MLB: The time for an electronic strike zone has come

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals speaks with umpire Lance Barksdale #23 after striking out against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals speaks with umpire Lance Barksdale #23 after striking out against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /
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Throughout much of the past few seasons, the subject of an electronic strike zone has been the topic of debates around MLB.  After Game 5 of the World Series, the discussions went to another level.

The MLB umpire behind the plate for Game 5 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals was Lance Barksdale.  He actually called a pretty decent game, but there were a few blown calls that relaunched the debate for electronic strike zones.

The calls were pretty significant in the whole scheme of the game.  They happened when the Nationals were down 4-1 in the 7th inning.  Ryan Zimmerman drew a full-count walk, the last pitch being one pitcher Gerrit Cole and catcher Martin Maldonado felt was strike three.

With Zimmerman now on first, Victor Robles worked the count full but was then punched out on a pitch further outside than the pitch Zimmerman walked on.  This call would have been huge.  Cole probably doesn’t stay in the game after the walk, allowing the Nationals to bring the tying run to the plate.

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Now all the players in the Nationals clubhouse knew these two calls are not why they lost the game.  They couldn’t touch Cole for most of the game, but those calls at a crucial part of the game didn’t help their chances of a comeback.

I for one have never been in favor of an electronic strike zone.  Part of the game has always been that human element behind the plate.  Both the hitter and the pitcher have to adjust to each individual umpire’s strike zone.

The more I have watched baseball this season and seasons in the past, I have realized there is no reason why we don’t have an electronic strike zone.  Heck, we have the box on live TV that tells everyone at home whether it was a ball or strike, which makes people madder when the ump misses the call.

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Even future Hall of Famer C.C. Sabathia is on board for an electronic strike zone after seeing all of the issues in this World Series.  I know they have been testing the very thing in the Arizona Fall League, but it needs to come to the big leagues as soon as possible.  It is time for an electronic strike zone in MLB.