Scouting the World Series umpiring crew

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Jeff Zimmerman of Fan Graphs crunched the numbers on the umpiring crew assigned to the World Series, using Pitch-F/X data along with strikeout and walk rates to rank the six umpires from most pitcher-friendly to most hitter-friendly:

Bill Miller
John Hirschbeck
Mike Winters
Gary Darling
Sam Holbrook
Jeff Kellogg

Hirschbeck, who in addition to being pitcher-friendly is also the crew chief, will be calling balls and strikes in Game 1 and, if the series goes the distance, Game 7 as well.

Zimmerman delved even deeper into the data, breaking out “heat maps” for each umpire’s strike zone for right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters. The whole thing is definitely worth checking out, but I’ll quote this one bit of analysis: “At least none of these umpires are at the extreme ends of the strike zone spectrum. Compared to the previous playoff series … this crew’s strike zone should be one of the more consistent ones.”

Here’s hoping.

Christian Yelich homers to bring the National League one run closer in the eighth

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We entered the bottom of the eighth with the Americans leading the Nationals 5-2, and Charlie Morton on the hill. He got Joe Votto to ground out to second but he wasn’t so lucky when the Brewers’ Christian Yelich came to the plate: Yelich homered, again to left field, to bring the National League one run closer, 5-3.

After that Morton got both Charlie Blackmon and Lorenzo Cain to strike out, ending the inning.

We head to the top of the ninth, the American League still in the lead.