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Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber screamed at umpire Angel Hernandez following a missed strike three call during Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. It sounds like Schwarber — and, well, the rest of the Phillies — was the only one upset about Hernandez's performance.
MLB reportedly gave Hernandez a 96% grade following Sunday's game. That information comes courtesy of former umpire — and every baseball fan's worst enemy — Joe West. Following Sunday's game, West called Hernandez, who said MLB gave him a 96 percent grade during the game, according to 670 The Score in Chicago.
The publicly available grading system did not agree with that assessment. It gave Hernandez an 88 percent rating. The league average for the publicly available system is 94 percent.
— Umpire Scorecards (@UmpScorecards) April 25, 2022
Hernandez missed a number of calls per the @UmpScorecards account of Twitter. The missed pitch to Schwarber had the biggest impact of the game. Hernandez also missed a call on a pitch that was way inside on Jean Segura.
Umpire Angel Hernandez was the lowest rated umpire on the day, missing 19 calls for a correct percentage of 85.3%.
He rang up 6 batters on pitches that were outside the zone and called a strike to Jean Segura that missed inside by a season high 6.47 inches.#Brewers #Phillies pic.twitter.com/pmmt1ELJJ6
— Umpire Auditor (@UmpireAuditor) April 25, 2022
Hernandez is one of the biggest and most recognizable umpires around MLB. That's not a good thing. If fans notice an umpire, it's usually because that umpire either made crucial mistakes during a game, or got into it with a player before ejecting them. Now that West retired, Hernandez is the most criticized umpire in the game.
Should we believe MLB's game score for Angel Hernandez?
It's easy to react angrily to MLB's grade, especially given Hernandez's reputation, but baseball fans should probably relax before erupting in hatred. The information about Hernandez's grade is being relayed to fans through many filters. Hernandez told West that grade came from MLB. West then relayed the figure he heard while making a radio appearance. It creates a weird game of telephone, opening up the possibility that wires got crossed somewhere.
In addition to that, we have no context for what a 96 percent grade looks like in MLB's system.
this doesn't tell us much, unfortunately. What's the distribution of grades? Is 96 good? average? bad? Also they play a funny game with the denominator (in the past, there are calls excluded from grading for a few reasons, not sure how much that happens these days). https://t.co/CSw6O5CPFy
— Harry Pavlidis, one dog, a peacock, and no apple. (@harrypav) April 28, 2022
MLB may have a completely different way of grading umpires. Perhaps the average in MLB's system is 99%? That information isn't public.
Anyone who watched Sunday's game — or saw replays — knows Hernandez made some awful calls. If MLB's grading system believes Hernandez actually did a tremendous job, that's a problem. Until we know what goes into MLB's umpire grading system, it's hard to get worked up over Hernandez's alleged 96% grade.