Monday, May 05, 2008

Postgame Thoughts

  • 10 walks and 5 singles will only net you three runs. A lot of anti-sabermetric people will scream "Walks only clog the bases!" The problem today wasn't the walks, it was the pop-outs and the weak contact. What is often misunderstood by the Dusty Bakers of the world is that you get 27 outs, and those walks don't cost you any of those 27 outs.
  • On the subject of bashing small ball: how about when Steve Phillips was gushing over Magglio Ordonez being able to hit the ball the other way, and he immediately bounces into a 4-6-3 double play? Ground balls to second base have been glorified to no end when they move a runner up, but they are hardly an example of doing the job. If somebody says a player "did his job" by moving the runner up, you can kindly point to a win expectation chart and show that in most cases you are better off with a runner on second and N outs compared to a runner on third with N+1 outs.
  • Gary Sheffield was loafing his whole time in left field. If he wants to play out there to get his bat going, he needs to act like he wants to play out there. There was a liner in the left-center gap, where he stopped as soon as he saw Granderson was running after it. There was a catchable blooper into shallow left field, that I thought he may have had a chance at, but he was merely jogging after the ball. Even the catch against the wall involved a lolly-gagging pre-amble. This was an unacceptable defensive effort by Sheffield, and I shudder to see him try to throw a winning run out at the plate. For a while now, all he has needed is about a month's rest to get the shoulder and finger healthy while getting him healthy. Playing him in the outfield, when there are capable offensive and defensive players who can fill his spot, is an unacceptable decision.
  • It really was an interesting moment when Hideki Okajima was brought into the game to face Matt Joyce. It was one of the rare moments where a left-handed pitcher is brought into face a left-handed hitter and both have reverse platoon splits. It was either a brilliant move by Terry Francona to induce the right-handed pinch hitter, or a poor decision by both managers that happened to pay off for the Tigers. I'd have left Joyce in. The decision to bring in Thames was an interesting one. It seemed to pay off with a single, but who's to say Joyce wouldn't have done better?
  • A comparison I thought of for Matt Joyce: Bobby Higginson without plus plate discipline.
  • One quick note on service time. Orel Hershiser was repeatedly saying that Aquilino Lopez is "a 32 year-old with just over 1 year of service time." Had I not remembered him spending an entire season as Toronto's closer five years ago, I wouldn't have looked it up, but Lopez came into the season with 1.152 years of service time according to the Media Guide. That's not 1 year plus another 152/1000 years. That figure means 1 year plus 152 days of service, with 172 days constituting a full season. It's an easy mistake to make at first glance, and I'm not going to chastise Hershiser, who is one of ESPN's best commentators, but wanted to point out a warning when looking at service time numbers. At some point when I get better at computers, I plan to have a roster on the site with every player's up-to-date service time included. The estimated time for arrival on that is roughly 2014.
  • I was very disappointed to see no Erin Andrews tonight. I thought she had Monday games, and was looking forward to her... insight.
  • Free Ryan Raburn!

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