Technically, yes. But a closer's got to overcome things like this. He's got to buckle down and not give in. In fact, I liked his pitches to Ortiz. But the bottom line is the job wasn't done and Batista showed no evidence that he could overcome adversity. And overcoming adversity is what the best closers in baseball do.
Well, maybe a guy like Marcum himself, but you sure as hell don't want Marcum, who gave up 17 HR in 103 innings to AAA hitters.
Pete Walker does have a sore foot, but he could pitch if necessary. I don't know why Schoeneweis wasn't used tonight. He went 1.2 the night before and that has never stopped Gibbons from bringing him back the next day. With good results most of the time.
Secondly, I'm just not sold on shifts. The shift had a huge factor in this loss. The Adams play (what was he thinking?), and then the final hit. It seems that announcers are always saying "that beat the shift," or "right through the shift." Not "the shift saved a run there."
That is the hit chart for Ortiz. There are a slew of ground balls the other way. And even more singles the other way, which may or may not have been ground balls.
The "no doubles" defense hurt too, as was mentioned above. Ugh, disappointing with the Jays having a chance to steal some late-season spotlight and not getting it done.
Yes, Adams made a poor play, but generally there is no question that he plays with his head in the game. It was a rare mistake for him of this type.
As for the overall quality of his defence this year, both Win Shares and BP's defensive metric agree that he has been below average, but improving over last September. Subjectively, I agree with both elements, that he has been below average and that he has been improving. Where he'll end up in a year or two is another issue.
Incidentally, both metrics agree that Juan Uribe, Jhonny Peralta and Bobby Crosby have been the cream of the crop defensively in the American League. Youth will be served.
Here's some evidence against it: The Jays pitching staff as a whole is allowing fewer runs than expected, despite the supposedly horrible Adams at a key defensive position.
I am a somtimes Batista defender, but he was woeful again last last night: 13 pitches, 5 strikes.
I didn't see either game, so I'm curious: Those of you who felt Batista was using a whole new approach in his 4-K Yankee game, did he revert to an old approach last night? The strike-walk ratio makes me think he did.