Buck ShowalterUmpires are the talk of the baseball world after a horrific call in Cleveland in Wednesday night’s A’s-Indians game. On Thursday in Baltimore, Orioles skipper Buck Showalter did he best to criticize CB Bucknor’s strikezone by tip toeing around a few answers in his postgame press conference.

When asked about second baseman Ryan Flaherty‘s 1-for-3 night, Showalter blamed Bucknor’s inconsistency.

“Well I understand his frustration [in the] last at-bat,” Showalter said. “That was obviously a ball. You guys watched the same thing I did. Not very — not very entertaining watching the inconsistency of that. But that’s not something that’s real new.”

Buck is right. It was a ball. Here’s the PITCHf/x data on Flaherty’s at-bat in the sixth inning against Jeremy Guthrie.
Ryan Flaherty May 8, 2013

“[He was] on base two times. [He] should have been on probably three or four if you get some cooperation on some other factors. So, Ryan has been playing the heck out of second base.”

Bucknor may have kept Flaherty off the bases in the sixth, but surely the umpires haven’t limited him to a .122/.209/.195 slash on the season. To Showalter’s point, I counted fifteen pitches thrown outside the strikezone that were called strikes (ten to lefties, five to righties). It’s got to be tough to hit with a zone that big.