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Tim Lincecum buzzes the home plate umpire

Apr 29, 2010, 10:12 AM EDT

Tim Lincecum windup.jpgAaron just told you about the blown save that cost Tim Lincecum and the Giants the game yesterday, but perhaps the most interesting thing that happened in the game occurred when Lincecum faced Cole Hamels in the top of the third.

With the count 1-2 to an obviously overmatched Hamels, Lincecum threw a fastball. It was in basically the same location as his first strike to Hamels, appearing to catch the upper right portion of the zone.  As soon as it was caught Hamels turned around to head back to the dugout and Lincecum started to walk off the mound, each of the pitchers agreeing that it was a strike.  Home plate umpire Dana DeMuth disagreed, however, calling it a ball.  Next pitch: Lincecum sends a fastball to the backstop which flew over his catcher’s glove and not too far above the head of DeMuth.

I described Lincecum as laid back in the recaps this morning, but that’s just lazy stereotyping of stoners on my part. I mean really, how laid back are you if you’re the type that brushes back the home plate umpire if you don’t get the call?

  1. Bill J. - Apr 29, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    I saw this too. The pitch was clearly a strike and had been called as such earlier in the AB.
    I watched this entire series and the home plate umpiring was questionable to say the least for all 3 games. CB Buckner is just a flat out terrible judge of balls and strikes.
    And I, on my couch, am a genius……haha.

  2. Old Gator - Apr 29, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Well, I loved the Scooter – who didn’t? Edwin Newman, maybe – but tell me this handsome bit of graphics omits Mel Allen? Gimme a break, chillun.

  3. MikeZ - Apr 29, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    An umps strike zone shrank on a 1-2 pitch? I never heard of such a thing.
    Buzzing the ump was a bit extreme. Tim must have missed his trip to the head shop before the game. He is one hell of a pitcher though, was hoping for Lincecum v Halladay when I first seen the Phils season schedule.

  4. BC - Apr 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Apparently, the dude didn’t light up before the game.

  5. trampslikeus - Apr 29, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    and all this time I thought The Freak was always so laid back. Damn…that was intense. I wondered why the ump didn’t say anything, it was pretty obvious, Lincecum’s control was spot on before and after that pitch.

  6. sjp - Apr 29, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    I am in favor of anything that gets the umps to call the strike zone more consistently. Most have a hard enough time identifying a strike or ball, changing the zone on purpose (which is essentially what they do) is unacceptable. The strike zone doesn’t change with the count and neither should the calls. Yeah, that’s a great aspect of baseball, arbiters that purposefully ignore the rules, thereby, making pitchers throw more.

  7. izzy - Apr 29, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    All of those home plate ump’s were terrible with the strike zone… consistency at all…… started Monday with Halladay being pinched so bad he had no other choice but to throw it over the plate and you know what the results were….I just wish that these frick’n umps would do there jobs correctly when calling balls & strikes……and not make the games all about THEM with their lousy calls….it’s gotten to the point where they actually changed the outcome of the games……no way that lineup (SF) beats Halladay onb any given day nor should the Phils have gotten that win yesterday……Botchy is a bigger idiot than I thought….thanks Bruce for taking Tim out of the game with 1 out in the ninth….without that taking place the Phils NEVER win that game……maybe this gift will get their slumbering lineup awoken and back on track again…….One can only hope so….

  8. Chris Simonds - Apr 29, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    I think there is a misunderstanding here. Timmy was asking questions. His first question was whether a pitch near the umpire’s head was a ball or a strike. I think his plan was to to keep moving down in the zone until he bounced one in the dirt. He did what you are supposed to do when suddenly faced with unknowns on the job: ask questions of those in authority, gather information. Didn’t lose his cool at all. No sir.

  9. Lincecum's Bag of Weed - Apr 29, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Dude, that was hardcore bro, you need to smoke more of me and chill out bro. Ohh and wash your hands before you stick them in my, I still ahve cheeto crumbs all voer me..
    Seriously though, they need to do AWAY with all umpires and just go by digital video. I know, I know but we want perfectly called strikes, only a computer can do it.. the game would go by faster too..

