Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The time to hesitate is through, no time to wallow in the mire.

The Orioles will go with Kevin Gausman the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft who is being pressed into his major league debut. Brandon Morrow (1-3, 5.16) will bust through the clubhouse doors and fire the first pitch of this four game series at 7:07 pm Eastern.

@BlueJays: Today's @BlueJays lineup: Cabrera-LF Bautista-RF Encarnacion-1B Lind-DH Arencibia-C Lawrie-3B Rasmus-CF Bonifacio-2B Kawasaki-SS
Game Thread 5/23 vs. Baltimore | 45 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#272605) #
Has anyone been paying any attention to the discussion between Keith Law/Tom Tango with Brandon McCarthy/Morgan Ensberg? Interesting in many ways (not the least by how thoroughly everybody's missing the other guy's point.)
Mike Green - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#272606) #
Nice tribute to Ray Manzarek, #2JB.
Alex Obal - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#272608) #
I believe that your probability distribution for your next at-bat is (weakly but non-insignificantly) influenced by your recent performance. Has to be. It's the same reason I care about batter/pitcher matchup stats.

I have no idea how you'd prove it, or disprove it. But you certainly can't say it's false a priori, which is a position some people seem to be taking in that thread...
greenfrog - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#272609) #
Morrow paying the price for leaving pitches up. All three hits so far in the third have come on pitches well up.
finch - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#272610) #
Matt Devlin >>>>>>>>>>>> Buck Martinez
greenfrog - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#272611) #
Another failed squeeze bunt? It's as though Farrell never left town.
finch - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#272614) #
So Daniel Norris had a nice outing. 4 IP with 10 SO
Magpie - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#272615) #
I believe that your probability distribution for your next at-bat is (weakly but non-insignificantly) influenced by your recent performance. Has to be. It's the same reason I care about batter/pitcher matchup stats.

I do think the discussion got sidetracked a little on what does it mean to be locked in. Is it merely a feeling? Is it more than a feeling? Well, obviously it's more than a feeling - in sports, level of performance is never a constant. The performance of athletes does not resemble playing cards randomly dispensed from the dealer's hand. (Which isn't what Law or Tango are actually saying, or even implying, it just sounds that way sometimes!) But some days we do see the ball better, some days we do swing the bat better. No one has any trouble seeing this from the pitcher's perspective - we all accept that some days his breaking ball is sharper, some days his fastball command is better. That's also being hot, that's also being locked in.

But outcomes - and outcomes, rather than level of performance, are what Tango and Law are actually thinking about - outcomes truly are comparatively random. Variations in level of performance affects outcomes, but it can't determine them. In all close encounters, random chance is more than sufficient to tilt the shape of the outcome.

The main reason I believe in batter-pitcher stats is because I can remember finding certain pitchers easier to hit against than others, irrespective of actual quality. Like, DUH! The necessarily small size of the sample is a problem, along with the inherent randomness of all baseball outcomes. But the basic truth - that some pitchers are easier to hit for some hitters than other pitchers of equal quality - has always seemed blindingly obvious to me.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#272617) #
Gose made a terrible decision to try to score there with nobody out and Encarnacion up.  If the throw was halfway decent, he would have been out easily.  Tabler praised hm, of course, for "making it happen". 
robertdudek - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#272618) #
I believe that your probability distribution for your next at-bat is (weakly but non-insignificantly) influenced by your recent performance. Has to be. It's the same reason I care about batter/pitcher matchup stats. I have no idea how you'd prove it, or disprove it. But you certainly can't say it's false a priori, which is a position some people seem to be taking in that thread... From a statistical point of view, something is either statistically significant, or inconclusive, it can never be false.
robertdudek - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#272619) #
Gose made a terrible decision to try to score there with nobody out and Encarnacion up. If the throw was halfway decent, he would have been out easily. Tabler praised hm, of course, for "making it happen". [br] Throw could have been better, but could have been a lot worse too - average throw really, given that the fielder was moving and had to throw off-balance. Hey Mike, you can rag on Gose when he's actually out. Meanwhile, isn't the point, as spectators, to enjoy the game?
Gerry - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#272620) #
I agree Mike. Casilla hestitated, threw to the first base side of home plate and threw high and in the end it was a bang bang play. 7 times out of 10 Gose is out there. But speed does force errors.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#272621) #
Yes, and Gose headed for home with a 2-0 count on EE. It was a poor decision. One of the announcers called it a "heads-up" play. Huh? Reminds me a bit of Lawrie's ill-advised attempted steal of home last year with Bautista at the plate. On the plus side, the Jays were more disciplined at the plate today.
John Northey - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#272622) #
Good to see Lincoln is still kicking. Was beginning to wonder.

