Cubs Ben Zobrist calls for use of electronic strike zone

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 12: Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) warms up before the MLB baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 12, 2017 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire)
Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire

With Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant previously supporting the notion of using electronic umpires in the future, it appears as though one of his “Windy City” teammates is also on board with the idea. On Saturday evening against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cubs utility man Ben Zobrist became the subject a controversial at-bat as he failed to reach base in the bottom half of the ninth inning.

With a pitch out of the hand of David Hernandez appearing to be low, home plate umpire Mark Wegner rang Zobrist up to end a potential Cubs rally. Arizona defeated the reigning World Series Champions, 6-2, as a result.

“It’s a tough one,” Zobrist said, via ESPN. “There’s only been one other one [in 2013] I’ve ever had in my career that felt worse than that, especially to end the game. It’s tough.

“I was a little confused and shocked to what the call was. I said, ‘What did we have on that?’ He said, ‘I had it for a strike.'”

However, Zobrist has an answer for those who want such calls removed from the game altogether.

“If we want to change something like that, we’re going to have an electronic strike zone because human beings are going to make mistakes,” Zobrist continued. “Tough situation for that to happen, but he’s probably going to look at it and not be too happy with himself.

“That’s something the league is going to have to look at, when you start ending games and games turn on one pitch like that. It’s an unfortunate situation, and now that we have the technology, we should probably get it right.”

The Cubs’ loss Saturday in the desert allowed the rival St. Louis Cardinals to slide into a first-place tie in the National League Central division alongside the Cubs.

“I really know Mark knows he messed it up,” added Cubs manager Joe Maddon. “I don’t think anyone feels worse than he does right now. It was a ball, obviously. I’m not going to sit here and rail on him. I think he’s a very good umpire.”

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