Another in the series of short posts breaking down how umpires call close pitches for pitchers. Again, I’ll be doing a much more thorough job with this in a longer article this week over at Beyond the Box Score.
This time I looked at whether better pitches got more close calls than bad pitchers. I broke all pitchers who pitched in 2006 and 2007 into three groups – those who had career runs averages (runs allowed per 9 innings) of less than 4.00 up through 2006, those with a RA between 4.00 and 6.00 and those with over 6.00.
My hypothesis was that the better pitchers got more calls in 2007, as umpires looked more favorably on better pitchers. Surprisingly, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Good pitchers actually received .01 runs per game less than average from umpires’ calls. Bad pitchers were hurt by close calls to the tune of .25 runs per game. The middle group came out at .05 runs per game above average as a whole.
That’s a result I wasn’t expecting.