Stephen Strasburg is faking the umps out

5 Comments

Interesting story over at the Wall Street Journal:  it seems Stephen Strasburg’s pitches have so much movement on them that they’re frequently deking umpires into calling pitches balls that really are strikes. There are lots of neat quotes from the umps and examples of previous pitchers who had this problem such as a young Dwight Gooden and Jeremy Bonderman.

And while I’m sure some of you will take issue with umpires calling pitches based on where they expect them to go based on where they actually go, the problem makes sense. People are conditioned to comprehend things based on what came before. If you’re seeing something unprecedented, your mind is going to try and fit into some old box before it can make sense of the new thing.  A big curve that starts way the hell out of the zone? No way that comes back, your brain thinks.  It’s understandable.

But it’s also a little terrifying.  I mean, if the umps in the article are right and that they’ll eventually adjust and stop missing calls with Strasburg, it suggests that he will be even more dominant going forward, doesn’t it?

Ye Gods.

Cubs acquire Terrance Gore from the Royals

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Chicago Cubs have acquired outfielder Terrance Gore from the Royals for cash considerations.

Gore has not played in the big leagues at all this season and only has 49 games and 14 plate appearances to his credit at the big league level over four seasons. Still, in that time, he has stolen 21 bases as a pinch-runner extraordinaire. That has extended into the postseason too, as he has four stolen bases in postseason play despite never having had a postseason plate appearance.

Figure the Cubs want some instant speed themselves, at the very least for September, when active rosters expand to 40-men. If he proves valuable then, and if the Cubs can find room for him, he’d be a useful playoff weapon as well.