Sunday double-header game notes

Tigers 3, Yankees 0

The early game is in the books, and Detroit is heading home up 2 games with their ace, Justin Verlander, to start game 3. The complexion of today’s game turned on a blown umpire’s call at second base with 2 outs in the Tiger 8th inning. The Yankees should have been out of the inning still trailing by just one but, to Detroit’s credit, the Tigers took advantage of their good fortune to add two more tallies in that frame.

After the prolongation of the 8th inning arising from the blown call, the Yankees went to their bullpen, using 4 more pitchers in the inning before recording the elusive final out. For the game, the Yankees used 3 pitchers for just a single batter each, just the 11th time that has happened in the post-season, but the 7th time since 2002. It was also the 77th time in post-season using 2 or more pitchers for just a single batter – only one of those (game 2 of the 1956 WS) in the pre-expansion era. Here are the previous games with 3 pitchers each used for just one batter.

Rk Tm Opp Date
1 SFG ANA 2002-10-20
2 PHI LAD 2009-10-16
3 OAK LAD 1988-10-20
4 NYY TEX 1996-10-02
5 NYY BAL 2012-10-11
6 NYY BOS 1999-10-18
7 MIN ANA 2002-10-12
8 BAL PIT 1979-10-17
9 ATL SFG 2010-10-10
10 ATL SFG 2010-10-07
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/14/2012.

Like today, seven of the previous ten occasions (red) involved all of the single-batter appearances occurring in the same inning, including 4 previous occasions (bolded) using a total of 5 pitchers in that inning.

Phil Coke earned the save for the Tigers, the 25th post-season save of exactly 2 innings in the LDS era (since 1995). The previous 24 were authored by just 8 pitchers, led by Mariano Rivera with 14 such games. The last save of more than 2 innings was the 3 inning appearance by Brian Anderson of the Indians in game 4 of the 1997 WS.

Cardinals 6, Giants 4

In the NLCS opener, both starters got rocked, but the bullpens on both sides were rock solid. In a combined 10.2 innings of work, relievers on both teams allowed a combined zero runs on only 2 hits and 3 walks. Nine relievers on both teams each allowed no runs and no hits, the most ever in a 9-inning post-season game, moving to the top of this list.

Rk Tm Opp Date #Matching
1 PHI STL 2011-10-02 8
2 STL TEX 2011-10-28 7
3 CLE BAL 1997-10-09 7
4 WSN STL 2012-10-07 6
5 STL MIL 2011-10-12 6
6 MIL STL 2011-10-10 6
7 TEX DET 2011-10-08 6
8 STL PHI 2011-10-05 6
9 ARI MIL 2011-10-02 6
10 SFG PHI 2010-10-21 6
11 TEX NYY 2010-10-16 6
12 PHI CIN 2010-10-08 6
13 COL PHI 2009-10-11 6
14 PHI COL 2009-10-08 6
15 TBR BOS 2008-10-18 6
16 CLE BOS 2007-10-15 6
17 BOS OAK 2003-10-06 6
18 CHC ATL 2003-10-04 6
19 FLA SFG 2003-10-01 6
20 ANA SFG 2002-10-19 6
21 SFG STL 2002-10-12 6
22 SFG ATL 2002-10-05 6
23 ATL LAD 1996-10-05 6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/14/2012.

This was also the first ever game 1 in an LCS with neither starter pitching 4 innings, and only the fifth such opening game in any post-season series,  joining these contests.

Rk Tm Opp Date
1 DET NYY 2011-09-30
2 BOS STL 2004-10-23
3 BAL LAD 1966-10-05
4 NYG NYY 1923-10-10
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/14/2012.

David Freese and Carlos Beltran each homered for the Cardinals. It was Beltran’s 3rd homerun of this post-season, and the 14th of his post-season career. Beltran leads all players with 13 HR in his first 25 career post-season games. Freese cracked the top 30 in that category with his 6th round-tripper in his 25th career game tonight.

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Larry
Larry
9 years ago

The “protest flag” expanded replay is looking better every day. Too bad MLB just doesn’t have the smarts to know how to implement it. Sabermetrics (and just baseball “smarts”) reveal that there are high leverage situations in baseball. You know, the ones where you really should bring in your closer even though it is not a save situation. Those are the situations where a manager should be able to throw a protest flag and have ANY play or pitch reviewed.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
9 years ago
Reply to  Larry

It should be a two-foot diameter red baseball.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago

The missed call was quite regrettable, and I’m sure that trailing by 3 runs instead of 1 had some effect on New York’s approach.

But it was hardly a turning point. They already trailed, and they never scored. The call scored no runs directly.

The bigger stories I saw were Anibal Sanchez getting key outs with that slo-mo changeup, and Girardi declining to use his best relievers in the 8th when the game got away.

