David Ortiz struck out looking in the ninth inning of yesterday’s Sox-Jays game. I’ve seen Ortiz roll his eyes and grumble about calls before, but he’s not known to be a whiner or anything. He went absolutely nuts after strike three, however, and when you watch the video, you’ll agree that he had a case. That ball would have plunked a righty on the thigh.
But maybe our eyes deceive us! Maybe the camera angle and wind shear and the Doppler effect and stuff tricked our minds into seeing a ball when it really was a strike! Pitch f/x, baby! It’s the only way to be sure!
Nope! Just as bad as it looked. And strike one wasn’t much better.
It happens, I suppose. But as pitch data is becoming easier and easier for the common fan to use, bad calls are becoming harder to take.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.