Thanks to the magic of Brooks Baseball we get these pretty cool strikezone plots.
Sean Barber’s strikezone for right-handed hitters
These represent all the called pitches of Barber. The triangles represent Seattle pitches. Red means a called strike, green means a called ball. There are quite a few green triangles within that box.
Pitch No. 5 is the 2-2 curveball from Elias to Punto that was called a ball.
This is the at-bat where Zunino got upset and turned around and said something to Barber as he was headed to the mound to calm down Farquhar, who was also yelling at Barber.
Look umpiring baseball is difficult. And Barber wasn’t the only reason the Mariners lost the game. These guys throw so hard and the ball moves so much. Umpires get vacation time and time off. Their replacements are Triple A umps like Barber. It’s how they gain experience to become a full time big league umpire. Much like the players, the jump from AAA to the big leagues is a difficult one. Sean Barber was making his big league debut behind the plate. And he struggled. I’m sure he knew his strike zone was floating. It’s one of the reasons he didn’t snap back at Zunino or Farquhar. It happens. I’m sure he’ll get better. Think about this, CB Bucknor and Angels Hernandez are probably just as bad behind the plate. And they’ve been working for years. But that offers little solace to the Mariners right now.
From Brooks Baseball …
These are from the Umpire’s perspective, not the Pitcher’s perspective. These strikezone maps are drawn to the specifications of Mike Fast, a former writer for Baseball Prospectus who now works for the Houston Astros. These plots show actual calls superimposed onto dashed lines that represent the strikezones that all Umpires generally call. The dashed lines shift to represent typical deviations for LHH and RHH.