Even with the Rays remarkable turnaround, much of the discussion of this series has revolved around the poor umpiring to date. With a David Price and Cliff Lee rematch on the horizon, all eyes will be turned to Jeff Kellogg, the man responsible for calling the balls and strikes. Here is the lowdown on Kellogg:
In 2010, Jeff Kellogg has called 282 innings of balls and strikes in the American League. This is his scorecard of various metrics with the rank always counting 1 as the most pitcher-friendly:
|ERA||4.47||57 of 80||4.14|
|K/9||6.57||53 of 80||6.80|
|BB/9||3.06||31 of 80||3.24|
|FIP||4.46||62 of 80||4.14|
|BA||0.259||42 of 80||0.258|
|OBP||0.324||39 of 80||0.325|
|SLG||0.409||44 of 80||0.406|
These metrics are certainly somewhat flawed by what pitchers each umpire is responsible for calling but overall he has been fairly middle of the road with a slight lean towards the hitter. What does the more scientific work done by Jeff Zimmerman tell us? Over a 3-year period Kellogg has been 11% more hitter friendly when it comes to walks and strikeouts than the average and 15% more hitter friendly according to Pitch F/X results. He is by far the least pitcher-friendly umpire on this crew.
Sullivan Zimmerman Zone Heat Maps after the jump:
To compare to the more pitcher-friendly Welke zone from game 1 click here.
Walks still will be hard to come by against Cliff Lee, but at least our hitters won't be forced to expand their zone. On the other hand, David Price is going to have to able to command the strike zone, but the Rangers aggressive ways will hopefully limit his walk total as well.
*Very special thanks to Jeff Zimmerman of BeyondtheBoxScore and Fangraphs for his assistance with these heat maps.