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The Red Sox Game Ended With A Magical Elastic Strike Zone

With runners on first and second with two outs, and the Rays up one in today's Patriots' Day morning start at Fenway, it came down to Fernando Rodney and Cody Ross. Rodney threw five straight balls outside, except three of them weren't strictly balls, since home plate ump Larry Vanover called them strikes.

The Rays broadcast team, looking at their own pitch tracker, laughed and called it "close enough." And lest you think the Amica Pitch Zone (screengrab by @Detroit4lyfe) is biased, here's the strikezone plot from BrooksBaseball:


ESPN research reports that since 2009, Vanover has the second-highest percentage of taken pitches called strikes with two outs in the ninth inning. That's a weirdly specific stat, and perhaps the real question is if Vanover was calling those outside pitches strikes all game. Still, Boston fans are hot, sweaty, drunk, cranky, and in last place, and it's still just 3 o'clock. Happy Patriots' Day!

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