Not since the 1997 NLCS has an umpire’s strike zone in the playoffs come under such criticism.

From the start of Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night, baseball fans and players alike were baffled at home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck’s strike zone – that at times appeared to stretch all the way to Lake Michigan.

(Plots courtesy: Brooks Baseball)

The Indians seemingly had the most to complain about, and their always outrageous Twitter account chimed in with some not-so-subtle shade.

After Kris Bryant took a rather dubious walk in the fourth inning, many observers began to question Hirschbeck’s perception of the zone.

At least one neutral observer – former Cubs pitcher Dan Haren – gave some insight into how the NL champions might have scouted Hirschbeck before the game:

Hirschbeck’s extra-large strike zone conjured up memories of another legendary playoff game, that saw even more comically outrageous home-plate umpiring. In Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS, Florida Marlins pitcher Livan Hernandez rode an abnormally wide zone from umpire Eric Gregg to victory en route to the franchise’s first pennant. That game is still regarded as perhaps the worst performance by an umpire on record.