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Breaking Down the 2013 World Series Umpires

According to Buster Olney, "World Series umps are announced: John Hirschbeck, Mark Wegner, Dana DeMuth, Paul Emmel, Bill Miller and Jim Joyce."

Before getting into any analysis, congrats to those 6!

Using data from www.baseballheatmaps.com, I will be looking at the strike zones each of these five call when they are behind the plate compared to a league average strike zone. All numbers are their 2013 numbers alone, to see what they're calling this year.

John Hirschbeck

Against Lefties

  • low pitches and the high-inside pitch are called more often than the league average umpire
  • high-away pitches are called less often than the league average umpire

Against Righties

  • low pitches and the high-inside pitch are called more often than the league average umpire
  • high-away pitches are called less often than the league average umpire

Hirschbeck seems consistent on lefties and righties at least.

Mark Wegner

Against Lefties

  • the lower portion of the strike zone is called more often than league average
  • the upper portion of the strike zone is called more often than league average, except for high-away pitches
  • pitches just on the inside portion of the zone and pitches outside of the zone away from lefties are both called less often than league average

Against Righties

  • the lower portion of the strike zone is called more often than league average
  • the upper portion of the strike zone is called more often than league average, even high-away pitches
  • the inside pitches just off the plate have been called less often than league average

Wegner is not consistent lefty to righty and is not afraid to call strikes at all. His inside off the plate "ball" call against righties could help Craig and Holliday, who seem to get pounded in on the hands a lot more than most.

Dana Demuth

Against Lefties

  • the lower portion of the strike zone is called more often than league average
  • the rest of the outer edges of the zone seem to be called less often than league average

Against Righties

  • the upper and lower portions of the strike zone are called more often than league average
  • the inside and outside portions of the strike zone are called less often than league average

Demuth will call the high strike against the righty more often, but it should be a tall, skinny zone against everyone. This benefits the Red Sox's patient hitting approach.

Paul Emmel

Against Lefties

  • low, often well out of the strike zone below the knees, called more often than league average
  • upper and outside portions of the zone typically "balls"

Against Righties

  • low strike not called nearly as often as against lefties, but still a little more than league average
  • inside and outside not called at all except for up and in

Emmel's strike zone could lead to a very quick game. Hopefully Lynn or Kelly pitches when Emmel is behind the plate and can pound the lower portion of the zone to keep the ball on the ground.

Bill Miller

Against Lefties

  • the outside pitch to lefties is more often a ball than the league average umpire
  • everything else is called a strike more often

Against Righties

  • strikes are called more often nearly everywhere in the zone

You want Miller behind the plate if you have somewhere to get by 10PM...

Jim Joyce

Against Lefties

  • low pitches near the center of the zone called more often, but
  • both edges (inside and outside) called less often, even low
  • high pitches called slightly less often than league average

Against Righties

  • low pitches, especially away, called more often than league average - low and away called WAY MORE often
  • up and in called less often than is league average

Joyce is seen as one of the most consistent in the game.

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