The Duel

VIDEO: Remembering When Ben Zobrist Struck Out to Lose on One of the Worst Strike Calls in MLB History

By michael obermuller
Pitch number six on the FOXTRAX was the strike three call in this bad beat for the Tampa Bay Rays and Ben Zobrist.
Pitch number six on the FOXTRAX was the strike three call in this bad beat for the Tampa Bay Rays and Ben Zobrist. / FOX, MLB on YouTube
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The debate over balls and strikes is one that goes back to the first moment a baseball was ever thrown, and one we're still having today. This strike-three call in 2013 was a perfect example of why the MLB is headed towards the era of the automated strike zone.

Joe Nathan's reaction here is priceless, he clearly mouths the word, "wow," to his catcher as strike three is called on a breaking ball way off the plate. Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon and batter Ben Zobrist share the same disbelief, along with everyone else on the planet.

It's hard to imagine how a pitch that was shown to be significantly out of the zone ended up as a punchout, but for Nathan, it became his 300th save. The fireworks sound for the Texas Rangers closer, but the real fireworks occur near the dugout as the entire Rays bench has a word with the umpires.

Although balls and strikes are part of the fabric of the game, calls like this are exactly why there is such growing support for the automated strike zone. It's coming, and more often than not, it's probably going to be for the best.


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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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