By Charlie Roumeliotis
Baseball Savant is an online resource that breaks down advanced statistics of players to a simpler form that's easier to understand.
FanGraphs.com conducted a research on Baseball Savant's site by dividing up the strike zone into nine equivalent areas to determine the season's five worst called balls. And the top two victims? Chicago Cubs pitchers Kevin Gregg, who came in at No. 2, and Edwin Jackson, who topped the list.
Note: The red dot illustrates the catcher's pre-pitch target.
On Sept. 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gregg tossed a pitch that landed 1.5 inches away from the center of the zone but was called a ball instead of a strike probably because catcher J.C. Boscan couldn't hang onto it.
But Jackson's miscalled strike against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 19 proved to be much more costly.
During a tie game in the sixth inning with one runner on and one out, Jackson's 0-1 pitch to Yadier Molina was a mere 1.1 inches away from the center of the zone, but it was called a ball. The count would have been 0-2 if properly called a strike, but instead the count was evened out at one. And a couple pitches later, Molina belted a two-run home run that gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.