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Angel Pagan hits strike four for a three-run game-winning homer

Apr 26, 2012, 4:06 PM EDT

Angel Pagan came to the plate in the top of the ninth inning with the Giants down 5-3 to the Reds.  Two outs One out. Two strikes on the batter. And then: heroics!  A three run bomb off closer Sean Marshall that ended up winning the game for San Francisco!

Except … check out the pitch right before the home run:


That third one was the 0-2 pitch. And it was called a ball.  The fourth one — which was the fourth strike Marshall threw — was the homer.

I know a pitcher has to shake off a bad call and make his pitches — and it’s not like the umpire caused Pagan to hit it over the fence — but man, it’s a lot harder of a game when you have to throw four strikes to a hitter and not just three.

  1. thomas2727 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I guess that makes up for the strike 4 homer Brandon Phillips hit on Tuesday.

    • crookedstick - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Not to let facts get into the way of your posts, but the “strike 4” on Phillips Tuesday was a foul tip that wasn’t caught. A call the Giants didn’t dispute.

      And Craig, there was 1 out when Pagan was batting. The missed third strike would have been the second out not the end of the game.

      • thomas2727 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        Are you sure the foul tip was not caught?

  2. Stacey - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    The human element! Weeee!

    • kopy - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      It’s not who’s better at baseball, it’s who’s better at adjusting to umpire opinion. Right, purists?

      • dondada10 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        Strike two was lower.

  3. darthicarus - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Mike Matheny finds that strike zone to be adequate.

  4. sictransitchris - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    It might just be me actively looking for mistakes but umpires have been TERRIBLE so far this season.

  5. PotatoPeeler - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Someone call the waaaahhhmbulance.

  6. Matt Bandi - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    To be fair, the upper and lower limits of the strike zone shown on this image are estimates. If you use Mike Fast’s formula for calculating the typically called strike zone for a RHB of Pagan’s height, the lower limit would be about 1.75 feet, as opposed to the 1.5 feet used in this image. That would make pitch 3 very borderline, essentially a 50-50 call.

    • spindervish - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Pitch 3 was higher than pitch 2, which was called a strike. There’s no rationalizing this…the ump blew it.

      • joelgold - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        If I’m looking at this correctly, pitch 1 was a called strike and was higher than pitch 3, which was called a ball. Pitch 2 was lower than pitch 3 but was fouled off. So it wasn’t as inconsistent as you state.

      • avodden - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

        Strike 2 was a foul. The only called strike was higher than ball 1 (strike 3)

  7. rcali - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    The umps can’t be replaced soon enough with a system. Nothing wrong with embracing technology everybody. You wouldn’t want to fly in a plane that had instruments in it from 1950 would you? How about your car? Can you imagine not having to deal with these crying managers and players on every other pitch?

    • ptfu - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      And this would be easier than, say, retiring the worst umps and rounding up some decent ones? Or somehow strongarming them into calling THE strike zone and not THEIR strike zone? Is the umpires’ union that strong? Is the commissioner that weak? (uhh never mind the last one)

  8. tulsatomahawk - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Give the catcher credit for the disputed pitch being called a ball. The catcher’s target was high, above the strike zone and he was almost standing up, blocking the view of the umpire when the catcher shifted to catch the pitch low in the strike zone. The pitcher wasn’t able to throw the pitch called and the umpire called it a ball. Yeah!!! Giants Win!!!

  9. skerney - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Pagan, who knows Marshall because they were teammates, struck out Pagan with a curveball yesterday.So Pagan was sitting curveball at 1-2. Marshall and his catcher could have tried to get Pagan to chase outside the zone but instead went back to the curve. Give Pagan credit for a good AB.

    • skerney - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Also there is and extra Pagan in the first sentence of my post. I’m a goof.

      • bravojawja - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

        Those damn Pagans are everywhere. It’s how they’re winning the War on Christmas (TM)!

  10. afirst916 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    There are no asterisks in life, only scoreboards. -Ari Gold

  11. thenoblebard93 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Wow Craig, you still can’t get over the fact that the Giants beat your Braves in the 2010 DS. Stop hating and give a little credit.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      Yes, you got me. I’ve been harboring a year and a half long vendetta against the Giants and I manifest it in this post. It feels so liberating to finally have it all out in the open. Perhaps now I can begin to heal.

      • bravojawja - Apr 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        I just think back to 1993 and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  12. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Let’s go all wiffle ball and set a milk crate on a folding chair behind the batter. If the ball hits the crate, it was a strike. If not, it was a ball.

    Or, Marshall could mix up his pitches a little it better so hitters like Angel Pagan won’t take him 400 ft. He should also avoid walking leadoff hitters like Arias. If there were not 2 men on base, the homer wouldn’t have mattered so much.

  13. nickmiller63 - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Dude. The fact that you responded blows me away. Skin thin much?

  14. skerney - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Craig is still mad that posey was safe at second and bobby went out with a loss.

  15. cintiphil - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    These things all even up. If an UMP misses one call, then it usually doesn’t make the difference. Except in this case, it was a big one. That is IF the pitch was a strike. Lets not second guess these close calls all of the time. It does hurt a lot when you are on the wrong end of this stuff, but it will even out before the year is over. I think we already saw it in this series on the first game.

  16. paulydefense - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    I was there. It was great.


  17. ceadderman - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    What was the motion of the ball? Was it tailing downward? If so look how close to the boundary of the strike zone it was. This isn’t a bad call this is your standard fare. How many GIANTS pitches were not called Strikes even if they ended up in the Strike Zone. I saw the “Even though” comment and this article was linked to it so I hadda check to see if someone on the mound balked but was not called for it, or if someone was on base who did not deserve to be. Quit your whining Reds fans we have 3 of the best in all of Baseball on the mound. I guarantee you they get jobbed by calls in every game at least once or twice. That’s the difference between an automated system and human error. Jesus, mountain out of mole hill much?

  18. blabidibla - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Can’t argue balls and strikes.

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