This Game-Ending Called Strike Defied All Reason And Logic

Marty Foster admits he blew the call, but that still doesn’t explain how it happened.

Angel Hernandez’s strike call in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, below, was pretty horrendous.

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But we’ve found one that’s worse. Much worse. Here’s Marty Foster’s version of a “strike,” one that ended the Rays-Rangers game last night.

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The batter, Ben Zobrist, was rather upset by the call.

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Rays manager Joe Maddon? Pretty livid.

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PITCHf/x said it was about half of a foot from being on the edge of the zone.

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Here are the TV and radio calls for each club. Not one person on either side of the game could believe that Foster called it a strike.

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After the game, Foster said, “had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike.” Because, really, look at this.

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What’s odd, though, is Foster called this other, closer pitch to Zobrist a ball in the same at-bat. It’s not like he just got momentarily crossed up by an unexpected pitch motion.

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So why did he call the last one a strike? ESPN’s Keith Law dubbed it a classic “ump show” moment, especially given Zobrist’s move toward first before the call was made.

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Here’s what Zobrist did, which is only what any ballplayer with decent judgment of balls and strikes might do.

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Then again, there’s no recourse to be had, so there’s little sense in getting upset about the whole thing.

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But let’s review, one more time. This is not a strike:

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But this is a strike:

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After the game, Zobrist was rather philosophical regarding the whole debacle: “Everybody makes mistakes. What are you going to do?”

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As for Rangers pitcher Joe Nathan, he knew he’d gotten away with one. When even the pitcher is suppressing a smile at your call, you’ve really gotten it wrong.

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