David Ortiz spouted off after yesterday’s game about Jerry Layne’s strike zone:
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz could muster nothing against Yankees starter CC Sabathia on Saturday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts (two called) and a double play in Boston’s 5-2 loss to New York. Yet while Ortiz gave some credit to the Yankees ace, he also made no secret about his displeasure with the strike zone of home plate umpire Jerry Layne.
On both of Ortiz’ called strikeouts, he stood at home plate, hands on hips, with a look of disgust about the calls. After the game, he was feeling no more charitable towards the strike zone.
“It was a joke,” said Ortiz. “The fact is that on top of [Sabathia] being that good, he’s got [an ump] calling all kinds of [expletive]. That made him better.
“I didn’t see that many strikes that I can hit,” Ortiz added. “Swinging at all kinds of [expletive]. That’s what you’ve got to do. Swing, swing, swing, swing and good luck.”
Ordinarily I would get on Ortiz for his whining, but he had reason to be upset. Here is the strike zone that Layne called in yesterday’s game:
And here is the zone that he called for left-handed hitters:
The strikezone to righties looks fairly standard, suggesting that Layne had a problem picking up the ball against lefthanded hitters yesterday. His zone took on an odd oval shape to those hitters, extending far inside and cutting off the entire outside corner. While both teams were victims of the zone, two of the most egregious calls of the game were in fact pitches to Ortiz. While I am not a huge fan of players complaining about the umpires after a bad game, Ortiz had a legitimate complaint and was justified in voicing his displeasure.