Stephen Strasburg has not limited his career to making batters look foolish, he has also proven to be a bane to umpires as well. Strasburg's stuff is so electric, that it can't be seen by the mere mortals officiating behind the plate. David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal reports that through Strasburg's first two games, umpires have missed at least six strike calls:â†µ
According to a consensus of umpires, a good umpire will make one bad call on a pitch every two innings—or about four or five per game. But in Mr. Strasburg's first start, on June 8, Pitch f/x indicated that the home-plate umpire, Tom Hallion, missed seven calls in only seven innings. By contrast, Mr. Hallion only missed two calls in five-plus innings for the opposing pitcher, Pittsburgh's Jeff Karstens.â†µ
In Mr. Strasburg's second start, the system said home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora missed six calls in fewer than six innings. Mr. Hallion and Mr. O'Nora couldn't be reached for comment.â†µ
Both Hallion and O'Nora are probably still trembling under their beds after having to call Strasburg. But wait! It gets even better!â†µ
"I've known guys who couldn't sleep the night before they had to ump a pitcher like that," said Don Denkinger, a major-league umpire for almost three decades.â†µ
Really, they should start printing warning labels before Strasburg pitches. The use of Stephen Strasburg may cause sleep deprivation, uncontrollable sobs of joy, and loss of body functions.