Todd was the home plate umpire in today's game, which the Twins lost 1-3 to the Boston Red Sox. Both teams had complaints about his ball and strikes calls that resulted to the ejection of Veritek and Francona in the 7th inning. In the top of the inning Redmond and Gardenhire also got ejected, but that was for arguing a close call to the plate that went the Red Sox way, allowing a runner to score from 3th on a fly ball to Kubel.
So how bad was his ball and stike calling?
To answer this, I am looking at PitchFx data from Brooksbaseball.net, in all 4 games of the Boston series and more specifically looking at the starters for both teams and the pitches that were in the strike zone but called balls by each of the four home plate umpires.
Here are the data from today's game (green is ball, red is strike, blue is contact):
Tichenor missed 6 of Swarzak's pitches (green boxes in the strike zone)
Tichenor missed 12 of Beckett's pitches.
In total in today's game Tichenor missed 18 pitches from both starters
Let's look at yesterday's game with Chris Guccione the home plate umpire:
Guccione missed 7 of Slowey's pitches
Guccione missed 9 of DickeK's pitches
In total in yesterday's game Guccione missed 16 pitches from both starters
Let's look at Tuesday's game with Tony Randazzo the home plate umpire:
Randazzo missed 8 of Blackburn's pitches
Randazzo missed 5 of Lester's pitches
In total in Tuesday's game Randazzo missed 13 pitches from both starters
Let's look at Monday's game with Jerry Lane the home plate umpire:
Lane missed 3 of Liriano's pitches
Lane missed 6 of Penny's pitches
In total in Monday's game Lane missed 9 pitches from both starters
What conclusion's can one draw from this? First of all, Todd Tichenor today was worse than all umpires in this aspect, but not that much worse than Chris Guccione was last night. I think that the fact that it was a closer game had a lot to do with it. However, he was fairly consistent, since everything outside to a right hand hitter was called a ball within an inch or 2 of the zone (in a similar way that Guccione called all low strikes balls last night). The bottom line is that umpires can affect the game, but players and managers should not let that happen, but making adjustments to a particular umpire's strike zone. On the other hand, Tichenor tossed both catchers pretty quickly without giving time for their managers to step up and intervene...