A pitch? A ball? A balk? Regardless of the ruling, the uncertainty surrounding the pitch depicted above, coming from the hand of Tribe starter Zach McAllister, was enough to garner consideration for one of the worst pitches of July. From FanGraphs:
Pitcher: Zach McAllister
Batter: Don Kelly
Date: July 19
Location: cannot be calculated
I’m glad that people told me about this on Twitter, because the pitch wasn’t captured by PITCHf/x and therefore I never would’ve found it. There’s one clue that a pitch was really terrible: it didn’t even register on the PITCHf/x cameras. But sometimes the PITCHf/x system just has its glitches and a pitch or an at-bat or a whole inning can just go by unrecorded. Immediately after the fact, the broadcast talked about whether the play would be ruled a ball or a balk. The runner on first advanced to second anyway, so it only mattered with regard to the count and the record books. There’s another clue that a pitch was really terrible: people aren’t sure whether it was an actual pitch. This is a pretty strong clue.
McAllister was Designated for Assignment and then passed through to Columbus not long after this fateful day. On the season, McAllister is allowing opposing hitters to put up a .276 average, twenty points higher than 2013, large in part to a .322 BABiP and other items beyond his control (His 5.91 ERA dwarfs his 4.05 FIP). Unfortunately, he has no one else to blame but himself for the “pitch” shown above.