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I'm not the only soul accused of hit and run
Tire tracks all across your back
I can see you've had your fun

The Western swing continues.


Is the universe slowly returning to normal? Hard to tell, but Aaron Loup hit Didi Gregorious with a pitch last week. It was Loup's 3rd HBP in 37.2 IP this season. This is much closer to his career norm, and I expect that soon we'll forget all about those 31 consecutive games this season when Loup didn't hit anyone at all. That was just weird, and deeply disturbing. I thought it was possibly a sign of the End Times myself, and am greatly relieved by anything that suggests a Return to Normalcy.†

Upon consideration, one of the more amusing items on the Jays career pitching leaderboards has to be Loup's presence in 8th place in career HBP.† It's Aaron Loup - who pitched just over 300 innings as a Jay - along with guys like Carpenter and Burnett and Guzman.† Although Duane Ward's spot in a fourth place tie with Dave Stieb for career Wild Pitches is probably just as awesome.

Anyway - the Seattle Mariners. You will recall that the Mariners players were outraged and disappointed when GM Jerry DiPoto traded closer Kendall Gravemen to the Astros the day after the Mariners had rallied for a dramatic win against that very same Houston team, whom Seattle just happen to be chasing in the AL West. They dropped 8 of their next 11 games, including the next two with Houston. At which point, they may have looked around and noticed that the youngster who'd come back from the Astros was filling the gaping hole in their lineup at second base, while hitting .364 with 3 HRs in his first 15 games as a Mariner. Abraham Toro has mostly been a third baseman in the minors - he'd filled in at all the infield spots in Houston, but as long as Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman remained upright he was never going to play regularly there.

The Jays and Mariners met for three games in Buffalo as June turned into July. The Jays took the opener behind Robbie Ray, in a game Earl Weaver would have appreciated. Ty France reached Ray for a three run homer, but the Jays came out on top thanks to a pair of three-run bombs, from Bo Bichette and Marcus Semien. The Mariners won the next day - Steven Matz in his first game back off the COVID list couldn't make it through the third inning. Anthony Kay provided four scoreless innings of relief and the Jays fought back to tie - only to lose when Dylan Moore reached Patrick Murphy for a three run homer in the tenth. The Mariners took the series the following afternoon when Hyun Jin Ryu offered up one of his occasional stinkers. It may not have made much difference what Ryu did anyway, as Yusei Kikuchi was pretty much unhittable that day. We'll see a rematch of that particular matchup tomorrow night.

Yes, there are matchups!

Fri Aug 13 - Ray (9-5, 2.90) vs Flexen (10-5, 3.81)
Sat Aug 14 - Ryu (11-5, 3.62) vs Kikuchi (7-6, 3.73)
Sun Aug 15 - Matz (9-7, 4.28) vs Gilbert (5-3, 4.05)
Blue Jays at Mariners, August 13-15 | 149 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Kasi - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#404910) #
Worried about this series. Mariners have some good pitchers going who have given us trouble and Ryu and Matz have been inconsistent. I donít think we can sweep this but Iíd be ecstatic to get 2 out of 3.
greenfrog - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#404911) #
I'm not the only soul accused of hit and run/Tire tracks all across your back/I can see you've had your fun

Inspired by Liam Hendriks's meltdown last night?
Mike Green - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#404912) #
Thanks, Magpie.  Oddly enough, I just came back after battling crosstown traffic. 

The Blue Jays struggled against Kikuchi, but Semien and Springer have done well and Kirk hasn't faced him.  They are a good bet to do better this time.    
Magpie - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#404913) #
Inspired by Seattle, not in the mood for grunge, no good Microsoft songs except the one Eno wrote.
Mike Green - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#404915) #
Another alternative, Magpie, is Neko Case.  Great lyrics, even if she didn't write "Umpires Got A Lotta Nerve".  Or Heart. 
Magpie - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#404916) #
Neko Case? But she's from nowhere.

Welcome to the West
A mosquito to kiss your hands and feet
Welcome to this dirty business
uglyone - Friday, August 13 2021 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#404918) #
Still not exactly sure why we've never given Gurriel a look at 3B.
James W - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 12:50 AM EDT (#404919) #
What's the point of replay if it turns correct calls into incorrect calls?
Paul D - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 12:50 AM EDT (#404920) #
Whoa, looked safe to me, hard call to overturn.
krose - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:08 AM EDT (#404921) #
Fix is in?
uglyone - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#404922) #
Love bunts.
krose - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:12 AM EDT (#404923) #
But seriously. There is something wrong with this team. Like I have said a few times, there are too many things that go wrong.
Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:17 AM EDT (#404924) #
Yup Iíd fire Montoyo just for the constant underperforming in pressure situations on all sides. Itís clear he doesnít get this team ready to play their best. I refuse to believe luck could be this bad and there isnít something to be done about it.

Itís also why I dreaded this series, nothing beats the Jays more than some slightly above average pitchers.
The_Game - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:27 AM EDT (#404925) #
Since Brad Handís blowup to Cleveland which cost them the game, heíd pitched in a 7 run lead, a 1 run deficit (against one LHB with 2 outs), and a 8 run lead.

Despite that clear drop in leverage over the past week, Montoyo deemed it necessary to throw him into the highest leverage spot in weeks (and it went exactly as youíd expect for a guy who has struggled with command and struggled in general over the past couple of months). Where is the consistency in logic?

Itís hard to imagine this is the guy the bosses want running this team right now.
scottt - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:41 AM EDT (#404926) #
Cimber is the only guy in the pen who has been reliable lately, but a 2.something ERA means an earned run every 4 games for a 1 inning guy.

The pen currently has Thornton, Overton and Snead.
Maybe you wanted Dolis?

I imagine the bosses want a better pen. I sure hope so.

uglyone - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#404927) #
Ray was pulled on 90 pitches for some reason.
Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#404928) #
Iíve made my views about Montoyo clear, but in the case of Hand, I think you have to look to the scouting staff and the FO. If Montoyo has a defining managerial style itís that if you give him a player heís going to use him. Hand hasnít passed the eye test from the first pitch in Toronto.
bpoz - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#404929) #
Wow Nigel. Correct. I remember Cito hardly ever using 2 of his relievers in 2010 for some reason. They won 85 games in 2010.
Hodgie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#404931) #
Not sure that I agreed with the decision to bunt in the first place since that was certainly going to take the bat out of Springer's hands, but the decision to try and score on the pop-up with the best hitter in baseball on deck was just plain dumb. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#404933) #
I wasn't watching the ninth inning, but Hodgie's comment got me to wondering.  What was the break-even point on the dash home in the top of the ninth?  Greg Stoll's website gives win-expectancy numbers for the various possible outcomes:

a. visitors up 1, runners on first and second, two out, top of 9 (dash succeeds) has a visitor win expectancy of 84.16
b. tie game heading to bottom of ninth (dash fails) has a visitor win expectancy of 34.19
c. tie game, bases loaded two out, top of 9 (runner holds) has a visitor win expectancy of 53.6

Using basic algebra, the break-even point in general is a success rate of 36.8%.  Of course, the presence of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the on-deck circle (and Bichette in the hole) changes the dynamic even if VGJ is not at his best at the moment.  Measuring how much a difference it makes in both the a. and c. scenarios is not easy. 

