As it always does, the Major League Baseball postseason provided plenty of fun times on the lead-up to the World Series between Atlanta and the Houston Astros. Really, what more could anyone want?
Well, cleaner, better officiated games for one thing. And maybe more watchable games. And more dramatic series.
This is to say that if you've been left both entertained and yet also frustrated by the 2021 playoffs, it's not just you. Whether they also exist in the regular season or are native to October, MLB has had some significant problems creep into the spotlight here and there.
As for how these issues might be prevented in the future, some potential solutions are simpler than others. Either way, let's dive right in.
Laz Diaz Makes the Case for an Automatic Strike Zone
To give credit where it's due, umpires have actually done an excellent job of handling pitches within the strike zone so far in the postseason. Only 8.2 percent of pitches in the zone have been called balls, compared to 10.5 percent in the regular season.
Even still, that former number isn't as close to zero as it ideally should be. Umpires have also been more liberal than usual with strikes outside the zone, calling them at a 7.1 percent clip compared to 6.7 percent in the regular season.