It’s hard to put together a good at-bat when balls that are a foot-and-a-half outside the strike zone are called for strikes. That’s what happened to Nate McLouth in his six pitch at-bat against Rafael Soriano in the top of the 10th on Wednesday night.
With a runner on second base, McLouth worked a 3-0 count on pitches low and outside. Pitches four and five were also balls (as shown in the graph below), but were called as strikes by home plate umpire Brian Gorman.
McLouth took a swing at what should have been ball six and lined into a double-play. He likely would have been called out on strikes either way.
I’m not making excuses for the Orioles loss, there was a lot they could have done to prevent it. But this was a case of some terrible calls on McLouth.