Is the strike zone a three dimensional cube or a one way street?

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Someone on a thread here mentioned the eephus pitch:

Didn't know it but always thought that pitch was known as a Dean ball or Dizzy Dean ball. Anyway, got me to thinking, a huge arc lob coming in at the plate, not so easy to hit that strike zone..

so, can someone help with a rules clarification?

Most non-junkball pitches come in with enough velocity to make us think of the strike zone as a a two dimension square. In reality, it should be a cube. If a pitch such as an eephus arcs in from above and nicks the back of the strike zone cube without passing the beginning of the plate as a strike, is it still a strike?

It seems that counter-intuitive that suck a vertical drop could create a strike, yet when it comes to the horizontal plane (curveballs), it would be a strike.. anyone help clue us in?

mookié wilson (mookie wilson), Friday, 30 September 2005 20:43 (fourteen years ago) link

that counter-intuitive that suck? man I need to spellcheck..

mookié wilson (mookie wilson), Friday, 30 September 2005 20:46 (fourteen years ago) link

I believe the strike zone is a 2-D plane at the front of the plate. A ball that nicks the back of the plate but does not pass through the strike zone at the front of the plate is a ball.

boldbury (boldbury), Saturday, 1 October 2005 01:37 (fourteen years ago) link

The strike zone is technically a pentagonal volume, and a strike should be called if the ball touches any part of it. An obsolete rule from 1907 says "A fairly delivered ball is a ball pitched or thrown to the bat by the pitcher while standing in his position and facing the batsman that passes over any portion of the home base, before touching the ground, not lower than the batsman's knee, nor higher than his shoulder. For every such fairly delivered ball, the umpire shall call one strike."

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Saturday, 1 October 2005 06:54 (fourteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

guy on the new BPodcast suggested that lefty batters regularly get pitches a couple inches outside called strikes, bcz of how home plate umps position themselves.

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 21 April 2013 01:01 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Neyer on the current and future strike zone (and automation)

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 September 2014 17:06 (five years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Amazing work there. It gives me hope that people will see the so-called steroid era for what it was -- a period of increased offense not much different from others in baseball history.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 08:29 (five years ago) link

Schoenfield wrote a post about their research on espn, the correlation between the drop-off in offense and the start of the Pitch f/x era (as opposed to the initiation of PED testing) is eye-opening.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 08:33 (five years ago) link

those low strikes should've been getting called before, tbh now that hitters are getting better at hitting low pitches it doesn't really seem off to me.

the problem is they're still calling those gd unhittable inside pitches strikes. i still see it every game. the strike zone was off before but at least the offness was balanced.

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Tuesday, 14 October 2014 08:53 (five years ago) link

I seem to remember that 20-25 years ago, pitchers used to get the low strike all the time, as well as a couple more inches on the outside corner. Then there was a push to start calling the high strike more often (anything more than 4 inches above the belt was being called a ball) and the entire strike zone shifted upwards.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:37 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

The committee agreed on a motion to effectively raise the lower part of the strike zone to the top of the hitter's knees, sources said.


The change in the intentional-walk rule would end the traditional practice of requiring the pitcher to lob four balls outside the strike zone. Instead, a team could signify it wants to issue an intentional walk, and the hitter would be immediately sent to first base, sources said.


Andy K, Saturday, 21 May 2016 00:48 (three years ago) link

Anything that was good enough for Vladimir Guerrero should be a strike.

Andy K, Saturday, 21 May 2016 00:51 (three years ago) link

i'll miss the annual minor league walk-off intentional-walk wild pitch, but okay

top of the knees is too high

mookieproof, Saturday, 21 May 2016 00:52 (three years ago) link

qualx, Tuesday, 24 May 2016 02:23 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

uh oh; unintended consequences...

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 15:10 (three years ago) link

i kinda feel like the entire strike zone should be higher (rather than just raising the bottom edge) but yeah it would definitely fuck with people. every young pitcher's mantra is 'keep the ball down in the zone'

mookieproof, Wednesday, 8 February 2017 17:37 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Jeff Sullivan:

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:09 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Nate Freiman (former Athletic/Red Sock) did a nice presentation at the Saberseminar on how the strike zone gets "better" as you rise in the minors (more consistent, and better for the hitters to learn). And here's his Fangraphs adaptation of it:

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 15 August 2018 20:52 (one year ago) link

^^^ did not go to uconn

mookieproof, Wednesday, 15 August 2018 21:03 (one year ago) link

I mean umps get promoted too. Sort of related:

when the NFL refs went on strike some wise galaxy brain said something like “the best refs in the world are in the nfl and the second best refs in the world aren’t available because they’re being paid by the SEC.” which is why high school and juco refs cocked shit up in the pros for a month

YouTube_-_funy_cats.flv (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Thursday, 16 August 2018 01:09 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Jacob Heyward tossed in an Arizona Fall League game for arguing balls and strikes called by a robot umpire.

— Chad Baker (@ChadBlue_) October 16, 2019

mookieproof, Thursday, 17 October 2019 15:47 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

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