On TV, the strike zone box does not account for the ball’s path, as a ball, for example, could end in dirt but cross in strike zone in front of the plate. If the ball is the strike zone at any time over home plate, the ball is a strike.
Even on the MLB At Bat or Statcast is not always correct, because it doesn’t account for the batter’s stance, which can even vary between pitches.
There have even been instances, including a few this year, where the computer system has been wrong. As of May 3, there had already been three instances where the system malfunctioned, went down, or provided bad information in a situation that ended up in an ejection of a manager, coach, or player. And there have been more instances since.
With balls and strikes, last year in the Wild Card Game between the Rockies and Cubs, Guccione was correct 97 percent of the time on 201 callable pitches (pitches that were not fouled, swung at, a hit by pitch, pitchout, or ball batted into play).
Statcast had Guccione being correct 91 percent of the time, which, again, shows the difference of information that teams get and the information that umpires are evaluated on by the Commissioner’s office.
There was even some better instances of percentage of pitches that were called correctly than Guccione in the Wild Card game as, in the postseason in 2018, there were eight games that the home plate umpire called pitches correctly at least 98 percent of the time and all postseason games (the Wild Card games, all of the Divisional Series games, both Championship Series, and the World Series) were called at a clip of 94 percent or better.