Let's take a closer look at what goes into the expectations first in a.- in that scenario, the expectation is built on the visitors scoring no additional runs 76.67% of the time, one additional run 11.42% of the time and two additional runs or more 11.91% of the time (making for a 3 run lead)  Even with VGJ at the plate, the most likely outcome is no additional runs. My best estimate of win expectancy is 86%, and it is surely in the 85-87% range.

In the c. scenario, the argument is much less clear.  The expectation of 53.6 is based on no runs being scored 67.33% of the time,  one run being scored 9.75% of the time, two runs being scored 11.09% and three runs or more (and hence at least a three run lead) 11.82%. Vladdy has reached base 40.9% of the time, so let's make the chance of no runs being scored 59.1% of the time.  Given his power and the presence of Bichette behind him, let's divide up the increased 8.24% chance of scoring runs, evenly between the three scenarios or roughly an additional 2.75% chance for each of scoring 1 run, 2 runs and 3+ runs.  Using Stoll's charts for win expectancy in each of the situations going to the bottom of the ninth- I calculate the Vladdy Win Expectancy as .591 X .3419 (no runs) + .125 X .8152 (one run) + .1384 X .9184 (two runs) + .1457 X .9700 (three runs plus).  This generates a Vladdy Win Expectancy of 57.2% in the c. scenario.  Intuitively, that seems a little low, but even if you weight the increased odds of scoring more than one run higher than scoring one run, it's hard to get it over 60%. For the sake of argument, let's use 60% for Vladdy.

If you use 86% for runner succeeds, 34% for runner fails and 60% for runner holds, the algebra is even easier as 60 is the midpoint of 34 and 86.  The break-even point is 50%. 

I feel comfortable with that number- it might be off 1 or 2% on either side but I doubt very much it is off more than that. 

Was the dash a 50-50 shot?  Seems about right. 



The_Game - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#404934) #
If a struggling Brad Hand is a legitimate 9th inning option for your team (which he obviously shouldnít have been, any decent manager would have been warming Romano in the 9th there in case anything happened to Cimber), perhaps pulling a dominating Robbie Ray at 90 pitches is not the best decision.
Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#404937) #
The bunt was a defensible call in many circumstances but I thought it was the wrong call for the reason Hodgie mentioned. You were guaranteed to take the bat out of the back to back Player of the Weekís hand. Itís stuff like that that Montoyo really struggles with.
Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#404938) #
The problem again was the inconsistent offence that has plagued this team this year not pitching changes and whoís who. Romano has hardly been great lately and he is not a pitcher I want coming in with the bases loaded either. Hand against a rookie lefty is a perfectly fine matchup and should have worked. To me the issue is all with the inconsistency that theyíve not managed to do anything about. Iím tired of this score ten, score 1-3 we keep seeing over and over.
The_Game - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#404939) #
Hand against anybody over the past few months in high leverage is very far from a perfectly fine matchup.
Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#404940) #
Heís been fine since he joined the Jays and all our lefties are injured. Mayza is out, Borucki is out, etc. Hand to me was the second best choice to come in there other than Romano and not by much really given Romano is just as wild if not more so and has had his own issues lately. Plus the Jays are on the road so bringing in Romano has costs for how good heís be in the next inning. Anyway I donít think bringing in Hand is horrible or anything given injuries and availability.

My problem with this coaching staff is not in these small micro decisions here. (Mostly I do think bringing in Murphy the other day was bad) my problem is that theyíve not managed to get the team to consistently perform. Late game approach for hitting sucks, lots of mental mistakes, etc.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#404941) #
Four straight balls with the bases loaded in a tie game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth is utterly indefensible.  If you can't throw a get-me-over fastball for a strike with a 3-0 count in that situation, you shouldn't be seeing anything but mop-up duty.  Hand has been bad but not this bad before. 

Montoyo consults a lot with Pete Walker during the game.  They are a team (that's a good thing) and deserve joint responsibility for the good and bad (in hindsight) decisions that are made.  When Ray was taken out after 7 innings with 90 pitches, I am pretty sure that this was something that they would have talked about. 
Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#404944) #
It was really hot and muggy in Seattle last night. I think it was 35 at game time. I wasnít at all surprised that they took Ray out.
uglyone - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#404945) #
"The problem again was the inconsistent offence that has plagued this team this year not pitching changes and whoís who"

Oh for chrissakes.
Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#404946) #
I canít agree that Hand has been ok since joining the team. Heís looked terrible since joining. His one good outing came in an extreme low leverage situation. I wouldnít put him anywhere near a high leverage situation right now.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#404947) #
I wouldn't put him anywhere near a high leverage outing for the rest of the year.  Inability to throw a strike in that particular situation is a disqualifier. 
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#404949) #
Robbie Ray - run support in 23 starts:

12 wins - 90 runs scored - 7.5 runs per game
11 loss - 19 runs scored - 1.7 runs per game

Robbie Ray - 9 wins, 5 loss, 9 no-decision, 2.88 ERA.
Gerry - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#404953) #
Patrick Murphy has been claimed by the Nationals.
Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#404954) #
Yeah I think that stat Leaside describes the Jays issue well. Hot or cold and not much in between.
Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#404955) #
Also with the current injuries to the pitching staff they have to go to mediocre relievers. They canít just throw out Richards, Cimber and Romano all the time. They have to use other pitchers in close games. Yates, Merryweather, Phelps, Mayza, Soria and Pearson would all be better than any of the non top three on the team. So right now you got guys like Saucedo, Snead, Dolis, Thornton, Hand, etc and you need to use them in close games because you have no other choice.

And on the other point run differential has no use. Itís a nice thing to say that your team is better than itís record but you get no bonus for it. This teams horrid hitting late in games and especially late in close games (second to last in the majors) is a big reason for that disparity. Youíd also think will all the moaning about the bullpen that weíd be last or something but weíre not even close. It is just the bullpen like anything else in this team is very inconsistent and very unclutch.

They can put up zeros when up or down big but game gets close and they soil their pants. The only thing I feel that has been mostly consistent this year is starting pitching. Defence, offence and bullpen is just like throw dice and see what it comes up with. I want coaching changes because I am tired of this yo-yo and want someone who will teach them about giving more consistent effort and approach.
scottt - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#404960) #
If you ever followed the Yankees over the last 30 years, before they went all bullpen crazy.
They used to go through rough patches and the Jays would be .500 against them or close, but they'd still win 90+ games and make the playoffs every year.
Sweeps are hard because other teams save their best relievers for close games.


Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#404961) #
run differential has no use.

Well, it's got the same use as all the other numbers. It tells you something that might be useful to know. It doesn't tell you exactly how good your team is or exactly how many games your team should have won. But obviously it's much more helpful than a team's record in one-run games.
Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#404963) #
To me it shows me this in an elite hitting team thatís record is being held by by inconsistent performance. This is not exactly new since we were talking about this six weeks ago and thought things might rebound. Well it hasnít and I think coaching changes could help here. Itís not like Montoyo is great in the in game decision stuff either so in my opinion I am not sure what he brings. Itís like in every aspect (hitting, pitching, defence) this team wilts under pressure. The stats clearly show it and I donít see any sign of improving so I think they should change managers in hope of saving this season. Now I donít think they will but I just want a manager who will get more out of this team and have no faith Montoyo is it.
Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#404964) #
I think coaching changes could help here.

I can't conceive of how. What's the manager supposed to do? Exhort them to greater efforts?
Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#404965) #
I think they might need to relax a little. Three decisive moments in last night's game were the direct result of players - Semien, Valera, Cimber - trying to make something happen. The result in all three cases was simple, random bad luck - and that just happens, there's nothing you can do about that - but I do think some of these guys have been pressing a little. I think Guerrero has been, for example. He hasn't been chasing balls out of the zone, but he hasn't been waiting for his pitch. (I do think he's about to come out of it.)

Relax, guys. Easier said then done, I realize.
Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#404966) #
I think there have been times when this lineup gets hacktastic late in tight/tiers games looking for a hero home run rather than just grinding out a normal AB.
Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#404967) #
Tied not tiers
Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#404968) #
So I thought I'd look at the individual splits, and see what I could see. And I'm even more confused than usual. Lourdes Gurriel has been indescribably awful when it's Late & Close - .163/.196/.245 in 51 PApps. But he's been just fine in High Leverage situations - .291/.288/.509 in 60 PApps.

Maybe Late & Close isn't High Leverage.
Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#404970) #
If the rest of those splits mean anything - Hernandez has been really good, Springer's been pretty bad, and they don't pitch to Guerrero.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#404971) #
A couple of people have mentioned the bunting decision in the 9th.  I will say off the top that I don't think the fact that Springer was up next had much to do with the calculus.  The key thing, in my view, is what you think are the chances of each outcome with Espinal hitting and bunting.

The win expectancy charts tell an important story.  If the team doesn't score any runs in the top of the ninth, the chance of winning is 34%. If they score one run, the chance of winning is 81%.  If they score two runs, the chance of winning is 91%.  If they score 3 runs, the chance of winning is 96%.  That is, the first run is 5 times more important than the second run and 10 times more important than the third.  With runners on first and second already, George Springer's signature ability, the ability to hit the long ball, is of greatly diminished importance.

What you are primarily giving up when you have Espinal bunt is the out and the possibility of a single or double from him.  In exchange, you are gaining the bases and the avoidance of the double play.  It's a very close contest which is more valuable. In general terms, a successful bunt in this situation increases the win expectancy from 68.2% to 68.9%. Of course, there's a non-zero chance that Espinal can't get the bunt down and ends up diminishing his chances of reaching base, and there's a non-zero chance that a successful bunt has the possibility of him reaching by way of error.

To tell the story another way, let's imagine that Espinal strikes out or pops up.  How do I feel about Springer coming up, and what would be a good outcome with runners on first and second and one out in a tie game in the top of the ninth?  Answer: a walk would be a very good outcome.  It means that he hasn't hit into a double play and the bases are now loaded with one out for a batter with good patience.  Which is what the situation ended up to be. 

This is one situation where I am totally OK with the bunt, and frankly, totally OK with not bunting.  If Espinal is comfortable with it, I'd love to let him away and try to shoot the ball to right field on the first pitch he sees, with the first baseman holding the runner and charging in. He's the kind of player that I will be very happy to give the option to bunt or not.
Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#404972) #
There is probably some sort of overlap between the two but leverage is odd because in situations early game where they can break things open Jays are very good. Put them in late innings and itís a different tale. When I was looking at the stats last month basically Teo was good, Vlad and Bo were fine but Semien, Biggio, Gurriel and Grichuk were completely awful.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#404973) #
It's weird.  The AL as a whole is hitting better in high leverage situations than in medium leverage situations and better in medium leverage situations than in low leverage situations.  Not so for the Blue Jays, indeed the exact opposite.  And the culprit in high leverage situations is not K rate or W rate or BABIP, but IsoP and most notably GDP.  They are hitting fewer home runs, many fewer doubles and grounding into way more double plays.  They have hit into 27 double plays in 722 high leverage PAs and 23 double plays in 2017 low leverage PAs.  Which I guess might explain why Charlie is so eager to bunt in high leverage situations.  It wouldn't hurt to have a fast smart pinch-runner on the bench, but almost nobody has that now.
scottt - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#404974) #
They can't ground into double plays if there is nobody on base.
The more people on base, the more likely to hit into a double play.

They are supposed to be good with RISP, but poor with high leverage.
I'm guessing that high leverage means better pitching, most of the time.
Especially late in games.

The pinch runner thing might change next year with the mandatory 4 player bench.

The homerun thing? Should they be swinging for the fence when a single can win the game?


Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#404975) #
Mike, as I said, I think the bunt is a very defensible choice in that situation. Except that bunting is the one choice that absolutely ensures that youíve taken the bat out of Springerís hands. Iím not doing that to the hottest hitter in all of baseball. I think you have to play hot streaks etc on occasion.
scottt - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#404976) #
This lineup doesn't really grind out AB.
They excel at hitting the first pitch they see.
Even Biggio has turned away from grinding AB because all it takes is a bad strike call and you're out.
The new approach hasn't really worked out for him but it has for the others.
They swing at the pitches they like early in the count and they don't chase too much.
Maybe in high leverage, they become less selective. Maybe not.
They probably see better pitching from better pitchers.

Kasi - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#404977) #
I think there is some parts of it that is lineup construction. Not getting Brantley really hurt as this team lacks any good LH bats. Tellez and Biggio sucking also didnít help. So itís not a balanced lineup and itís not on whole a patient lineup (just Vlad really, occasionally someone else has a patient game). And itís a lineup that has fallen on its face late in games repeatedly as like Nigel has said they have a bad approach. I loved that Reese at bat from last week but what Reese is willing to do is different than what others do. I mean Bo or Semien occasionally get one of those at bats but itís pretty rare.
Nigel - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#404978) #
I agree the LH/RH balance is a part of the problem.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#404980) #
Scottt, you're right about the GDP.  The league splits are the same.  The main thing about the club statistically in high leverage situations is the loss of power.  Which seems counterintuitive if you are swinging for the fences.   I do remember them passing up good pitches in important situations- it's a weird mix of overswinging and caution. 
scottt - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#404981) #
Severino was supposed to start rehabbing, instead he's heading for a shoulder MRI.
Sale is back though and Boston can really beat on Baltimore.

Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#404982) #
If a walk is all it takes to beat you, the best choice out of the Jays pen is obviously Adam Cimber, who walks fewer hitters than any of their relievers. Next in line would be... uh, Brad Hand. And then Tayler Saucedo.

Hand doesn't walk many batters in general (201 BF, 19 BB, 4 intentional) so I was wondering how often he walks someone on four pitches. This was the third time this season. But it was the sixth time he'd walked the first batter he saw, which is roughly twice as high as his walk rate the rest of the time.
pooks137 - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#404983) #
I'm not sure that having a speedy pinch runner would cut down much on GIDP in high leverage spots.

The risk of GIDP is mostly a function of the batter's footspeed, not the runner at first base.

A speedy pinch runner only cuts down on GIDP if you are willing to send the runner in high leverage situations, which is generally considered to be a bad play with your best hitters at the plate.

The other way you can reduce GIDP would be to hit-and-run more in high leverage spots, which similarly seems like an unwise idea.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#404984) #
On four pitches though, Magpie, in that situation?  I wonder how many times that happens per season.  Maybe I'll check.
Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#404985) #
If Late & Close is more meaningful to present concerns than High Leverage, so far in 2021: Hernandez has been excellent, Semien's been good. Vlad falls off some (they don't pitch to him). Bichette, Grichuk, McGuire, Espinal turn into somewhat below-average hitters. Gurriel, Springer, Jansen stop hitting altogether.

That's what we see in the tiny, tiny sample involved. It means nothing, nothing whatsoever. George Springer is one of two men in the game's history to hit five home runs in a World Series. I don't think Late & Close rattles him a whole lot.

Sometimes sh**t just happens. The mind resists anything so banal and irritating, and searches instead for some explanation.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#404986) #
During the period 2000-21, there have been 33 walk-off walks on a 3-0 count.  Joe Thatcher did it twice. Other slightly familiar names on the list: Steve Cishek, Luis Ayala, Blake Treinin, Danny Farquhar, Ryan Tepera, Antonio Osuna, Mychal Givens, Jesus Colome and Byung-Hung Kim.  And the Rookie, Jim Morris, did it. 

So, it happens once or twice a year on average.
Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#404987) #
Tepera was a Jay when he did that? Cause I don't remember.
Magpie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#404988) #
Look at it this way. Over his career, Hand has walked 1 of every 12 batters he's faced (he's been better than that in 2021.) But he'd faced 18 batters as a Blue Jay and hadn't walked anyone. He was due!

Hey, if you can't have some fun with this stuff you ought to get out of show business.
Hodgie - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#404989) #
The continued harping on the Jays performance in late and close situations made me curious so I had to look. The team with the worst OPS in that situation in MLB, the Houston Astros. They must also have a terrible approach and be in need of a coaching change.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#404990) #
Actually, Tepera's 4 pitch walk-off walk was with 1 out.  It's not as bad because the pitcher has to avoid the SF also.  He did it as a Blue Jay in 2016 facing Buster Posey in San Francisco.  Why am I not surprised that it occurs on a West Coast trip?

Trivia question: which Blue Jay was the only one with a walk-off walk in the 21st century?
BlueJayWay - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#404991) #
I believe that was Aaron Hill against the Rays.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#404992) #
Not Aaron Hill, according to BBRef.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#404993) #
The question wasn't clear.  I meant a 3-0 walk-off walk.  Aaron Hill may have had a walk-off walk.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#404994) #
You have to wonder about the wisdom of McGuire catching Ryu with a LH starter on the mound for the opposition.  If Ryu is going to post an ERA of under 3, then you can see it. But, if it is closer to 4, McGuire's inability to hit a left-hander is going to come back to bite. 
Mike Green - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#404995) #
The answer to the trivia question is a catcher.
christaylor - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#404996) #
Are kangaroo courts still a thing? If not Montoyo ought to consider reviving the tradition.
krose - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#404997) #
Canít make a knowledgeable claim as to whether a different manager would help but that lack-of-slide by Hernandez is typical of this teams play. That play is unusual in itself but itís careless, dumb even. Is there a lack of general awareness?
greenfrog - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#404998) #
Yankees stave off the White Sox (who had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth) and win 7-5. Grrr.
greenfrog - Saturday, August 14 2021 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#404999) #
The Aís and Red Sox win as well. Every game is important when the competition is this tough.
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#405000) #
What a disaster
Kasi - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#405001) #
Well now is the time to find out how the Jays respond.
92-93 - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:39 AM EDT (#405002) #
Stop pulling your best pitchers at 90 pitches.
Eephus - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:41 AM EDT (#405003) #
In a season full of brutal innings, that one has to be up there. Just hope that looked worse than it was for George.
Four Seamer - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#405004) #
When you have a lockdown bullpen like this, definitely makes sense to pull your $20 million a year starter after 90 pitches.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#405005) #
Ryu pulled at 89 pitches.

Hopefully we bunt in the bottom half.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#405006) #
Whatever you think of Montoyo, the story here is the injury to Springer.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:48 AM EDT (#405007) #
The Springer injury has had zero impact on the game.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:50 AM EDT (#405008) #
The implications of Springerís injury obviously go beyond this one game.
Four Seamer - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:54 AM EDT (#405009) #
Iím 44 years old, followed baseball since I was 5 years old, and never seen a manager - and certainly not one with a starting staff this decent 1-5 - this eager to get into a bullpen, let alone one this bad. Heís a decent enough fellow that I can see finishing the season with him, but they definitely need to have somebody else helming them ship next year.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#405010) #
So happy we use the DH to have the luxury of gurriel and grichuk and McGuire in the game instead of Kirk.
Kasi - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#405011) #
See this is it to me. Heís not adding anything with bullpen (although tbh donít think itís really his decision I think analytics are pushing the most buttons and of course walker/buschman have input. Remember theyíve talked multiple times about them planning scenarios before the game even starts) or any of his other on field moves.

Heís done a fair job in developing some young players but I see no signs that heís getting them to play consistent or teach vet lessons like Cora or others do. I think he was brought in to be some sort of consensus manager who would do the will of the FO but that only goes so far. He might also just be a victim of poor luck and injuries but I just donít see any added value here past some young player hitting development. I think heíll be replaced with someone with more of an attitude and leadership this offseason.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:05 AM EDT (#405012) #
So damn jarring to go from "Ace Ryu 2runs thru 6.1ip on 89 pitches" to "Rafael Dolis comes on to start the 8th as the FOURTH pitcher of the game".
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#405013) #
Lmao we legit had our $20m ace on the mound with 89 pitches and 2 runs allowed thru 6.1ip.

Unreal.
The_Game - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:16 AM EDT (#405014) #
What are you saving Kirkís bat for if not to hit in the 8th inning of a 3 run deficit?

Get a real manager next year, please. It will make everything a lot more bearable.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:17 AM EDT (#405015) #
Pull Ace Ryu on 89 pitches but LEAVE DOLIS IN WITH 4 RUNNERS ALLOWED AND NO OUTS.

amazing.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:27 AM EDT (#405016) #
90 pitches for Ray

89 pitches for Ryu.

All to get to a bullpen that has been trash all year.

Unreal.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:46 AM EDT (#405017) #
Honestly I never criticize managers. It's almost always the players.

But yanking our two aces at 90 pitches to get to our crappy bullpen is beyond the pale.

Embarrassing really.
scottt - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#405018) #
Montoyo is getting good production from his starters.
Ray has an ERA of 7+ the third time through the order and over 90 pitches.
Ryu is not someone you want to push through the stretch.
Just count you're blessings he has been this healthy with the Jays.
Matz, Berrios and Manoah can go deeper.
The solution is to have guys in the pen who can throw the 7-8-9 innings with ERAs around 2.0.

Cimber has been that, but even with his "rubber arm", he can't pitch every day.

The one thing that bothers me is not throwing Hatch in the pen to finish the year, but that is not Montoyo's call.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#405024) #
I'm not a big Montoyo supporter but I can defend taking both Ray and Ryu out at 90 pitches. Like someone said, it was a hot, humid night when Ray was on the mound and I don't think leaving Ryu in longer would have changed things last night.

The bullpen is wildly inconsistent just like the team itself. An example is Dollis who actually had several scoreless outings before he imploded the last two appearances. I had my hopes of the Jays qualifying for at least a wild card spot after the strong home stand but this road trip is sucking all that momentum away.
SK in NJ - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#405028) #
Montoyo is a manager that a rebuilding team hires to soak up losses, then promptly replaces when the team is ready for the next step. I have always felt that way, and any bad managerial decisions made by Montoyo in 2021 (and unfortunately 2022) will be just as much on the FO as him. They have the power to replace him, and they haven't (and likely won't after this season). RPs are dropping like flies due to injury, but then you see just how much Montoyo uses his best relievers, combined with how he basically let Ken Giles throw his arm out right in front of his eyes, and there's no chance I am giving him the injury excuse.

I've said before, if Montoyo is not replaced after this season, then the FO deserves whatever consequences come out of that. Unfortunately for fans that means watching a team with one of the best run differentials in the game consistently being 5 games out of a 2nd WC spot.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#405029) #

#Bluejays starter Hyun-Jin Ryu on getting the hook in the seventh: ďMy pitch count wasnít that high. Itís one of those things thatís not in my control.Ē

— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) August 15, 2021
christaylor - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#405030) #
Kirk better hit today as he's not helping out Matz with the glove (or his body).
James W - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#405031) #
Kirk better hit today

Mission accomplished.
92-93 - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#405032) #
Hitters gonna hit.
mathesond - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#405033) #
But does his defense pass the eye test?
BlueJayWay - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#405034) #
Kirk can hit.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#405035) #
"Montoyo is a manager that a rebuilding team hires to soak up losses"

I don't believe this is the reason the Jays hired Montoyo.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#405036) #
Likely WC standings after today (assuming a Jays win):

Oakland --
Boston --
NYY 2.5 GB
Jays 4.5 GB

It will be an uphill battle for the Jays but they are still in it. Hopefully Springer isn't out for more than a week or so. I imagine he'll be used as a DH quite a bit after he returns.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#405037) #
In the end, Kirk probably did a decent job wrangling a wild matz thru 5ip with only 1 run.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#405038) #
I think I'm ready for Valera to stop getting regular playing time.
92-93 - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#405039) #
Biggio has played four days in a row in Buffalo, so Valera will be DFA before the home series that starts Friday vs. Detroit.
uglyone - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#405040) #
Good to know.

Tho I wouldn't mind seeing Kevin Smith first.
Magpie - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#405041) #
What's that called? A platinum sombrero?
greenfrog - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#405042) #
For a pitcher, a 5 0 0 0 0 5 line in the boxscore is outstanding. For a hitter, not so much.
scottt - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#405043) #
I dunno. DFA Valera and someone will pick him up. I don't really want to see him in Boston or New York.
Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#405044) #
Blue Jays win 8-3 without the lineup drawing any walks. Toronto ranks 24th in base-on-balls, 3rd in hits, 5th in runs scored, and a good number, 29th in strikeouts.
92-93 - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#405045) #
Of course they could always keep Valera around, but that would require going to an 8-man bullpen until rosters expand in September. Heaven forbid.
jerjapan - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#405046) #
I don't get the weeping and gnashing of teeth around our pen, tbh.  this is a conservative FO, on the verge of the years of contention that they have preached from the outset. We spent big to secure Springer, and big to score Berrios.  The pen seems to be the lowest priority, and fair enough.  'In the know' fans seem to love the bullpen on the cheap approach, but you aren't paying for WAR when you sign an elite reliever.  You are paying for consistency, for reliability.  I imagine many of the posters here upset by the pen would have been upset if the FO had signed Liam Hendrix to a big deal, for example, or if we made the Kimbrel trade. 

I think we are at the point with this team where we might spend large on a reliever this offseason.  But if your approach is to roll the dice and build a pen on the cheap, sometimes you roll snake eyes. 

