Sunday, December 4, 2022

2022 World Series: Umpire Pat Hoberg called perfect game in Astros’ Game 2 win

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Major League Baseball fans are always quick to point out when an umpire makes a controversial ball or strike call – especially when that call goes against their team.

But what about when an umpire goes an entire game without making a single wrong call?

That is what home plate umpire Pat Hoberg did in the Houston Astros‘ win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of the 2022 World Series on Saturday. Per Umpire Scorecards, which tracks umpires’ ball and strike calls over the course of every MLB game, Hoberg had his own version of a “perfect game.”

Umpire Scorecards, which uses MLB’s own advanced pitch tracking data to rate the accuracy of every ball and strike call in a game to determine how those calls affect the outcome of a game, launched on Twitter in July 2020, just before the start of the pandemic-altered 2020 MLB season. 

In the hundreds of games the platform has tracked since then, none have been perfectly called – until Hoberg’s performance in the Astros’ series-evening 5-2, Game 2 victory.

Umpire Scorecards’ database actually goes all the way back to the start of the 2015 season – and Hoberg’s Game 2 performance is still the only perfect game it has ever recorded.

As the tweet points out, however, Hoberg had already been quietly building a reputation for his accuracy. The metrics on Umpire Scorecards’ website lists the umpire in the 100th percentile in accuracy, 99th percentile in accuracy above expected and 94th percentile in consistency. 

Hoberg was profiled as “MLB’s most accurate umpire” in a June 2022 USA Today feature using Umpire Scorecards data. Per Umpire Scorecards owner Ethan Singer in the article, Hoberg already had a niche following for the accuracy reflected in his Umpire Scorecards reports. 

FOX Sports MLB writers Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman shouted Hoberg out on their @CespedesBBQ Twitter account before the first pitch of Saturday’s Game 2 when it was revealed that the umpire would be calling balls and strikes.

Hoberg’s following has only increased since Umpire Scorecards released its perfect score for him Sunday morning, quickly earning him praise from several corners of baseball Twitter.

Hoberg even earned recognition from within MLB circles as San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria shouted him out on Instagram and FOX Sports broadcaster Jason Benetti shared an anecdote from New York Mets manager Buck Showalter earlier in the season.

As FOX Sports broadcaster Joe Davis pointed out during the game, Hoberg’s friends and family were also in attendance to watch his history-making night.

More history will be made as the World Series moves to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia as the Phillies and Astros each look to take a 2-1 series lead.

Houston Astros’ Jeremy Peña exclusive interview after World Series Game 2

Jeremy Peña talks with Ben Verlander in an exclusive interview after the Astros’ World Series Game 2 victory.


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