Friday, July 21, 2017

Kryptonite for the 2017 San Francisco Giants

Home plate umpire, Doug Eddings, it was announced by David B. Fleming, is second among major league umpires in calling strikes. It led Dave to to speculate that this made Eddings a "pitcher's umpire."

Listening to the entire broadcast I have a few ideas of my own about Dougie behind the plate. This season, when you listen to a Giants' broadcast you can expect a lack of execution AND the occasional brain fart because it's what this collection of talent does more often than not. 

In this game, on July 20, there were two incidents that immediately come to mind. One was Eduardo Nunez's stealing of third base only he could not control his slide with the "oven" mitt he wore on his hand for protection. This mitt has no fingers! So rather than having Noony on third base with one out there was nobody on base with two outs. 

The second was when there was a runner on third base with less than two out and Brandon Belt at the plate. The Padres defense was playing back willing to concede a run in exchange for an out. This was genius by the San Diego manager (Green) because this type of opportunity is kryptonite for the 2017 San Francisco Giants. Belt would take a called third strike. The words of Duane Kuiper, 'Right down the middle.'

Back to Eddings. He may call the second most strikes in the majors but he has the kind of strike zone that doesn't favor anyone. Both the pitcher and the hitter have no idea what to expect. It is inconsistency at its worst when the umpire isn't even sure when the pitch is a strike. Are you kidding me? The sudden arm pump, convulsion if you will, (by Eddings) as if he were in the middle of an epileptic seizure, is why it appears he himself doesn't know it's a strike.

Unpredictability is a batter and pitcher's nightmare and I'm sure the umpire isn't comfortable with the knee-jerk reaction himself. But his job isn't in jeopardy like the man throwing the ball and especially the man attempting to hit it with someone behind him saying 'STRIKE' unexpectedly.  

Kevin J. Marquez