And no way is the pen on Montoya alone.  That, to me, is just one of those sports radio talking points - you guys, who think Montoya is not worth being a major league manager, think this FO is just gonna punt on those decisions?  These trends - bigger pens, shorter starts for the starters, are industry wide.  And they are working, right?  Pitching is eclipsing hitting, precisely because teams are taking these approaches that we fans find so frustrating. 

Personally speaking, I just want to see guys throwing strikes out of the pen. 


John Northey - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#405047) #
Actually, right now calling up Biggio and sending a pitcher down would make a TON of sense with Springer injured but not on the IL. I'm more than ready to see Dolis put on waivers. However, Snead or Overton is more likely to go down instead - quality of work be damned. Still hard to believe Dolis just had a 9 game no runs allowed streak (he even stranded 2 runners he inherited). However, during that streak the average leverage was .15 (1.0 is normal). In the 2 games since that streak he allowed 4 R/ER in 0.1 IP plus allowed the one runner he inherited to score. 35 pitches, 23 strikes vs 22 balls.

In the end all 3 will probably be demoted/released by September to make room for Pearson and anyone else who gets healthy (Mayza, Stripling, Castro on 10 day IL)
dalimon5 - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#405048) #
Iím shocked to see so many beaxites believing the manager is making the decisions.
mendocino - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#405049) #
Boston has played 3 more games then the Jays.
Yankees and Red Sox play 3 against each other starting tuesday.
Oakland has White Sox-4 games, Giants-3g, Seattle-2g, Yankees-4g coming up
Kasi - Sunday, August 15 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#405050) #
Oh I completely agree with you dalimon. I would be surprised if there was more than 15% of the decisions he appears to do (lineup, bullpen, on field strategy, etc) that were made alone by him. We have seen from plenty of articles already that things like bullpen choices are planned heavily in scenarios pre game. Wouldnít be surprised to see it in other things to. I think Montoyo is just the on field rep of the FO. He carries out what the analytics department says. So it says that Ray for example sucks in the 7th thus you take him out. Itís not really the moves heís made that have been the problem more so the results of the moves.

And thatís why Iím not impressed by his leadership since I donít think repeating the FO gets that buy in and belief of the players. I dislike the inconsistent effort this team gives and weíve seen multiple times over many games that pitchers and hitters alike crumble under pressure. Losing the strike zone completely, melting down in odd ways, trying to be a hero with a home run, blown defensive plays (although tbh the defence on the team sucks which doesnít help), etc. This team has parts that should add up to a better record than it has and I think he has a non zero (but not full) part of the blame here. I do appreciate that heís shown some more emotion this year but it also kinda reminds me of Glenn Gulutzan (former Flames coach) when he was losing the team that he made more showy emotional attempts to stir up the team but that ultimately proved fruitless and he was canned.
jerjapan - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#405051) #
Kasi, personally speaking, I don't think there is a sports fan alive who 'knows' the vibe in the clubhouse, the reasons for a team that underperforms vs whatever Seattle is doing.  When you bang on the mismanagement drum, I hear radio talking points, not things that we can 'know'.  

It's statistical noise to me.  And as a teacher, from my own experience, different groups of people relate differently to different styles of leadership. 

baseball fans want to measure everything, but some things can't be measured.
Kasi - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 01:06 AM EDT (#405052) #
You generally only hear about those things right at the end and then itís usually shortly followed by the firing. Journalists donít need to know the vibe although Iím sure someone like say John Lott after decades of following the team was likely able to figure stuff out. In the current access climate with the pandemic shutting things out I think it would be much more difficult to find out. More likely what will happen is if things are about to break there will be some leak from someone in the org whether a player or staff member.

Anyway I just donít think heís a good coach because of the constant underperformance and the questionable on field decisions (even if mostly FO driven) so Iíd rather replace him with someone better able to maximize this teams talents. Totally ofc my own opinion I just think the Jays can do better.
uglyone - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#405054) #
Honestly it's ridiculous to think that the manager doesn't decide when the pitchers are changed.
John Northey - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#405055) #
I suspect the pitching changes are a group effort - the manager and pitching coach are the top 2 in the decision effort, but the teams management also influences via tracking if the arm is dropping (a big sign a guy is about to be hit hard) and other indicators (speed changes, accuracy changes, etc). I think it is safe to say that before the game the manager, pitching coach, bullpen coach, and statistical team all sit down and figure out who is available and how available each game. Some of that we can guess (you'd rarely see a guy used 3 games in a row for example) some we cannot (no idea which guy woke up on the wrong side thus has a mild sore arm today).

There are a lot of factors. It isn't like when I was a kid and managers just went on gut feel for a lot of it. The days of a closer being asked to go 3 innings are long over, or of the closer going 3-4 days in a row.
dalimon5 - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#405056) #
Ugly,

Iíll call you and raise the wager that the opposite is true. This is a front office known to be replicating lots of things the TB Rays have done, including hiring former staff from them as well as Houston. Both organizations are forward thinking and utilizing philosophies of below the surface analytical numbers to make decisions. When Dan Schulman has more intel than the manager in game I donít think itís fair to assume the manager is calling the shots.

Maybe one day we will see a manager with headphones and a lap top managing the team like a video game, analyzing pitch by pitch like a Game Day experience. At least that way he has access to all the numbers. If you have your eyes on the game then you donít have access to all the underlying numbers.

Schulman was actually on the Bob McCown show talking about how much info he has during a game, even pitch to pitch to track a pitchers fatigue. He tracks pitch speed to the decimal point so if Ray goes from 96.9 to 96.7 multiple times then he asks if he may be tiring.

The idea that Montoyo will make a decision based on a view from the dug out where he canít even actually see the strike zone accurately is ludicrous to me.
Magpie - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#405057) #
whatever Seattle is doing.

I can tell you exactly what they're doing. They're enjoying a run of good luck. That's how a team that plays .475 ball in their other 80 games goes 25-14 in one-run games. It's not a skill, it's not an ability. It's a run of good luck, and good luck almost never holds up beyond the small sample that happens in a single season.

Remember Texas in 2016? They went 36-11 in one-run games. They went 13-24 the following year.
Pittsburgh in 2015 went 36-17. The next year: 20-21.
LA Angels in 2015 went 35-17. The next year: 17-20.
Baltimore in 2012 went 29-9. The next yer: 20-31.

This is a basic law of the game.
scottt - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#405059) #
That's done before the game.
Montoyo spends the entire game talking with Pete Walker.
He doesn't make those decisions based on his guts.