Good game overall as Morrow getting into the 8th inning under 100 pitches is a good sign even though he gave up those final 2 runs. The offense getting 12 runs is a woohoo too. 8 walks and no hits for Bautista in a game like this is a good sign too .... ie: that they can pound away without him after he single handily won a game.
hypobole - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#272623) #
Need some help for a foggy old memory. When McLouth went into the stands for the foul ball, the fans backed away. I dimly recall our LF catching a ball in the stands (Anaheim?) in a crucial game (mid-eighties?). I do remember the fans mugging him and stealing the ball, preventing the out.
Four Seamer - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#272624) #
Regarding Gose heading for home, on the radio Jerry described it as an example of his "explosiveness". Morris replied that it was more a sign of recklessness.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#272625) #
Any time Toronto starts a series with a win is encouraging. I just wonder how well Sean Nolin pitches verses Baltimore tomorrow, who goes down?
Chuck - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#272627) #
Regarding Gose heading for home, on the radio Jerry described it as an example of his "explosiveness". Morris replied that it was more a sign of recklessness

The pollyanna and the grump. Ashby played the latter role very well. I've not heard enough of Morris to gauge for myself, but by all accounts he seems to have slipped comfortably into that role himself. Jerry's gee whiz schtick does need to be tempered. All that cotton candy will give you cavities.
uglyone - Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#272628) #
I like the play by Gose. You know it's something he's done before, and they would have needed a fairly perfect play to get him.

as it happens, it wasn't a perfect play, the throw as a little high, and he scored.

and a whole lotta jays fans had to be happy to see the Jays take 3 2 out walks in a row, and then homer them all in.
zeppelinkm - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#272637) #
The Gose play was exciting as heck. That said it was an extremely dumb play.

It was a bad process good result. Not something to make a habit of.

I would not call that throw average. The second basemen had the ball and was charging directly towards home plate - not across. He didn't exactly double pump, but he kind of "stuttered" on the throw and threw high and wide. That's not average. Not from 75-80 feet.

Decide for yourself: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?c_id=tor&content_id=27381347&partnerId=as_mlb_20130524_8244264
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#272638) #
Gose saw the play and decided he could score and he was right. A fast runner like Gose 'feels' that play, and makes an instant assessment.

There is no joy in Mudville,
'Cuz Mudville don't want no joy.
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#272639) #
I left the broadcast with the Jays ahead 8-3, and returned just after Morrow had been taken out of the game having given up back-to-back homers in the top of the eighth.  I wondered why Morrow had been left in with an 8-4 lead going into the eighth with the long bullpen behind him; I guess Gibbons is trying to lengthen him, but I am doubtful whether it worth the effort in light of Morrow's reaction after being pulled.

On a more positive note (and in my role as Cecilophile-in-chief), it was nice to see Cecil in the game and effective against both right and left handed hitters in the 8th inning of a close game.  The off-speed stuff to Wieters and the 93 mph heater up and in to Hardy both brought a smile to my face.  It appears that Gibbons has changed the roles of Cecil and Loup, with Loup being lengthened to take over if/when Ortiz falters as well as the occasional LOOGY work.  It's a reasonable strategy.

Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#272640) #
I don't get much joy from a stupid play which works, even if Gose is exciting as all hell to watch.  This club is 20-27 in part because of stupidity and selfishness.  That is thankfully changing, as I have pointed out.

