In his at-bat in the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge struck out. One of the strikes caused something of an uproar.

Judge offered at the first and third strike of the at-bat against Frankie Montas. So, there was no disputing those calls. The second strike was a much different story, as Judge took a pitch below the knees but Stu Scheurwater called it a strike.

Given how much of a topic of conversation MLB Umpires have been in 2022, this call caught the attention of baseball fans.

In all fairness to Scheurwater, an 88-mile-per-hour splitfinger fastball is brutal to track and will move out of the strike zone rapidly. He did miss the call. But we’ve seen far more blatant missed both on the bases and behind the plate this season.

Strangely enough, though, that actually only strengthens the case for robot umpires. An indefensibly bad call can be an outlier. But a bad call that we can understand is a different story.

Pitchers are throwing harder now with break than ever before. We wouldn’t say that a splitter at 88 was unheard of a generation ago, but it wasn’t commonplace. Now it is. We’re seeing splitters, two-seam fastballs, cutters, sinkers, sliders and even curveballs moving so much and at such velocity that it is hard to make the right call, especially if the pitch is right on the corner.

Additionally, one thing to remember is that robot umpires would not mean the human umpires are out of a job. It would just mean that the home plate umpire has one less responsibility. Furthermore, if he’s not calling balls and strikes, he also wouldn’t have to stand too close to home plate and therefore might be safer.

[Talkin’ Yanks, Photo Credit: YES]

About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.