Strike zone?

Is it truly a “zone” Now? Or does the ball still have to actually cross home plate somewhere? I know that sounds like a naive question, but It seems to me that the strike zone is whatever the ump decides it is. I know that the home plate ump has a difficult job, but they sure do seem to have expanded to “zone” to be what they establish.
I see a lot of balls off the plate that are called strikes. I know that if it’s that close of a call that it’s probably gonna be called a strike. But some of these pitches are called strikes that aren’t that close.

The zone is supposed to be over home plate. And it’s three dimensional. If the ball clips one of the back corners of the five-sided plate, it’s a strike. Having said that, the zone is whatever the umpire says it is that day (or that inning). And if he’s going to give pitches over the dirt, you throw it there. There are more than a few pitchers in Cooperstown who lived on the brown part of the plate for 15-20 years.

I’ve heard Tom glavine in Greg maddux say repeatedly they knew very quickly how they were going to be able to attack hitters.if they give them two or three inches off the plate they do they could go 4-5 and get strikes if they repeated threw it there,that’s why you never saw glavine challenge the middle of the plate. I’ve heard him say he would gladly walk a hitter with the bases loaded rather than to give in and give them four runs. He said the hitters ego is his best friend.this weekend they were given an inch or two off to plate so witth 2 strikes you had no choice but to swing the bat but we repeatedly took those pitches and letting the umpire get involved.

If the umpire is consistent I’m reasonably happy. However, I have seen a lot of inconsistent umpires. Also, the strike zone in the first inning may not be the strike zone in the seventh inning.

Glavine and Maddux were exactly who I was thinking about. They’d never throw it over the plate if the ump expanded the zone laterally, and they (the umps) usually did.

Which is why I said that inning.

Thanks for the responses. I pretty much knew the answer to my own question. It was just frustrating to see that many strikeouts.
I believe I read that we had 41 strikeouts this weekend and were 4/29 with risp.

I assume you’re talking about Maddox & Glavine As seasoned major leaguers, not in there college days. Big difference I think

Correct, borehog. I guess our fans can blame that on umpiring, but they shouldn’t.

As for our strikeouts this weekend, we weren’t handling the slider well at all. Casey, obviously, but it wasn’t just him. They didn’t have to be even close to the strike zone for us to take a hack and miss.

If I were pitching against us and had any kind of a slider at all, I’d keep throwing it until we proved we could either take it for a ball or hit it.

yes they were both very stubborn,they knew if they consistently hit the same spot that the umpire would eventually start getting in the call,having the catcher set up on the outside corner and not moving the mitt also influences calls off the plate.

Absolutely, Yodaman!
I did that when I caught. It worked sometimes, sometimes not.

In major league baseball I noticed a significient change when the plate umpires went from the exterior protector to the inside one. I think they cannot bend over as well with the inside package and the strike zone changed then. I always wondered what Glavine’s record would have been if his curves actually had to be in the strke zone.

Players can adapt as long as the ump calls a strike the same for both teams.

When a pitch is inside the batter box with you and it’s called strike 3 them the opponent is in the same batter box and the ball is just off the plate inside I have a problem with the umpire. The home plate umpires did a horrible job calling balls and strikes! The players by game 3 should figure that out and protect the plate with 2 strikes.

A local radio sports show (back when Maddox was elected to HOF on 1st ballot) posed a question to listeners: “Is there a reason why GM should not have been voted in first ballot?”. I called in and said something to effect, "well if there is a reason maybe it would be that a majority of his called strikes were well off the strike zone…something other HOF throwers did not necessarily have the benefit of.

The radio jock went a little beserk in attempting to destroy my suggestion. Finally I reminded him he asked the question as if there might be an answer and that was mine. Oh, and he was a huge bravos fan!

Anyway, I thought many umps fell all over themselves to help Maddox set up his “strike zone” well off the plate.

Conversely, I’m reasonably unhappy when an umpire consistently ignores the rule book on strikes and balls, and makes up his own. I know what you’re saying, and I guess consistency one way or the other is better than the ump yesterday who was all over the board…but I have never understood why MLB allows umpires to continue their arrogant stance re. the rules.

In my opinion what made Maddox so good was he can put the ball pretty much anywhere he wanted to and with incredible movement he literally could not throw a pitch straight,he didn’t take advantage of strikes off the plate near as much as glavine because he really didnt need to.

He was definitely a HOF pitcher, but just like I would love to see how many points Maravich would have score with a 3-point line, I think it would be very interesting to see how many strikes Maddox would NOT have gotten if the umps forced him to throw the ball in the strike zone.

I think he was a master Illusionist,you thought the ball was going to here but ended up there LoL.I saw him time and time again start that ball 6-8 inches inside to LH and have it run back over the inside corner and the batter is backing out.I used to wonder how he kept from Laughing. :smiley: