ST. LOUIS — Let's be honest: It's cathartic to complain about the umpires.That's an essential truth for any baseball fan. Any sports fan, really. The umpires are easy scapegoats, the reasons your team won or lost on any given night. They screw the good guys out of wins, always. MORE: NLDS photos | ALDS images | Jays bash strike zone, replayExcept that now, baseball has expanded replay, so for the most part there are few complaints about bang-bang plays at first, or fair/foul calls down the lines. If the umpire makes the wrong call, replay can fix that. We go to the video and get it right. That's not the case with the strike zone, of course. That's still up to

the umpire's interpretation, and that can be maddening, for players, managers and fans. In Game 1 of the NLDS between the Cubs and Cardinals, home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi punched out eight hitters on called third strikes.Eight. That's a lot. Six Cubs and two Cardinals went back to the bench annoyed. Related News playoffs 2015: Best photos from the National League Division Series MORE: Cardinals 4, Cubs 0 | Lackey's no-no start | Cards rookies take over | Mets 3, Dodgers 1It changed the way Chicago approached at-bats. "I think we had to expand our zone offensively to try to cover some pitches that we normally don't have to swing at in order to avoid strikeouts, and the ball is put in play weakly because of that," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "So I think there was an advantage from the expanded strike zone regarding us not being able to make hard contact."And with the strike zone box now on every baseball broadcast, fans watching at home (or on the laptop or tablet or phone, of course) get instant feedback. You think the umpire blew the call? Just wait a second and you'll see that dot pop up that shows whether the pitch was a strike or a ball.MORE: These teams survived 0-2 deficits | Jays, Rangers who must produce in Game 3On the TBS broadcast of the Cardinals-Cubs game, it seemed like pretty much every called third strike was way, way out of the zone. Fans were irate, and they took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.That ump ain't the reason the Cubs are losing, but that strike zone is an absolute joke.— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) October 10, 2015It never really occurred to many folks that the TBS strike zone trackermight be off. Because why would it be?Oh, but it was.Judging by twitter, I would have expected a lot worse. TBS graphic has to be off.— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) October 10, 2015That graphic is from the indispensable Brooks Baseball, a site that uses actual PitchF/X data to track pitch locations. Here are Cuzzi's calls against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. That's not so bad.Not perfect, of course. Cuzzi's strike zone was wide enough that the Cubs felt they had to adjust, but not as bad as the TBS broadcast would have you believe.According to @InsideEdgeScout - 4 of Phil Cuzzi's 6 called 3rd strikes vs. the #Cubs were on pitches out of the strike zone, 1 of 2 vs Cards— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 10, 2015That discrepancy continued into the Mets-Dodgers game, another TBS broadcast.FWIW, umpire Alan Porter's strike zone doesn't look as bad on this Brooks Baseball live plot as it does on TBS.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) October 10, 2015Yikes. TBS is broadcasting the entire National League half of the playoffs, so hopefully it gets this issue fixed immediately. And it would be cool if the umpires could call the actual strike zone accurately, too, but one issue at a time, eh?