Jordany Valdespin called out on strikes on terrible call (visual evidence)

Matt Harvey missed a win last night because umpire Bob Davidson called a pitch by rookie Josh Edgin to veteran Chase Utley that was a fraction of an inch off the plate a ball. It was the correct call but it could have gone either way. The pitch resulted in a walk and the next batter hit the game-winning two-run homer. It was a 3-2 count and if it was called a strike the game would have been over.

In the bottom of the ninth, Davidson called a pitch that was considerably worse from veteran Jonathan Papelbon to rookie Jordany Valdespin a strike. That resulted in the first out of the inning but it should have made it a 2-2 count. Given the fact that Valdespin has enjoyed success off Papelbon earlier this year, it was extremely frustrating that a veteran umpire would blow such an obvious call.

Let’s examine some visual evidence of the two pitches. The graphs come courtesy of and the first one is the plot of the location of pitches that Edgin threw to Utley. The call in question came on pitch 8.

Now here’s the same chart for Papelbon’s pitch to Valdespin. The call in question came on pitch 5.

There’s simply no way to justify calling the pitch to Utley a ball and then turn around and call the one to Valdespin a strike.

Finally, let’s see how they look from the SNY cameras. These gifs were made possible by the wonderful Jeff Zimmerman, who gave detailed instructions over at Royals Review.

Watching the game live, my immediate reaction to the pitch to Valdespin over in the Game Chatter was – “Terrible call.” After seeing the replay, my reaction was – “low and away. Not a strike in any conceivable way.”

After a night to sleep on it, I feel the exact same way.

11 comments for “Jordany Valdespin called out on strikes on terrible call (visual evidence)

  1. September 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I apologize for the terrible formatting but I have to run. Will try to fix later tonight.

  2. Metsense
    September 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    It happens. I don’t believe it is intentional. The ump is human. Enjoyed the enhanced article. A very nice addition to the blog. You do great work Brian. Thanks.

  3. September 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I am with Metsense on humans and umpires. There is one other possibility to discuss…


    If a player is mouthy to an ump, he may not get the sliver of doubt in a pitch. I don’t know the answer to this, but pose it:

    Has Jordany been mouthy to umps this year that we know of?

    I know humility isn’t his strong point, which is why the team thought to give him a lesson. i wonder if he has ticked off umps.

  4. September 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Here’s a great article to view in hindsight:

    • Mack Ade
      September 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Umpires HATE Jordany Valdespin.

      I could write volumes on this, but I’m done with this thug.

      He will eventually go through the league like all the Lastings Milledge’s before him.

      The Lindsey Lohan of the Mets organization

      • kjs
        September 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        Mack—speaking of umps, what’s Ike Davis’ status with them?

        • Mack Ade
          September 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm

          kjs –

          I have never heard a thing about the umps and Davis having a problem, though he has had a lot of bad calls this year.

          Most of my ump info I get is from the few scout contacts I have left. Players and coaches don’t talk about umps. Everybody gets bad calls but Davis seems to let it get to him this year. Umps are used to that and most of them never let a players reaction get in the way of even their next pitch they have to call. They approach their jobs like the professionals they are.

          Davis spent the first half of this season pissed off that he wasn’t producing for his “friends” while they were making a run for it… then, he started to produce and all this rumor shit hit the fans along with a horrible season negative press from what I call “the little men”. (for some reason it seems that you have to be below 5-5 to be a Mets beat reporter).

          I like what RA Dickey said about the beat reporters:

          “When I have something that I want to share, I will find the [reporter] that I trust the most in the clubhouse. And the way that I gauge that is how the person has asked questions. How he has been curious. What has he been curious about? What has he done with some of my teammates? How has he presented an argument? The smarter players, the players you’re going to want the stories from mostly, will pay attention to that kind of stuff.”

          I have stood next to these guys and watched them stand next to each other texting one liners to each other. The only players these guys want to talk to are the ones that fuck up every night and, if Jay wasn’t there to control it, their would be chaos.

          It’s not much fun being a Met off the field, and, this year, on the field sucks pretty much too

          • kjs
            September 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

            Well, Mack, if you saw the Met-fan acquisition editors I produce sports books with, they fit your “little man” profile. Thanks for the insight.

  5. steevy
    September 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Yes,you could clearly see the ump pop off to him as soon as he called him out and JV said something.The ump didn’t turn away and knd of give him space,he was looking to toss him.

  6. NormE
    September 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I would agree with Metsense in a general way about umpires being human. However, if you have paid any attention to the umpiring skill of Bob Davidson, I think you would have to say that he is not very good (I’m trying to be kind). For years he has exhibited his own interpretation of the balk rule and his usually shown a very thin skin. Yes, Jordany may not be a great example of proper behavior, but the game is not about Davidson and his gotcha attitude.

  7. Name
    September 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I don’t think anyone could deny that it was an aboslutely terrible call. And i really like the JV got in the ump’s face and got tossed. At least it showed that he still has passion for his game even though the Mets are terrible at home.

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