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Dodgers Disagree With Umpires Bad Strike Zone

The Dodgers drop the series opener, 4-3 against the Padres.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: Manager Dave Roberts and Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers argues with umpire Rob Drake #30 after striking out while looking to end the game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on August 26, 2019 in San Diego, California. The San Diego Padres defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Dodgers found themselves once again frustrated, but this time there was an obvious cause. Home plate umpire Rob Drake was getting an earful from both sides for his wildly inconsistent strike zone. Frustrations finally boiled over when Drake punched out Justin Turner looking to end the game.

While the pitch itself looked be a strike, Turner was not happy about the call, and let his frustrations be known.

He had to separated from Rob Drake after being called out on strikes, but Turner’s actions were caused by more than just that single pitch. All game the veteran umpire Drake was liberal with his zone.

More from Turner.

“There was a lot of very questionable calls throughout the game…he called strike 3 and I asked him ‘you call that strike’? he told me it was right down the middle, which is pretty upsetting…and then he walks into me, and told me not to bump him…I’m not trying to bump him, or touch him in any way.”

JT was asked about whether there needs to more accountability for umpires, but he chose to not get into that discussion beyond adding “we thought there was some pitches that didn’t go our way tonight.”

Manager Dave Roberts added his thoughts on some calls at home plate.

“I thought it was inconsistent tonight, both sides of the plate…it was a good pitch, borderline pitch…but I think there was just frustration that was building up.”

Of course, the game wasn’t lost by the umpire or the final strike 3 call. The Dodgers had Dustin May on the mound tonight to start the series opener in San Diego. After coming off a series loss against the Yankees, the Dodgers were looking to get back on track.

Los Angeles held a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 6th inning when things quickly came apart for May. A 2-base error on a sloppy sequence involving AJ Pollock, Corey Seager, and Turner allowed 2 runs to score and helped LA eventually lose 4-3. The Padres were able to put together just 4 hits, but they were able to score 4 runs.

Doc shared his thoughts on the error that cost the Dodgers the lead.

“Dustin certainly should have been backing up right there, and it was a one hopper, that just somehow got in between Justin’s legs, and doesn’t happen very often…one of those unfortunate things, the proved to be the difference in the game.”

The Dodger bats remained cold and have failed to score more than 3 runs in 8 of their past 9 games. They have a team batting average of .228 and are striking out at an alarming rate. Walker Buehler toes the rubber for Los Angeles in the middle game at Petco Park.

Written by Levon Satamian

My name is Levon Satamian. I am currently attending Cal State Northridge, and majoring in Broadcast Journalism.

35 Comments

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  1. This offense is struggling. Three runs or fewer in the last six games. Double figure strikeouts over and over. No offense except from home runs (is Roberts channeling Earl Weaver?). Belli dropping like a rock (monthly averages .435, 314, .272, .265, .235). Brutal vs NY (1-10, 6ks). It appears good pitchers will almost always shut us down, which doesn’t bode well for the post season. And I haven’t even mentioned our increasingly sloppy defense or Kershaw’s inability to keep the ball in the Park.

    • Kershaw and Ryu gave up home runs this weekend because the Yankees have the major league’s most prolific home run based offense. Make a mistake and they crush it……The numbers don’t lie. Then look at all the great pitchers giving up home runs this season in general. Kershaw is pitching great…….he has pitched better than all but about five or six of ALL the starters in the major leagues this season. Look at the numbers before you just make some random blanket statement of indictment. Take Verlander, the best pitcher in baseball this season IMO……. he has given up 33 HR’S this year. Home runs allowed by Kershaw this season? 21……..believe me……..he is way down the list of starting pitchers in this catagory………..

      • Bluz1st, after all is said and done, what I find hard to believe is that before yesterday’s game with Padres, only the Cardinals have allowed fewer HR’s, 154 to our staff allowing 155.

        • “The Dodger bats remained cold and have failed to score more than 3 runs in 8 of their past 9 games.”
          That’s the issue. Not the strike zone, sh***y defense, or the bullpen. Everybody wanted to be the hero in the Yankee series. The 3rd inning of the final game was a microcosm of their last month of play. Muncy works a walk, JT grinds out a knock. 1st and 2nd w one out. What does belli do? Master uppercut on a low inside pitch, his Achilles heel, and pops out. Now there are 2 down with Seager up. What does he do, the same thing. Pathetic. This is a team that built its success on high pitch counts and long abs. Get yet sh’t together.

