Umpire Calls Strike Five Inches Below the Zone


The Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday in a game that took nearly three hours to complete. This was despite the best efforts of home plate umpire Mike Estabrook, who demonstrated a strike zone in the first inning that kept everyone on their toes. Here he is calling the first pitch to Bo Bichette, which was just above his shoe laces, According to Umpire Auditor it was the second-worst call of the season. And who are we to question Umpire Auditor, lest we become the audited?

Special props to catcher Jake Rogers whose frame job here is just spectacular. Did he pick it out of the dirt? Not quite. Did he try to act like it went right down the middle of the strike zone? Hell yeah. That's generations of pitch-framing muscle memory at work.

As you can see, Estabrook gave Bichette a very low zone during the at-bat as he also called a high strike a ball later in the at-bat.

Considering this was just the first inning and Bichette ended up hitting a single, the call is quite inconsequential. However, people are really into bad umpiring right now so it would be a calculated risk to not bring this to everyone's attention.