The thing about Gose is that he was thrown out a lot on the bases in the minor leagues.  This year, he was 5-4 attempting to steal, which for a player with his speed is pretty terrible.  His feel for the game needs to be developed.  Until then, the default position ought to be "take fewer risks". 

John Northey - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#272643) #
hypobole - I remember that play clearly.  George Bell running to the outfield wall in Anaheim (California Angels at that time) catching the ball and going into the stands with his momentum, the fan ripping the ball out of his glove and the TV camera showed it clearly and showed the fan putting the ball into his pocket while Bell was yelling at the ump about how he caught it and the fan stole it from him.  I want to say it was 1985 but could've been up to 1987 I think.  Ah, found it... July 15th 1985

Looking for the video I found a nice bit about Bell on YouTube from after the 1989 season including him hitting a home run into LF over Joe Carter.
John Northey - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#272644) #
Morrow was under 90 pitches, or just barely over it after 7 as I recall.  I figure they wanted to save the pen as much as possible with the two kids pitching this weekend and Oliver hurting.  Can't see fault in trying, especially with a big lead.  He got a couple of batters then in came Cecil so Gibbons was ready the minute Morrow showed he wasn't up to the task.  Just unfortunate it was a HR at the end instead of a hard hit double or something.
John Northey - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#272645) #
Just found Gose's run at MLB.com.  Exciting but boy was it close. 
zeppelinkm - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#272646) #
I just don't want the Jays to get confused with good results from a bad process.

I would hope Gibbons or someone has talked to Gose after the game about picking his spots better as more often than not a decision like that will end with an out and not a run scored.
robertdudek - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#272647) #
I would not call that throw average. The second basemen had the ball and was charging directly towards home plate - not across. He didn't exactly double pump, but he kind of "stuttered" on the throw and threw high and wide. That's not average. Not from 75-80 feet. Casilla had to scoop up the baseball on a throw that short hopped him from Weiters. He has to find the grip and make an accurate throw. I've seen those throws bounced, airmailed, or way off line many many times, his actual throw was decent except that it was high. Plus this is Alexi Casilla we are talking about here.
hypobole - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#272648) #
Thank you John, you are amazing.

I wonder how many, if any, of the fans around McClouth knew they are allowed to grab the ball from him once he's in the stands? I only had the TV feed and and I don't think either Devlin or Tabler made mention of that fact.

On a side note I constantly see fans reaching over railings attempting to grab balls in play. Bugs the heck out of me we have such ignorant fans.
hypobole - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#272650) #
If there had been 2 out, few of us would have had an issue with Gose's decision. But there were 0 outs and our cleanup hitter at the dish.

Speaking of Edwin, we've had a number of players picked off and thrown out on the basepaths this past week or so. The only one I had no problem with was Edwin trying to stretch his 2 out single into a double.
ayjackson - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#272652) #
He had to take 3rd, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#272655) #
The second basemen had the ball and was charging directly towards home plate - not across. He didn't exactly double pump, but he kind of "stuttered" on the throw and threw high and wide.

I'm sure he was as surprised as anyone that Gose thought he could score.

I remember a game decades ago when my Reds were playing the Expos, and Dave Concepcion was on third with less than two out. A flyball was hit to deep right, to Ellis Valentine, and it looked like an easy sac fly. Concepcion was pretty fast but Valentine had a cannon and he was out. I groused to my friend about Concepcion mistakenly watching the throw and my friend said "What are you talking about? He couldn't believe the throw either". Same last night.

92-93 - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#272657) #
I was at the Dome last night, and in real time Gose's decision looked like a horrendously timed gamble. Exciting and stupid, and something that the coaching staff absolutely needed to talk to Anthony about after the game. You can not have a close play at the plate with no outs and the heart of your order coming up.

"Another failed squeeze bunt? It's as though Farrell never left town."