    • thoughts:
      – The Dodgers claim to have excellent hitting coaches, yet I have seen nothing to prove that.
      – AJ Pollack is a liability in the outfield and cannot hit righties, we need Verdugo back ASAP.
      – I wish it was just Bellinger, who certainly is in free fall, but way too many guys are not even making contact.
      JT is always complaining about strike calls which are actually in the zone. Please stop, JT.
      – I also think that Dave Roberts’s constant screwing around with the line-up, batting order, etc, has made for inconsistent performances. No one knows from one day to next what’s going on, how to prepare, etc.
      Thanks.

      • Jon………I do agree with you on the Pollock thing!…….the DBacks always bragged and lauded on him as being a gold glove outfielder….now that he has been a Dodger and I get to watch him every game I say…NO WAY!……..he gets bad jumps on the ball when it’s hit, the most important part about being a center fielder and although he has a sure glove, he has NO throwing arm at all. Heck, his arm is weaker than Kemp’s was @ the end of his time here. We really miss Verdugo out there! Problem is this………”Dave” loves sticking Pollock in center, so even if Verdugo is able to return from his injury, I’m not sure Roberts is going to stop using Pollock out there.

    • They simply won’t win it all because their best players won’t come through when we need it most as has been the case for decades

    • 13 runs total in the last 6 games, 52 strikeouts in the last 4 games, 9 HR’s given up in the Yankees series, which was MORE than the total runs (5) scored by Dodgers in the Yankees series.

    • Despite the numbers that seem to come in bunches with the long ball, my view of our offense is considerably different than say, Orel and Joe, who love to gush. I prefer contact over long balls. Had great aspirations that we fixed our inconsistent offense this year with the additions of Polloch and Verdugo
      Pollach has disappointed and Verdugo is resetting with a phantom injury mandated by the FO because was starting to tail. Culprits that contribute to the offensive inconsistency are Joc, Corey, Pollach and now Belly. What will become of us when we have to face guys like Scherzer and Verlander???

    • Bobb, Dodgers may not even get to WS this year, and it won’t be such a horrible thing because it would mean we won’t have to endure a 3rd straight WS loss to a proven better team in the AL.

      • I agree Paul. The way it looks right now is that we draw Washington for the Division series. Those fellas can outpitch us. Trouble looming on the horizon. Hoarding bunches of players and giving them inconsistent playing time is not doing our offense any favors either.

  2. Justin Turners quote was ““He called strike three and I asked him, ‘You called that a strike?’ He told me it was right down the middle which was pretty upsetting. If he thinks that was right down the middle, no wonder he was missing so many pitches throughout the night.”………Don’t get me wrong, I love JT…………but that last pitch………while it was NOT right down the middle……….it DID cross the plate on the outer edge of the strike zone……..It was a pretty wicked pitch……..could have been called a ball or a strike it was so close……..he should have been in a swing to protect mode given the count, score, inning and Munce on base. Expecting the umpire to make a call in your favor with the game in the balance on a pitch like that one was ill advised.

  3. What the heck….. are you reading my mind? Those are exactly the same points I was going to make. Thanks for saving me the time.

  4. Those were strikes i can’t stand when they do this. They purposely don’t protect the plate with 2 strikes just to prove some dumb point to the umpire as if he cares

  5. Sideshow Bob, aka Dustin May, is a disaster. He should have been traded at the deadline. Bellinger had the half year of his life, will end up hitting.270 and flame out in the playoffs. When was the last time Corey Seager got a key hit? 2016? Robert’s is to blame with his lineup tinkering as is Friedman for his holding on to his previous prospects. This team will lose in the first round of the playoffs.

  6. Dustin May, aka Sideshow Bob is a disaster. He should have been traded at the deadline. Bellinger had the half year of his life but will end up a .270 and flame out in the playoffs. When did Corey Seager last get a key hit? 2016? This team is a mirage. Homers or nothing and the bullpen is a mess. Blame Robert’s for his lineup tinkering and cheapskate Friedman for not trading his precious prospects. This team loses in the first round of the playoffs.