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

Maybe it didn’t decide the Yankees game… but it sure did decide Kuroda’s pitcher line (and game score). I count a W, and maybe a 79 game score if an out was called, vs. a L, 3 ER, and maybe a 66 for the game as it happened.

Brent
Brent
9 years ago
Reply to  Hub Kid

Hard to see how you could see the bad call being reverse adding to the Yankees ZERO runs scored and changing Kuroda’s L to a W.

Brooklyn Mick
Brooklyn Mick
9 years ago
Reply to  Brent

The fallacy of the predetermined outcome.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Brooklyn Mick

But Mick, if anyone in this exchange is making assumptions, it’s Hub Kid assuming that the Yanks would have overcome a 1-0 lead. Hub Kid either misremembered the game situation prior to the missed call — which was that New York trailed 1-0, and Kuroda was on the hook for the loss — or else he made the outrageous assumption that the Yankees were going to score 2+ runs in the bottom of the 8th to put Kuroda in line for the win. That is what Brent replied to, and rightly so. Bottom line: Yanks would have had 2 chances… Read more »

Brooklyn Mick
Brooklyn Mick
9 years ago
Reply to  Brooklyn Mick

John, the way I read the comments, it’s Brent who mentioned the Yankees zero runs scored, the assumption being that they would have scored zero runs whether on not the play was called an out. Just because the Yanks didn’t end up scoring in the 9th doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have scored had the inning ended at 1-0 with Kuroda still the pitcher of record and still in line for the win.

Evan
Evan
9 years ago
Reply to  Brooklyn Mick

Assuming there is a pre-determined outcome is no worse than assuming that everything would have gone exactly as planned but for one play, one call or one decision by the manager.

Brooklyn Mick
Brooklyn Mick
9 years ago
Reply to  Brooklyn Mick

Evan, what you’re saying is really the essence of the fallacy of the predetermined outcome. There is absolutely no way of knowing what “may” have happened. Twas a brilliantly played reductio ad absurdum…I think 🙂

birtelcom
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Brooklyn Mick

Based on standard win expectancies in MLB, a visiting team ahead by one run in nthe eighth inning with men on first and second and two outs will win about 74% to 75% of the time. A visiting team ahead by one run with the home team coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth, will win about 70% of the time. So if you contrast the situation as it stood immediately after the missed call, with the situation as it would have existed at that point if the call had been accurately made, the difference directly attributable to… Read more »

MikeD
MikeD
9 years ago
Reply to  Brooklyn Mick

I think the conversation on this is a jumble of two separate but related issues. The first is did the blown calls on Saturday and Sunday lead to the Yankees losing. The answer is most likely no, but it is also quite possible that they did alter the games and we’ll never know the true outcome and what would have happened, which is a shame because it’s unnecessary in 2012. In game one, Fister was pitching quite poorly early on, no command. An excellent defensive play from an unlikely player helped end the first inning and with a correct call… Read more »

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
9 years ago
Reply to  Hub Kid

sorry folks, I was rushing… The “W” was pure idiocy on my part, although I was thinking “potential W”; that wasn’t even my point.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago

Looks like the Tigers are the first visiting team ever to win 4 straight postseason games in any version of Yankee Stadium.

birtelcom
birtelcom
9 years ago

Dear Robby Cano: No pressure, but I know you now have five straight post-season starts without reaching base, and you should be aware that the all-time record is six on-base-free starts in a row, by great field/no-hit SS Mark Belanger (Orioles, 1973-1974), the long-time White Sox Deadball Era catcher Billy Sullivan (1906 World Series), and Rogers Lee “Bobby” Brown who started his streak with a fruitless game for the Yankees as their starting center fielder in the final game of the 1980 AlCS and picked it up with five more for San Diego in the 1984 World Series. Brown started… Read more »

Ed
Ed
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

According to an article over at Fangraphs, Cano’s 26 consecutive at-bats without a hit is a single postseason record. Dan Wilson holds the multi-postseason record with 42.

Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez
9 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Nice to see the name of one my favorite players when I was growing up, even if it was a negative record. What I liked about Kelly Gruber was the intensity in which he played every game, maybe one of the reasons for the number of injuries that cut short his career; love to see dirt on uniforms all the time.

Mike L
Mike L
9 years ago

Speaking as a Yankee fan this is turning out to be a gruesome series on a number of levels . It shows the deficiencies in the Yankee model but to a certain extent there are things that the best planning can do nothing about. I don’t think Beltran is a better player than cano but….
Btw with girardi tossed for daring to argue the appallingly blown call who actually was responsible for the bullpen? It’s not over yet. But the patient does appear to be quite ill.

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
9 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike, I had the same question- who made the calls for the bullpen once Girardi was out?

Brooklyn Mick
Brooklyn Mick
9 years ago
Reply to  Hub Kid

Text messages from Girardi to Larry Rothschild?

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Hub Kid

FWIW, Girardi was tossed after making the first pitching change — bringing in Logan to face Berry, which Leyland countered with Avisail Garcia. And that’s the move I find most questionable.

