Schwarber, Kyle Schwarber, Earl Weaver discussed on Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney


You cover baseball today, Tim, that means talking about the strike zone that was called last night by angel Hernandez in the game against the brewers. I must say, first off, how are you doing this morning? I'm okay. It's a little bit of a shame. We're talking about an umpire instead of two really good pictures last night, but unfortunately that's where we are sometimes. Yeah, and I thought that Kyle schwarber and some respects was like the perfect guy to really call attention to this whole situation to punctuate the situation during the course of the night because he's such a nice guy, generally speaking he doesn't complain about the strike zone, but at the end of the night, he had had it and the way that he argued it made his case with angel and his slamming down his helmet and then going to one side of the plate and then going to the other side of the blade and talking about how it happened all night and then pointing to the brewers dug out and pointing to the Phillies dug out saying both sides you've been terrible. I mean that to me was appropriate. What'd you think? Well, again, buster, I grew up watching Earl weaver and then I covered Earl weaver and there was nobody more entertaining, arguing with an umpire than Earl weaver. And we don't get that anymore, which is probably good for the sport, but that was very entertaining by Kyle schwarber last night. And I think you're right. I think he spoke for both teams last night. I've seen some numbers. I'm not sure what to believe with umpire numbers anymore, but someone suggested he missed 19 calls last night, got 85% of them right. Look, it's really hard. That's a really hard job back there, but you got to do better than 85%. And if you missed 19 calls in a night and missed one by 6 inches or whatever I read somewhere, that's a bit much. So again, it's really unfortunate that we're talking about an umpire. Instead of Eric Lauer's best major league game. And as schwarber is going nuts, our cameras panned to Andrew mccutcheon who was standing in left field. He had been upset earlier in the game to the point that when there was a subsequently after he was called out on a call third strike, Andrew like jumped up as if he was trying to leap across the plate, pretending that that's what he would have to do to actually reach the pitch. But the camera is pointed at mccutcheon as schwarber is going nuts and Andrews is sitting there with his arms folded and he's just, he's kind of shaking his head and laughing. Like in support of schwarber, like he's bemused because there's no question that the strike zone last night really affected that game. Yeah, and that's what can not happen. Look, it's hard enough to get a hit in the big leagues. I say it all the time. I don't know, anyone gets a hit anymore. The stuff is so good. And then when you're going to help the pitcher even more by giving him an inch here, two inches there, 6 inches there. It's virtually impossible. That's why we had 32 strikeouts last night. And it seemed to be missing all over every part of the zone. Like some umpires when they have a bad day, they just missed the highest strike or call it up there too many times, but this was high, low in and out, and I think that's what schwarber. Showed very well. And I thought David Conan are broadcast made a great point when he noted that a lot of times the strike zone gets a little bit bigger for umpires earlier in the count, but when you get to two strikes, it becomes more difficult to get the punch out if you're a pitcher. But in this particular game, it seemed like so many of the calls missed by angel were on two strikes and how unusual that was. And of course, I was thinking back to the most famous strike zone in the history of baseball, 1997 playoff game between the braves and the Marlins, Eric Greg was the home plate umpire. He had a huge strike zone that game and it especially was bigger for left handed hitters of the braves. And it was affecting the braves a lot. And I remember talking with a baseball official late in that game, you know, saying to her, look, you need to get Eric Greg and the strike zone because he completely affected that game. And to me, that's where it gets to be a concern. I mentioned, I talked to a friend last night who said to me, you know, this is how baseball gets to an electronic strike zone through games like this, where people are just up in arms saying the umpires shouldn't affect the game this much. Right. And you're absolutely right. When an umpire affects a game, we have to look at it closer. You know buster, I'm not in favor of an electronic strike zone. I think we need the human element. If you're going to give the home plate an umpire home plate umpire a little bit of help, a little augmented reality, maybe maybe you can convince me you can help him, but we can't just have no umpire back there. And we can't just have a computer doing this, but we have to do better than last night. And it just seemed amazing. How many people had an angel Hernandez story to tell today, not just writers, but so many players said, well, who should be surprised by this after all these years? So in the midst of all that KS last night, in the 9th inning, the Phillies are going nuts, schwarber is getting ejected and Bryce Harper puts his ear piece back in, he was wearing the mic for his last night. He puts his earpiece back in to, you know, tell us, essentially, hey, good night, thanks. This was fun. He had an earpiece on for 7 innings. And even at the end of the game with all that going on, he thought about doing that, which is why, you know, Bryce Harper like other players has been so phenomenal in these situations when they're wearing this technology that allows them to communicate with booze during the course of the game. I thought it was fun again. Yeah, I thought it was great. I'm all for it. I did a bunch of them in spring training over the years. It was my favorite spring training games with Mookie bets and Freddie Freeman hooked up. Joey botto opening night was tremendous with us. So let's do it every week. And it helps the game. It humanizes the players. It really helps the fans, I just hope all of our players recognize what an important thing this is and what a fun thing this is for everyone. Yeah, and so far they certainly have. You started with Joey Votto who passed it on the key or nandez, who passed it on to Ozzie albies and embrace harbor next week. We get Francisco Lindor. I did before we turn away from that game. What did want to talk about Eric Lauer, who I always sort of thought of as being this soft tossing lefty like this guy who, you know, he wasn't ever going to be one of the elite pitchers in the national league, but Tim based on what we saw last night based on what we've seen with his velocity the last couple of years. I think he's climbing into that upper Echelon of guys. What do you think? Right, and your velocity note buster was really, really important to read that and hear that yesterday. I mean, you would think at his age, he's not an old guy by any means that the velocity is going to even out at some point for him to keep rising in velocity. I think speaks directly to what great pitching coaches can do, what new mechanics can do and what all the workings of the inside of the game can make you throw harder because he's not a particularly big guy, but it's a great sign when a guy is throwing two, three, four miles an hour harder than he was four years ago. That's a big jump and it's really helping him. It's like Craig counsel told you last night, you know, you get a margin for error when you throw a little bit harder. You don't have to hit every single spot to get by. Now, before the season started just on the season, we were making our picks, but you and I hate having to turn those in because we know we're going to be wrong all the time. I initially turning the brewers to win the national league central and then I flipped it, I picked the Cardinals because they felt like they have enough depth during the course of the year. Their offense is pretty good. But then after seeing the brewers this weekend after seeing Lauer last night, I was like, what was I thinking? Because nobody matches up with their rotation..

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