Plot of umpire Mike Estabrook’s calls in tonight’s game in Philadelphia (red is a strike, green is a ball), courtesy of Brooks Baseball:
(Click to enlarge)
There was a lot to complain about in this game from the Brewers’ perspective, whether it was another poor defensive effort by Ryan Braun costing the team the game or Ken Macha pitching Kameron Loe after he threw two innings of relief last night, but the strike zone is something that both teams can gripe about. Estabrook just didn’t provide any consistency at any point in the game, and had pitchers and batters alike giving him puzzled looks.
I have little doubt the screwy strike zone contributed to the Brewers’ “One Bad Inning” of the night — Loe thought he had a strikeout, only to have the pitch called a ball and surrender a single later in the AB; Braddock came out of the bullpen and after not coming close to the zone against the first batter he faced, seemed to get squeezed a couple of times the rest of the inning.
Of course, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Estabrook is the ump that made a spectacle in June when he called time, walked in front of Jason Kendall and started lecturing him after Kendall said something about a missed third strike. Estabrook is just another umpire who knows he can get away with poor performance.