Both pitching coaches have input on what relievers are available.
Also, the relievers are warmed up ahead of time and you try to insert them when they are the most likely to succeed.
Yesterday, they stuck with lefty relievers following Matz.
The day prior they tried using Richards who is a changeup artists best used against big left bats.
They just don't have enough heat in the pen right now.
Murphy had the stuff but couldn't execute.
That leaves who? Dolis?
Hand looked good yesterday.

This is the exact thing that happened when they pulled Shoemaker for Ray in the playoffs last year.
Shoemaker for 1 turn through the rotation and Ray for 2.
Might have worked if not for Jansen's passed ball.

Castro, Edwards Jr, Mayza and Pearson are currently rehabbing.
I think Edwards will be DFAed instantly, but I'm not sure.
He can still bring it.
Castro is too risky for my taste.

The Jays don't get Ryu for 80M if other teams think he can be this effective and this healthy.
And what Ryu says does not matter. He wanted to face Boston on regular rest and he got hit hard.
He also got shelled by the Rays in last year's playoffs.
If they get 6 good inning from him, I'm happy.
They just need to find 2 guys to get to Romano.

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#405060) #
Charlie's personality seems unlikely to make him a great dissenter with the front office. (If only he had just an element of Eddie Shore about him.)
uglyone - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#405061) #
OK I'll bite.

Walk me through the entire process of Ryu getting pulled at that juncture, and who is making what decisions.
bpoz - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#405062) #
Connor Greene pitching with LAD. Drew Hutchison with Detroit.
Magpie - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#405063) #
Walk me through the entire process of Ryu getting pulled at that juncture, and who is making what decisions.

Hey, Pete - runner on third, one out, one run lead? If the next man gets on, should we bring in the RH who was so good last time?

I don't know, Charlie. We better phone Toronto and see what they say. They're probably still awake.
Magpie - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#405064) #
In other words, I think the quick hook for Ryu was the work of Pete and Charlie. Alas. If only they'd called Ryan and Luke back home they would have been informed that on pitches 76-100 the opposition hits .222/.283/.322 against Ryu. Why, they might have left him in.
Magpie - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#405065) #
Maybe they could also informed Pete and Charlie that there's not a whole lot of difference when hitters are facing Ryu for the second time in a game (.234/.279/.380) or they're facing him for the third time (.235/.279/.378).
Magpie - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#405066) #
Charlie's personality seems unlikely to make him a great dissenter with the front office.

The fact that they chose him to manage the team makes it unlikely that he disagrees with the organization's ideas about team building and game management. They would have hired someone else. But I would always recommend not taking the personality a manager presents to the media as meaning much of anything.
uglyone - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#405067) #
But even if Pete has input, it's still Charlie's call.

Or else Pete is the manager.
Spifficus - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#405068) #
I'm with ugly on this one - the debate seems a bit weird.

Unless there is a completely revolutionary chain of command in this dugout, Montoyo is the one bringing in the reliever. The likely environment is one where he leans heavily on the advice of his pitching coach and trainers, but it seems so strange to make him sound powerless in this whole matter.
92-93 - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#405069) #
Hopefully it was not the front office that was behind Manoah throwing 114 pitches in a 5 run game while yanking Ray and Ryu in tight games at 90. Or using their 9th RP (Thornton, who had just been dded to the roster) first out of the pen in a 2-1 game after an off day.
Spifficus - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#405071) #
It does look like he's throwing darts at a board with his pitching changes at times. For all the handwringing (including my own) over pitching choices that seem sketchy on their face, though, I'll say one thing about Montoyo - this team has had 3 homes in the past 4 months, with a lot of surrounding uncertainty. In that time, while they may not be running optimal, they haven't given in, either.

John Northey - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#405072) #
Pulling Ryu last time really annoyed me at the time. Reasonable pitch count, just walked a guy but was a double play from ending the inning. I figured there was something we didn't see - maybe he was tired due to heat or something that we can't see - he did seem to be sweating. I figured he should've been allowed to keep going, but if he had to be pulled I'd have gone to Cimber who seems best at handing runners on vs any other option available. Richards is the best K guy they got right now so I guess I can see why they went there, although obviously he didn't have it that day.

Second guessing managers (or management teams) is part of the fun of baseball. We just have to accept that there will always be a stack of information we don't have. I like to try to figure out the logic behind a move (or non-move) but recognize that info-gap we have.

Right now the team seems a bit tight vs earlier. That is a challenge for the manager to deal with and why I think managers now need to be therapists more than anything. Figure out how to get the most out of who they have. The one run win/loss is dumb luck, but Vlad, Bo, Teoscar, Ray, Manoah, Romano, Semien, McGuire all outperforming expectations is what matters most. Of course, Tellez, Biggio, Gurriel not reaching expectations is also a factor.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#405075) #
I think Charlie is probably safe until at least May or June next season. The presence of John Schneider makes him a candidate as interim manager. Generally, it is preferable to avoid making that decision mid-season.
scottt - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#405079) #
Right now the starting pitching is overachieving and the bullpen is underachieving.
There are 5 starters and 9 relievers and increasing the load of the starters is not the solution.
The solution is to do the best they can with the guys they have until better guys return from the IL.

scottt - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#405081) #
What might make Montoyo's job safe is that Schneider might already be in charge of a lot of the stuff people are unhappy with.
Magpie - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#405082) #
I think Charlie is probably safe until at least May or June next season.

You must think they'll be well under .500 at that point, as that's generally what it takes for an AL team to fire a manager in mid-season. Mid-season managerial replacements have grown quite uncommon in recent years among the AL teams. The only AL team in the last ten years to fire a manager in mid-season was the 2014 Houston team, who fired Bo Porter on August 31 with a 59-79 record. It's been twenty years since a manager got fired when his team had a winning record (Dun Duquette in Boston firing Jimy Williams in 2001).

Toronto fans may have an odd view of the possibility because the only two AL teams that have made three mid-season managerial firings over the last twenty years are Toronto and Baltimore. J.P. Ricciardi is the only recent GM to fire three managers in mid-season.
Magpie - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#405083) #
I went and looked up the last time each team fired their manager in mid-season. All sorts of fun facts. The last time the Yankees did it was June 1990, but it was the ninth time in just fifteen years that Steinbrenner had changed managers in mid-season. The only other times in Yankees history was 1966 (Johnny Keane) and 1910 (George Stallings.)

