5 most egregious called strikes against Cardinal batters since 2016

Angel Hernandez's recent blown calls made me wonder what the last five worst calls were against Cardinal batsmen.
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next

#3: RHP Zack Greinke vs Tommy Pham 04/07/2018
Umpire: Mike Winters
Count: 0-0
Pitch: 87.9 MPH fastball
Distance from zone: 1.27 feet

Tommy Pham makes another appearance on this list! This time, he sees a fastball from right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke. This is an early-season game against the Diamondbacks, and Pham enters in the first inning with one out in the game. The 88 MPH 4-seamer stays pretty flat, but given Greinke's handedness, it does cross the plate near the middle of its path.

Home plate umpire Mike Winters stands in the middle of the plate and tracks the pitch, but catcher Jeff Mathis sets his glove up outside. Greinke hits the target, and that plays in his favor. Pham's reaction to this pitch is much more mellow than his reaction to the previous pitch on this list. Greinke's fastball tracked at 1.27 feet out of the zone.

Pham ended up popping out to second baseman Chris Owings. No one was on base when Pham came up to bat.

#2: LHP Tony Watson vs Jedd Gyorko 06/25/2017
Umpire: Chad Whitson
Count: 0-0
Pitch: 87.2 MPH Changeup
Distance from zone: 1.29 feet

Chad Witson shows up again. To be honest, I wasn't familiar with him, but it is interesting to see his name twice against the Cardinals. Whitson is accurate 90% of the time with his strike calls, and he is consistent 91% of the time. Both figures are well below average for umpires. Right-handed hitting Jedd Gyorko was up against left-handed pitcher Tony Watson. The 87 MPH changeup ended up 1.29 feet outside of the zone.

Catcher Elias Diaz was set up on the outside corner to receive the pitch. Given Watson's handedness and the typical shape of changeups, this pitch was never in the zone. Umpire Tony Watson is set up way inside, practically behind the batter. This limits his view of the pitch. Gyorko's reaction was toned down but clearly frustrated.

The pitch came with a runner on third in an 0-0 count in the bottom of the 6th inning. The Cardinals trailed by just 1 run in the middle of the season. Gyorko's at-bat ended with him hitting a ground-rule double to right, so the strike call didn't have much of an effect on the game.

#1: LHP Wade Miley vs Edmundo Sosa 06/06/2021
Umpire: Scott Barry
Count: 1-2
Pitch: 83.1 MPH cutter
Distance from zone: 1.30 feet

This pitch is the most dramatic for a few reasons: first, it is the furthest from the strike zone at 1.30 feet, second, it resulted in a strikeout, and third, the pitch came from a left-handed pitcher to a right-handed batter. Home plate umpire Scott Barry made a terrible call, and Sosa could do nothing but walk away in disgust.

Reds' catcher Tucker Barnhart was one of the best framers of the time--9th-best according to Baseball Savant that year. He did a good job sweeping his glove into the zone after catching the cut fastball, but it's clear that the ball never crossed the plate.

Sosa's strikeout was the first out in a the second inning of a 5-0 drubbing by the Reds.

manual