Was the Strike Zone Really Unfair?


After the Tigers 5-3 win last night, I have been reading a lot of griping about the strike zone. Was it really that bad? Follow me through the jump to see how Eric Cooper’s strike zone looked.

You can see that the outside corner was a bit lenient. But, it was called that way for both teams and pretty consistent overall. The only thing you can really as for an umpire is to be consistent. Even if it’s consistently bad. Unsurprisingly, Cooper’s strike zone ranks the second highest, at 32.1% of called strikes in the strike zone of umpires in the LDS.

Tonight’s umpire, Gerry Davis, ranks second lowest, at 29.7% of strikes called within the strike zone. here are a couple of images of Davis’ zone:

That is a picture of Davis’ zone overall. It’s pretty tight, but he tends to give more high strikes more often than the horizontal ones.

Another image, showing Davis’ zone compared to the rest of the league:

The blue is where other people have a propensity to call strikes that he doesn’t. The small orange is the small part of high/low strike that Davis calls that others don’t.

Obviously, the zone is different from night to night. Gerry Davis probably won’t have much to do with the game tonight, but it’s interesting to see how Verlander plans to attack the Yankee hitters. For what it’s worth, Verlander is 1-0 with a 6.57 ERA with Davis behind the plate, and Sabathia is 7-0 with a ~2.0 ERA. Since the Yankees have more patient hitters than the Tigers in general, it’d probably be to the Tigers’ advantage to have an umpire with a larger zone than usual. Really, I’m just happy that an inconsistent ump Laz Diaz or Joe West isn’t behind the plate tonight.