Oh come on. Without seeing a Kawasaki spray chart from this year, I'm guessing he's hit at most 3 balls that were even potentially a sacrifice fly. The chances of him grounding into a DP are way higher, so I have no problem with Gibbons asking his backup SS, a decent bunter, to lay one down and not kill a rally in the process by not letting the lineup roll over. Before he did it I said to my friend a bunt here wouldn't be a bad idea.
92-93 - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#272658) #
Also, you have to keep Morrow in that game. He was at 91 pitches through 7 innings with a 4 run lead, a situation where most managers are willing to see if they can get another inning out of their starter and save the bullpen a bit. Morrow himself said after the game he had his sights on finishing the game, and he probably would've been upset if Gibbons didn't send him back out there for the 8th. You can say that Gibbons should've pulled him immediately after the first HR, but giving him the 8th wasn't a problem.
eudaimon - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#272659) #
Agree with 92-93 on both counts. Gose's gamble was not a good one because there was nobody out with Encarnacion at the plate. I don't care how fast he is, he got lucky and I hope Gibbons gave him a talking to.
uglyone - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#272660) #
Gose went on the throw to 2nd. if that throw makes it to second then there's no play at the plate at all. casilla had to make a good play even to recognize that gose was going, then charge in and cutoff a low throw to the bag, and then couldn't follow that up with a great throw home.

similar risk as breaking for home off contact with a drawn in infield.
Wildrose - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#272662) #
Maybe the team's de- facto leader, Jose Bautista can take him aside to discuss proper base- running ( on second thought - perhaps not).

Really overall a nice week for the team. I was most happy with Buerhle pitching well.
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#272663) #
Gose slowed to almost a stop just past third base, and was actually watching Casilla and decided to go anyway.  It looked to me like he made one good judgment (actually the harder one) when he decided to take off for third when the ball popped out of Wieters' glove and away from him, and then made a very poor one after that.  The funny thing is that the break-even odds for the first play were much, much lower (i.e. a 50-50 chance on the first play wouldn't have been bad because Bautista is going to advance to second in any event, but you need probably at least an 80-20 on the second to make it worthwhile). 
Magpie - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#272665) #
I have no problem with Gibbons asking his backup SS, a decent bunter, to lay one down

I agree almost completely. What I didn't like was that it was a suicide squeeze, so that Kawasaki had to try to bunt whatever pitch was thrown. When you've got a kid a) whose heater clears 95 mph, and b) who is staring to struggle with his control - I'd rather run a safety squeeze and let the batter wait for a better pitch to try to bunt. Better than the one he got, anyway.
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#272667) #
who is staring to struggle with his control

So that's what the Dave Stewart death glare was all about! The toughest battles are the ones we have with ourselves.

I agree absolutely that the safety squeeze would have been the better choice. To add to the reasons for doing that, Lawrie is fast and Kawasaki is a good bunter, so if it is a good pitch to bunt, there is a pretty good chance that Kawasaki can put it in a place where Lawrie will have enough time to score.  You might feel differently about it if Henry Blanco was running.
greenfrog - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#272669) #
A safety squeeze is an interesting alternative for that situation. I guess I would have felt better about a bunt had a weak hitter been on deck. I wasn't crazy about running a high risk play with Cabrera up next.

As always, hindsight is 20-20.
greenfrog - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#272670) #
I'm also not a big fan of inviting plate collisions, especially with a player like Lawrie (bulldozing tendencies and possibly injury-prone) - a lesser but not insignificant consideration. The last thing the Jays need is another addition to the DL.
Magpie - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#272671) #
I also thought it possible that the Orioles anticipated the possibility - it's Kawasaki, what else are ya gonna do - but Gauzman didn't quite make the pitch he wanted. If you're guessing bunt, you throw the fastball high and inside. He got the pitch inside, but closer to belt high and Kawasaki was able to get his bat on it.
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#272673) #
I like Lawrie's chances in a Rose-Fosse collision with a catcher at the plate.  Not so much in a collision with Lawrie as a second baseman on a pivot.  It's good that he's got the momentum except if he is running into a wall. 
92-93 - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#272675) #
If it was a suicide squeeze, I didn't notice that at the game, and obviously agree with everybody saying you want to call for a safety there, all things considered.

Are hitters' spray charts readily available online? I'd like to see Muni's.
Game Thread 5/23 vs. Baltimore | 45 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.