Fastest recent firing, possibly the fastest ever, was when Phil Garner was fired in Detroit after an 0-6 start in 2002. Can't blame GM Randy Smith - they canned him as well.
uglyone - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#405085) #
for the record, I hate criticizing managers. i defended Gibbons to the death. I've defended Montoyo most of the season. Because it's almost always the players, not the manager. A manager isn't at fault for having a weak bullpen, for example.


But in a playoffs race, in back to back games, pulling near-ace pitchers at 90 pitches in tight games WHEN THEY'RE NOT EVEN STRUGGLING AT THE TIME, to bring in MIDDLE RELIEVERS, just set me off. I can't make any sense of the decisions. How on earth any number would show that those middle relievers were better bets for the next few outs than Ryu and Ray is beyond me.
Nigel - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#405086) #
UO I do think you need to look at the circumstances of each pull. I can tell you first hand that it was ridiculously hot (it was still 33-34) at game time on the night Ray pitched. I wasnít surprised in the slightest when Ray was pulled. I donít know the circumstances of the Ryu pull so that may have been an early hook. Iím not defending Montoyo generally here, I think heís been struggling with his bullpen management on and off all year (acknowledging that heís trying to play a crap hand that heís been dealt).
scottt - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#405087) #
Ray is terrible the third time through the order.
Any middle reliever that bad would be off the team.
It's not really close either.
With Ryu, it's more a case of load management I think.
He was really good in April.
Struggled in May, than he's gotten a second wind since then.
He's currently averaging 5.78 innings per starts which is more than last year (5.58).
He was doing a bit better in 2019, but his ERA was 2.32 and his WHIP was 1.0, now it's 1.165.
So, it doesn't look like he's throwing fewer pitches than in those years.
He's at an all low strike out rate of 7.2 per 9.


Pulling the starter too late is a loss, that's basically the definition of pulling the starter too late.
You don't wait until they struggle. Ray struggles by giving up long balls. Oops.
Pulling the starter too early is harder to characterize. It's quitting when you're ahead. Selling high/buying low, etc.
With that huge pen, they should be able to cover 3 innings.
The hardest thing is probably bringing him someone who was warming up to come in later to finish an inning with runners in scoring position.


Mike Green - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#405088) #
Last year, the club outperformed Pythagoras by 3 games and had a successful bullpen with Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, A.J. Cole, Ryan Borucki and Wilmer Font pitching the most innings.  This year's bullpen had much more talent coming in, but it just hasn't worked out so far with injuries playing an important part. 

As for the decision to lift Ryu, I have two points.  There was one out in the 7th, and Ryu hasn't thrown into the 8th inning all season.  It wasn't pretty obviously not going to be the game where he did that for the first time. The walk to Toro was a sign that he was fading.  Toro is a switch-hitter who hits much better left-handed; in his career 13 homers in 270 PAs left-handed and 1 homer in 110 PAs right-handed.   You want to go after him in that situation.  There may have been other signs that Ryu was fading; I have a lot of confidence in Pete Walker's ability to judge that.  The decision to bring in Richards in that situation was defensible.  He had been very good in the previous 6 outings, and of course you get the platoon advantage with Torrens.  Richards had thrown an inning the day before, but only 11 pitches.  As far as I am concerned, the decision to pull Ryu or let him continue would be in the sphere of reasonable subjective judgments that managers and pitching coaches together make all the time. 
vw_fan17 - Monday, August 16 2021 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#405090) #
Per MLBTR, Jays have acquired Mallex Smith from the Reds - presumably as a September-expanded-roster callup to pinch-run on occasion..
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 02:44 AM EDT (#405094) #
I like Charlie, although I am largely indifferent. The Blue Jays are 95-82 since the start of last season. All things considered, that is quite an accomplishment. So, Charlie stays. For now.

Baseball managers tend to be less impactful compared to head coaches in other sports. Yet, it might seem harder to find a great manager. Perhaps it speaks to the implicit difference between coaching and managing. After all, focus is the key to baseball, not necessarily hustle.

I keep thinking John Schneider is the heir apparent. There is not exactly a host of established candidates out there. Buck Showalter? Hard no. John Farrell? He is asleep. Ozzie Guillťn? Yikes! A first-time manager is likely the next great hire. Only who can identify the next Kevin Cash?

The idea of somehow poaching another current manager has crossed my mind, but none would seem likely to leave their current gig. Anyway, the only actual gripe I have with Charlie is bunting with 2 strikes. And not playing Kirk more, except that is a conspiracy.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#405095) #
There are rumours that Otto Lopez is being called up.

Saw a bit of the Angels-Yankees game.
Bullpen was shutdown, but getting some very favourable calls outside that they Angels were not getting.
That last strikeout  by Green had 2 strikes that were clearly balls. Meh.

J. Davis had to get a haircut. It looks like he shaved his head.
He made a nice catch and didn't even lose his hat.
Maybe it wasn't affecting his performance, but it took away from it. 

scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#405097) #
The manager is the one with the authority to change the lineup, which includes the pitcher even with the DH.
It's a bit like the governor general calling the election.
He's also the boss of the coaches. He doesn't coach the players individually. There's a whole bunch of coaches doing that and he's often not the one calling the offensive and defensive plays. Charlie was talking about using 4 outfielders once, but that's decided before the game. One thing I don't like is the pitcher not being included in the shifting strategy; I think shifting is a bad idea if you're trying to strike a hitter out with breaking stuff outside. Who's going to pull that? Especially while choking with 2 strikes.

Bunting with 2 strikes if fine if you're worried about a double play ball.
Doing it also keeps the infield in which makes it a lot easier to get a ground ball or a line drive through.
On an 0-2 call, the next pitch is often a ball. So if you take a ball with the bunt on, they'll keep the infield in.
What bothers me is the hitters not bunting properly. It's not really that hard.
They used to do drills in which you had to bunt into a bucket.
Those guys can't even put the ball in play.

Gerry - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#405098) #
The Jays have to play without the DH for the next two games. If I remember correctly the Jays have called up an extra position player for games in NL parks because of the pinch hitting opportunities. Will it be for more than 2 games?

What of Breyvic Valera, he hasn't distinguished himself.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#405099) #
That's a good point. The Jays have done very well in NL parks because they don't have a true DH.
What do they lose? The 7th or 8th hitter.
They can't DH Bichette or Springer here. Maybe give them a PH AB?
If neither can play, you want a guy who can hit replacing them.

Valera distinguished himself against Boston but has faded since.
Lopez can play 2B if Bichette needs more time.
Grichuk would have to be in center. They have a decent platoon in left with Gurriel and Dickerson.

Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#405100) #
I will settle for a swinging bunt. The old Baltimore chop.
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