  10. God's Own Silver and Blue - Apr 29, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    I’s tol’ ya and tol’ ya – if you want payback on the umps, beat the crap out of them in the parking lot like everybody else does. Don’t do stuff that might be caught on tape and send your ass to jail.

  11. Larry - Apr 29, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Most say it was a strike so I believe it, but when two pitchers decide what are strikes and balls before an umpire calls it a strike they are sending a message to the ump he may not like. They are telling him it’s their strike zone and not his.
    Just not a smart thing to do by showing up the ump on the pitchers part. The hitter, if a pitcher, is given some leeway if he walks off thinking a pitch is a strike. The pitcher should let the ump call it. Had Lincecom waited for the call it probably would have been strike 3. Cy Young winner or not Lincecum is there to pitch and the ump to call balls and strikes.

  12. mad2002mad - Apr 29, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Did not see this particular incident,but have observed the failure of umpires to call consistent balls and strikes. Doc got jobbed big time in that first game. For some reason, certain umps thing it’s all about them. Are they facing contract negotiations in the near future.
    We need to ask NASA to use its technology to create a holographic strike zone that is superimposed on every batter. If the ball crosses the zone it’s a strike. Also, place sensors in the bags and shoes so we know if the foot beats the ball or ball beats the foot. Might even speed up the game. Didn’t Carlton pitch a one hour 55 minute game against Mets when he faced Seaver?

  13. 60eagles - Apr 29, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    In what should have been a great early season possible NLCS matchup, the umps were disgusting. They pinced the Philly pitcher on Monday and screwed Lincecum on Wednesday. They were terrible. and yes, I watched all three games.

  14. Snappy Sam - Apr 29, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    … and the pitcher can feel free to send a message if he thinks the umpire is full of cr@p. Not verbally, they do it in other ways. Lincecum was just a bit… unique in his delivery of said message. Maybe he watched Bull Durham recently and was inspired.

  15. The_Programmer - Apr 29, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    This is probably the stupidest articles I’ve ever read.

  16. Phillie Phan - Apr 29, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Don’t know if the pitcher really tried to send a message; hope it was. Yes, umpires believe they are above and beyond and can do no wrong.
    The time has come when inadequate umps should be fired and replaced with umps doing the job they are paid to do. If a ballplayer is inadequate, it’s by by Charlie. Umps should be treated the same way.

  17. Libservative - Apr 29, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    I heard that DeMuth sent a message right back. The message was this … “go ahead dude, throw the baseball at my head. And you think the strike zone was small before … “

  18. Joshua Stein - Apr 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    I LOVE this. How many guys brush back the ump? And how many wanted to? Gotta figure he trusts his control if he’s willing to waste a pitch and antagonize the ump to boot. Wonder how Demuth’s gonna call ’em the next time he’s behind the plate when Lincecum pitches? I want Lincecum on my team and not just cause he’s a Cy Young winner and a helluva pitcher. I like his ‘tude.

  19. Joshua Stein - Apr 30, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Forgot to put it in my last comment but I guess this proves the umpire is NOT blind. Just near sighted.

  20. dojo rat - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    do you mean ‘article’?

  21. joethefirst - Apr 30, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Yes, time to go to video balls and strikes. Enough of the phony crap with umps with different strike zones.

  22. KD - Apr 30, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    As everyone else said before, Tim’s control was perfect in that whole game. But that also means when he threw a ball three feet above the umpire’s head, that’s where he meant to throw it. That’s not “trying to hit” the ump or “buzzing” the ump.
    If he wanted to hit the umpire, I’m pretty sure he could hit the umpire. But he didn’t want to do that.
    He was making a point, and in the context of the game, it was actually pretty funny. If you watch the replay you can see both Lincecum and Hamels smile after the pitch.
    It was a joke.

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