If you think Patrick Wisdom has been jobbed on a lot of called third strikes this season, I’m here to tell you that you’re not wrong.
Through Wednesday’s game, Wisdom has struck out 126 times in 317 plate appearances. That’s a lot, granted. Of those 126, 29 were called third strikes.
And of those 29, video and MLB Gameday evidence shows Wisdom was robbed on nine of them. Here are the nine I found in the list of all 29 of Wisdom’s called strikeouts this year.
May 31 vs. Padres, bottom of the eighth inning. Wisdom had already hit two home runs in this game.
Pitch 6 was not a strike [VIDEO].
June 2 vs. Padres, bottom of the fifth inning. OMG is this a bad call:
Look how far outside that pitch was! [VIDEO]
June 22 vs. Cleveland, bottom of the fifth inning. Also outside:
June 26 vs. Dodgers, top of the second inning:
Even Joe Buck is skeptical of that call [VIDEO].
July 2 vs. Reds, top of the second inning:
The look on Wisdom’s face sums it all up [VIDEO].
July 3 vs. Reds, top of the ninth inning, not even close, plate umpire Nestor Ceja:
Wisdom knew he had walked [VIDEO]. This was a one-run game in the ninth inning, who knows what might have happened with a leadoff walk?
July 5 vs. Phillies, bottom of the first inning, horrendous call by Nic Lentz:
If looks could kill... [VIDEO]
July 26 vs. Reds, bottom of the seventh. This is not a strike, Phil Cuzzi:
Boog Sciambi is charitable by saying “outside corner” (Hint: it wasn’t) [VIDEO].
September 8 vs. Reds, bottom of the seventh, again not even close:
I love JD’s skepticism on this call [VIDEO].
As you can see, things got better as the season went on. The nine bad called third strikes were among the first 15 called strikeouts on Wisdom, through July 26. Since then he’s been called out on strikes 14 times, but just once on an egregiously bad call. Whether this is random or whether it’s the umpires giving him better calls is impossible to tell. Still, I thought these were worth noting. There have been other really bad ball-and-strike calls made by MLB umpires this year, but Wisdom seemed to be on the short end of quite a few of them.
One thing’s for sure. Wisdom appears to have pretty good strike-zone judgment and as he gets more MLB experience, this could help him draw more walks. I’d hate to think that umpires weren’t giving “the rookie” calls that they wouldn’t have given a veteran hitter, but this sort of thing is rumored to happen all the time.
This is strong evidence that we need the automated strike zone as soon as possible.
And here’s hoping for more good at-bats from Patrick Wisdom.