires. “All you gotta do is look at the video and count how many times [Indians pitchers have] throw pitches over the heart of the plate,” he told Mike Vorkunov of USA Today. “It hasn’t been many. They’ve been able to do that because of the circumstances – that I’m not trying to talk about because I can’t. That’s for you guys to do but you guys don’t really want to talk about that either.” In response to Bautista’s claim, Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus (Twitter link) reviewed PITCHf/x data and concluded that home plate umps Laz Diaz and Jim Wolf called balls and strikes pretty evenly for both teams during the series’ first two games. Conversely, Mark Simon of ESPN.com writes that the Indians have had a clear advantage with respect to the strike zone. TruMedia shows that Indians pitchers have gotten strike calls at a 7.4 percent higher rate than average during the series, according to Simon. On the other hand, Blue Jays pitchers are at 1.8 percent lower than average.
As we wait for Monday’s Game 3 in Toronto, here’s more from around the AL:
- The White Sox will name Chris Getz their director of player development during the upcoming week, reports Scott Merkin of MLB.com. The 33-year-old Getz will take over for Nick Capra, who is now the White Sox’s third base coach. Getz was a major league second baseman from 2008-14, including parts of two seasons with the White Sox. The South Siders selected Getz in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.
- If the Indians end up advancing to the World Series, what already seems like an untouchable bullpen could add another weapon in Danny Salazar. The injured right-hander – out since early September with a forearm strain – threw a simulated game Sunday after rejoining the Indians in Toronto, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Salazar, who had been throwing in Arizona, is “doing pretty good,” said manager Terry Francona. “He’s not back yet where he’s throwing all his pitches or letting it go 100 percent. I think if we ask him to do that, he might be reaching right now. We’ve been pretty vocal about [how] the first priority is getting him back healthy.”
Umm maybe you should take a look at Mark Simon’s ESPN piece examining the calls, Cleveland has had a large advantage in the first two games and it’s not close
That piece had not come to my attention until you mentioned it. I’ve since added it to the post. Thanks.
Considering the number of two-strike hits the Jays had in Game 1, but then couldn’t get them when it counted, the strike zone should really be considered a non-issue. They lost both games because they aren’t putting the bat on the ball. Period.
Bautista really needs to keep his mouth shut. Laz Diaz has a terrible zone in general, everyone knows that and the Indians lost out on calls just as the Jays did. Wolf’s zone was for the most part pretty consistent both ways, nothing to complain about there.
The reason the Jays are down 0-2 is due to the fact they continually try to pull outside pitches and just haven’t executed when given the opportunity. Full credit to the Indians starters, especially Kluber, it looked as if he didn’t throw a single pitch on the inner half in game one. Tomlin took advantage of the Jays inability to hit slow breaking pitches and he spotted his pitches flawlessly for the most part. The Jays hitters just haven’t adjusted and if I’m the Indians, I keep doing what they’ve done until the Jays prove they can adjust.
Yep. I’m a diehard Jays fan, but the Indians have just out pitched and outfielded them. The bats are cold and they can’t seem to hit good pitches. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have a pitcher and fielders who refuse to make any mistakes. Jose had a couple of mediocre calls, but in the pitcher’s and ump’s defence, they were pretty close. Kluber and company were just scraping the edges with some sick pitches. Bautista can cry all he wants, but he has to start hitting balls that aren’t directly in his wheelhouse if the Jays have a chance at winning. Cleveland are just a better all-round team right now.
The bats have been pathetic this series, but I don’t understand how Diaz is allowed doing postseason games. He rung up Bautista in an at bat where he didn’t swing the bat, and wasn’t pitched a strike. And uptons k was among the worst I’ve seen all year. I don’t want to take anything away from kluber, because he was good, but guys like him can’t be getting that much help from an ump, he’s already one of the best pitchers in the game. But if we do lose this series, it is not on the umps, it’ll be on the bats and their inability to hit josh f****** tomlin.
Just another reason why Bautista is the most hated player in baseball. His incessant whining about everything has gotten stale, and his reactions when he hits a homerun remind me of football players celebrating tackles after a seven yard gain when they are losing 21-3. What amazes me most is how openly disrespectful Jays hitters and pitchers have been with umpires over the last year, yet none of their players get tossed for it. I guess the team really is in the image of its leader, as Gibbons is one of the most openly disrespectful managers towards umpires in the league.
Never get tossed? They’ve got tossed at least twice this year when it was completely ridiculous. Donaldson in Minnesota and Edwin against Cleveland.
Outside of the Upton K in game 1, the Jays really don’t have anything to argue about. However it’s much easier to blame a team’s poor play on the umpiring or complain the Indian pitchers are hitting the corners when they apparently should be grooving fastballs down the “heart of the plate.”
Exactly, the Tribe pitchers have adjusted to the umps zones and pitched accordingly. If you know an ump has a wife or low strike zone you pitch to it and not groove a pitch to the power hitters they have. And considering they have no answer for Andrew Miller and his nasty slider they shouldn’t be crying sour grapes already when there could be 5 more games in the series.
Bautista is such a crybaby. If Showalter used his closer like Terry’s using Miller, then Jose would be watching Sportscenter. The Indians are red hot right now…
Even if Britton pitched , how would that have helped the Orioles offense that game???
It would have helped create because Ubaldo never would have pitched and we would have had more chances to score. Everyone said they knew that the ball was a dinger when it left the bat, but I knew it was headed to the seats as soon as it left Ubaldo’s hand.
*create* isn’t supposed to be there
Kind of ironic that the Indians would have an advantage in ball/strike calls, seeing as the Jays have Russell Martin (who’s supposedly one of the best pitch framers in the game) behind the plate.
