Bucknor + Mussina = Forever
There have been more than a few grumblings about the calls that Mussina was getting on the way to shutting down the Jays last night, so here they are (as well as the 6th inning when he seemed to get frustrated with the ump):
On the one hand, there a lot of red dots right on top of blue dots so it looks like a very inconsistent zone. On the other, Mussina really did do a good job of painting the last millimeter of the outside (right) corner and other than one really bad strike and a couple of bad balls, Bucknor was just flipping a coin when it came down to a matter of millimeters.
Very generous to the other side for both pitchers, though. While umpires give a couple of inches on average, last season Bucknor was not one of them. He called it textbook to both sides, but had one of the largest bottoms (no that link is not the hilarious umpire ass shot you were dreaming of – just boring ol’ proof).
Not so for Jesse Litsch last night, however. It could have been a case of calling the slider/sinker where it was caught rather than where it crossed the plate, because he missed some clear strikes to Damon, Jeter and Matsui- and they weren’t even on the corners, which umpires tend to clip.
The moose got one bad call like that all night and almost had a heart attack…mostly though, Litsch just wasn’t close enough to take advantage of Bucknor’s horizontal generosity (ok, this time it’s what you were hoping for).