Monday, March 31, 2008

Postgame Thoughts

The bullpen is going to get a lot of blame for this one. I'm not so sure that's justified. Jason Grilli came in with the tying run on third and nobody out. While he did give up a hit, to expect him to hold onto the lead is a bit extreme.

Rating the Relievers by Win Probability Added:
Jones +14.9%
Seay +11.4%
Lopez -6.3%
Grilli -7.4%
Bautista -13.3%

Bobby Seay was wasted today in my opinion. If you are going to use him against the punchless Gathright, you may as well keep him in there to face a guy in Grudzelanek who doesn't do much better against lefties and finally Alex Gordon, who can't hit lefties. On top of that Seay is a superior pitcher to Aquilino Lopez. I thought he should have stayed in the game, and I would be thinking that even if Lopez didn't give up the hit.

The first inning "error" by Miguel Cabrera further shows why the error statistic is a joke. Cabrera bare-handed the ball and threw the ball well to first, where Carlos Guillen was improperly stretching into the baseline and dropped the ball. It was clearly a result of lack of experience at first base for Guillen, and not an error on Cabrera.

Speaking of that lack of experience, i noticed two plays where Guillen got tangled up with the runner. I have my doubts that moving to first base will save his knees. That didn't help those doubts.

The Tigers' half of the 11th inning is a great example of why the sacrifice bunt is a poor strategy. Like it or not, batters strike out. Based on play by play data, a team will win 46.2% of the time down one run in the bottom of the 11th with a runner on second and nobody out. With a runner on third and one out, the team's win probability drops to 42.9%. It's a small drop, but it clearly wasn't the right move. The runner was already in scoring position, and you may as well give your team two chances to get the game-winning hit than take away a chance and rely on contact.

Brandon Inge's throw to get the out at the plate was one of the best I have ever seen from an outfielder. That doesn't change the fact that Teahen got in ahead of the tag.

In the ninth inning, Tony Pena tried to get time after Todd Jones started his delivery. I want to applaud Tim Welke for not granting him time, leading him to look foolish on the strikeout. Thank you for actually enforcing that rule.

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