Doug Eddings was behind the plate for a recent Toronto Blue Jays-Chicago White Sox matchup and had one of the worst performances from an umpire in recent memory.
But even he would be in awe of how bad Eddings was throughout the game.
Twitter account Umpire Scorecards tracks umpire performance, showing what percentage of ball-strike calls were correct, and which team benefitted from the whatever mistakes the umpire made.
The chart for this game was an absolute masterpiece.
Only 64% of called strikes were actually strikes. Eddings called 70 strikes throughout the game, and 25 of them should have been called balls.
This remarkable failure rate is best visually summed up by the placement of the missed called strikes all over the zone. He missed pitches that were low, inside, outside – nearly everywhere but high. Many weren’t even remotely close.
As explained in the graphic, the mistakes were not simply in low leverage counts like 0-0 or 1-1, several likely altered the course of the game.
The most egregious and game changing call was in the top of the 8th inning with the Blue Jays winning 4-2. The Jays had the bases loaded and Santiago Espinal hitting with a full count. Espinal rightfully took a pitch well outside the zone that would have walked in another run and extended the inning – except Eddings rung him up.
In extra innings, Eddings ended yet another Jays scoring opportunity by calling Matt Chapman out on a pitch that appeared to be several inches below the zone.
It’s not hard to see how the poor performance handed the White Sox an estimated 2 runs in the game, which was very clearly beneficial considering the margin of victory was only 1.
Video of the bewildering performance is both laughable and infuriating:
Because umpires know that most baseball fans are there to see them put on a show, Blue Jays bench coach Guillermo Martínez was ejected before the next day’s game even started.
With umpire performances like these, calls for robo umps to arrive in MLB are going to get even louder.