  7. Dustin May losing that game last night was ALL on the defense behind him. He pitched very well. Bellinger is having one of the best offensive hitting seasons in the history of the Dodger franchise and his defensive prowess isn’t even matched by anyone else on the team. Corey Seager leads the ENTIRE team in doubles by a wide margin and he has done it with approx. 50 LESS games played than everyone else else. Friedman hanging on to his prospects has proven to be a VERY wise strategy………otherwise we would not have Seager, Buehler, Bellinger, Verdugo, Lux, Smith, May, Gonsolin etc……….and since you were completely wrong on each and every one of your whining complaints except for Roberts lineup tinkers, it makes your post die with a thud.

    • Bellinger average has done nothing but drop for the entire summer he’s an all or nothing guy again like last year. It’s as if he put forth the effort just to pad his numbers so he can spend the rest of the year chasing homerun records without his average looking bad.

        • I think he’s got 8 more in him but at the cost of not even hitting .300 when it’s all said and done

      • RE: Bellinger. He was hitting over .400+. Did you think he was going to maintain that average? If you did, I want to bogart some of the drugs you are on. He is not Ted Williams and I doubt there ever will be again. 162 games is a LONG time, he may never have a season like this one ever again. He leads the Dodgers in almost ever single offensive catagory. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone do that. And then consider this is only his THIRD year in the major leagues. If you can’t appreciate what Bellinger has done this season then you will never be satisfied with the performance of anyone on this team.

        • How about .330 or .320? Obviously no one thought he would bat .400 but to drop near 100 points means your average is horrible lately and it is, go look at the month to month

          • NODH……I agree with you that his hitting has fallen off dramatically. But he is a .270-.280 hitter, that is what he is. There is no way I expected him to continue to hit .300-.400….I did not expect him to hit 45 HR’S……I did not expect him to have 100 RBI…….I did not expect him to have a +1.000 OPS……..what he has done this season is unreal……he is having a VERY special season. But for you to say he is an all or nothing guy is just ridiculous to me. He is our best offensive AND defensive player in only his third major league season and you make it sound like he is no better than say, someone like Mark Reynolds.

    • Agreed here bluz1st, in that May did not lose this game on his pitching. It was that horrific defensive play that allowed 2 runs to score and was the game winner because the Dodgers looked like the 2018 team all over again with all the K’s and leaving the bases full not once but twice without scoring a single run.

  8. Agree, tinkering with the lineup doesn’t help. Seems every one is swinging for the fences. Bellinger swings for the fences all the time. Seager seems to be pulling everything. Kiki should be used as a defensive replacement. He can’t hit. Muncey also only thinks HR although, he works the pitcher but, strikeouts too much. Beaty should be give more time. We do miss Verdugo. May pitched a decent game. The error cost them. He seems to tire in the 6th, so Roberts should have someone warming up. They need to get ready fo the playoffs and win Home Field.

  9. Ryu and kersh were using the curveball to set up the fastball. The yanks obviously had a plan, and it worked.

  10. The umps have been terrible again all season. An I mean that on both sides of the field. But at the same time, the Dodgers have been the better consistent hitting team. There are bad pitches they’ve hit for base hits and doubles. They should have control of the whole strike zone. They hit bad pitches and they miss good pitches. But the umps have been bad this year. Bring on the machines/ electronics to help the umps and players.

  11. I disagree. Most of the time the calls are good. In fact of the 55 years I have played and watched I have never seen them so accurate. I’ve never seen them call the high strike so well. The zone used to be just above the waist and 6 inches outside in Hershisers time and even around 2000’s.Sincerely they’re much better. Even when they miss it’s an inch or 2 only(usually). Plus there’s a lot more pressure. Pitchers velocity is much higher, a lot throw more than 97 plus mph. In Koufax day he was it. Next was Drsdale at perhaps 94 and this was from an 18 inch mound. Guys even throw breaking balls in high 80’s and low 90’s. Now A days. It’ s harder to ump because of that tv rectangle which makes things transparent for world. Turner was way wrong on his argument. Ball was a strike by inches.

  12. More about umps. I think there was another 97 plus pitcher in Koufax’ time, Herb Score. That made 2 such pitchers. Now it seems like there are 2 per team that throw 97plus. Also ” framing pitches is a passion for catchers today. Of course what is called framing I call jerking the ball into the strike zone or cheating. Real framing is putting glove and body(sometimes)in favorable angle to put emphasis that the borderline ball is a strike. Not try to deceive the ump on almost every call!, Players have little reason to constantly complain when their own players are trying to deceive the umps. Either way calling strikes and balls is tougher than ever because of a more varied assortment of pitches,greater velocity and framing.

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