“I blame the widges “. – Joba
You mean midges?
Bautista is starting to sound like Donald Trump, it’s all one big conspiracy to screw him over. The MLB, it’s umps, and the media are clearly out to get him and the Jays. Get over yourself, Bautista. Stop crying.
Just Another Fan
Hmm, do I listen to Baseball Prospectus, or ESPN?
Even better, ESPN = Boston’s personal national station, and guess who eliminated them in Papi’s last year? Yeah, like they wouldn’t be bitter or anti-Cleveland or anything, right?
Other than Upton’s K the umps have been totally fine/consistent for both teams this series. Toronto apparently forgot what it’s like to face a good team and expect Cleveland to grove pitches down the middle, huh? Get out of here, Joey Bats….
All Toronto ever does is bitch and moan. Just watch a Russell Martin at bat. In his warped mind, he has never taken a pitch that is an actual strike. Serial complainer. And then conversely he expects his pitchers to get calls. Hilarious.
Players typically appreciate when an umpire is consistent, regardless of where he is calling them. The Tribe pitchers have adjusted to their strike zones, Toronto hasn’t. When a few bloops gets a game going the Jays are swinging for the fences and missing.
Bautista the first to show up his opponents when he succeeds and the first to whine and deflect blame when he fails. He’s a talented player with the heart of a loser.
Disagree. He doesn’t even really show people up, unless you’re Darren o’day, which is completely understandable. There’s a difference between showing people up and showing emotion, and I believe he shows his emotions on his sleeve
I get what you’re saying, there’s a difference there, but having watched enough of him since he broke out I think he’s firmly on the showing-people-up end of the spectrum. And for what it’s worth I thought that long before the bat flip.
Your comment ( about Bautista deflecting blame )is deflecting the results found by Mark Simon of ESPN.
Diaz and Wolf have a nefarious history with the Jays. Simon’s results show that maybe what Bauts is insinuating just may be…..but from my perspective, the pitching has been good, for both teams involved; the hitting for both teams has been horrendous.
Also, I just can’t imagine umpires determining the outcome of a game where multi-millions of dollars are at stake, both for the teams involved and for the odds makers…
Wish i knew how to write that last sentence sarcastically
And my comment reflects what someone else found with freely available pitch F/X data.
Regardless, you gotta outplay the umps. For the past century or so part of being a worthwhile hitter was being able to protect the plate and not rely on the ump to punish the pitcher for not giving you what you want to hit.
I don’t live near the intersection of Suspicion and Imagination, I’ll leave the conspiracy theories to others.
Ya they were getting calls against them, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that they were missing at the mistakes the Indians were making. You can blame the officials, but they aren’t the ones who determine the outcome, especially in baseball
The calls that can twist a game one way or the other are the calls on the bases, and most of that has gone bye bye with replay… Denkinger calls get overturned.
It’s funny seeing pitches called for third strikes on otherwise very good hitters, when guys like Nick Punto, who couldn’t hit a homer in the celebrity softball game, could foul them off all day long. When hitters rely on their zone awareness and power tool, theyre playing a high risk/high reward style that’s prone to ice cold slumps and lots of called K’s… they end up with strikeouts that bat-on-ball guys don’t suffer from.
I’m a jays fan and want them to win but Joey sould blame the team and himself. Joey Martin pillar tulo all have a .200 or worse batting avg in the alcs. The starting pitching has been awesome but how can u win if u can’t hit
I really hope that the jays is smart and resigns EE N let’s joey bats walk that will be the best thing for the team
With David Ortiz officially retired, we now have a new “KING OF WHINE”. Whiny boy Joey Batflips.
Jays fans should look forward to the day Bautista leaves Toronto. Bautista is whiney and self-centered, the Jays will do better without JB – so tired of his act. Bautista needs to shut his mouth and stop constantly showing-up the umps.
The advantage the Indians have received the first 2 games of this series is no different than the first 2 games against the Red Sox.
Maybe the White Sox would have a better farm system if the organization would go poach assistants and others from those orgs with quality minor league systems, instead of hiring every ‘Tom, Dick, and Harry’ who played for them previously into those positions who have little or no exp in those roles. These are key positions that should have knowledgeable people running them, or at least should be considering how woeful the Sox farm system has been for the past 15 seasons. Getz has done what exactly? Besides being middling to mediocre in the seasons he was here. If JR wants to win then he better stop treating the Org like a retirement community for ex players.
I hope the rumours are true and they will go after votto, resign ee and sign free agent Cespedes n move him to Rf
If the Jays had managed three runs in Game 1 and two runs in Game 2, would Joey Bats open his trap? Of course not…losing makes you bitter. Funny how the Red Sox didn’t complain about a strike zone while they got mowed down by Kluber, Tomlin and Miller.
Yeah things go ok with the Jays if they win. If they don’t most of them go into full on toddler mode starting with Gibbons on down.
Laz Diaz as the 2nd worst umpire in terms of correctly calling balls and strikes in MLB this year. Why is he even being given that opportunity in the playoffs?
And first at bat tonight he gets a freebie on his check swing, should’ve been strike 3…then stands there and watches a perfect strike 3. Sit down beyotch!
Congratulations to a superior team on their win over my Jays. The strike and ball zone was consistent last night, and Joe B received two passes on third strike swings and ended up doing swoosh with the passes. The pitching was excellent by both teams, and this seems to be Cleveland’s year… …although hopefully the winner of the Nl gives us fans a few good playoff games.
And Bautista backs it up by talking smack about today’s starter shaking in his boots…sure Joey, have a seat and enjoy the offseason.
Another stupid white sox hiring