If you just looked at the boxscore from Friday night's 8-2 win, you'd see that Oliver Perez gave up two runs on three hits with a walk. So not exactly a good outing from the Mariners most consistent reliever. But if you watched the game, you'd know that those numbers are a bit skewed. Perez should have pitched one scoreless inning with one hit allowed and one strikeout.
With the count 1-2 to Chris Herrmann, Perez fired perfect fastball on the corner. But home plate umpire Ron Kulpa, who had a meandering strike zone most of the night, called it a ball somehow. Perez wasn't happy about the missed call, jumping in the air in disbelief. Then Kulpa got unhappy about Perez being unhappy, calling a ball on another borderline strike. On the next pitch, Perez gave up an RBI double to Herrmann. and then another RBI double before getting out of the inning.
He threw 10 extra pitches in the inning because of the missed call. And his ERA went from 1.98 to 2.41 because of it. Yes, there is human error in the game. But a simple missed strike call can have repercussions. Imagine if that was a 3-2 game instead of an 8-0 game. Am I obsessing about this? Perhaps.
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Here's the shot from the mlb.com site. Pitches No. 3 and No. 4 both appear to be strikes. Now some people question of the game tracker. So the same shot from Baseball by Brooks is below. Pitch No. 3 is a strike, and Pitch No. 4 is borderline. Both could have been called. And one should have been called.