Obviously Berry, a strict platoon player, was not going to stay in to bat against Logan. Just as obviously, with men on 1st and 2nd and Cabrera on deck, they had no opportunity to pitch around the inevitable RH pinch-hitter. So, Girardi chose Logan vs. Garcia over, say, Robertson vs. Berry. I absolutely don’t get that.

PP
PP
9 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Beltran post season: .370, .481, .824, 1.305, not bad

Ed
Ed
9 years ago

We are getting extremely close to having our first WS to feature two sub-90 win teams (excepting the shortened 1918 season). I head Bud’s working on a plan to include the Houston Astros in next year’s playoffs! 🙂

Brent
Brent
9 years ago
Reply to  Ed

In fairness, the Cardinals’ 93 pythag wins are more than anybody in the NL but the Nationals. Their bad luck in the regular season simply has reversed itself in the short term.

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  Brent

Aiyiyi.

Like trying to kill a zombie it is.

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

A modest proposal: Simply change the rules so postseason slots go to the teams with the greatest cumulative sum of runs scored beyond allowed. Similar formulas can apply to each postseason round. This will eliminate any need for extra innings, render 1-run games meaningless, bring to baseball a numerical purity in the spirit of pythagoras himself, and, most importantly, vaporize the dead hand of luck so Jim can rest.

birtelcom
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Brent

Last year’s World Series-winning Cards scored 762 runs in the regular season and allowed 692. This year’s team scored 765 and allowed only 648. So this year they were virtually identical at run-scoring to last year’s World Championship team and meaningfully better in preventing opposition runs. The 2006 World Championship version of the Cards scored 781 and allowed 762. From the point of view of scoring runs and preventing runs over 162 games, the 2012 team is the best Cardinals squad since 2005.

nightfly
9 years ago
Reply to  Ed

That would be incredible, considering the 90-win Rays and 89-win Angels are sitting home watching it all from the get-go.

Brent
Brent
9 years ago

If the ALCS gets back to Yankee Stadium, doesn’t Leyland have to ensure that, as he did last night, Coke pitches to Cano, Ibanez, even Ichiro. I think the biggest mistake in Game 1 was pulling the trigger on Coke too soon. Papa Grande is probably fine against the RH Yankees hitter, though with the Captain out and ARod a shell of his former self, there aren’t really a lot of RH hitters to worry about in their lineup. He also probably would be safer against the lefties in Detroit, but the combination of that short porch in RF with… Read more »

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Brent

Brent, that’s a good point — I didn’t realize Valverde had such a big LH/RH split.

But let’s not think Phil Coke is actually as good as he’s looked in these 2 games. For one thing, RHBs batted — are you sitting down? — .396/1.050 against Coke this year. For another, let’s not forget a certain WS game in which Coke, pitching for NYY against PHI, surrendered two HRs to LHBs Utley and (yes) Ibanez.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI200911020.shtml

Brent
Brent
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

The problem for Girardi is that, with the demise of ARod, he is being forced to bat Ichiro, Cano, and Ibanez close to one another. Split them up with a couple of RH bats and maybe Leyland has a problem deciding when to use Coke, but last night they batted 1st, 2nd and 4th, with only a switch hitter in between them. That makes it a pretty easy decision for Leyland to make sure Coke faces that string of hitters.

Mike L
Mike L
9 years ago
Reply to  Brent

Good point. At this point, the Yankees have to have a fundamental change in their thinking about A-Rod and how to structure a line up/what players to look for. He needs to be thought of as more of a better version of a Barry Zito type, a very expensive contract who can play the position but is not special. A-Rod’s injury history also mucks things up, because they have to carry a backup third baseman who can play 80 games a year. The contract is there and has to be paid out. How they use him, however, is up to… Read more »

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

John I think you’re too hard on Coke. When he’s good, he’s very good. And right now, he’s good. And the sample size for Coke against righties this year cannot be very large. As for the blown call, it is true that a team’s strategy can (indeed should) change if you’re down only one instead of three, so that was a definite break for the Tigers, no question. However, other than Ichiro and Jeter (who is now MIA) I don’t see that NY much ability to “manufacture a run” either, especially with Cano and ARod in enormous slumps. You live… Read more »

Phil Gaskill
Phil Gaskill
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

So are we back to the Yankees’ “dreadful” performance with runners in scoring position, the myth we’ve been hearing all season? Here’s the final stats from the regular season: Runs: 545 (9th out of the 30 ML teams) Homers: 54 (2nd [by one]) BA: .256 (tied for 14th) OBP: .352 (6th) Slg: .436 (tied for 5th) OPS: .788 (5th) Yep, a really miserable team at getting those runners in. Seriously now, obviously not leading the world in any of these categories, but not exactly horrible either. Again, this is the 2012 regular season only. Nobody’s going to argue that their… Read more »

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  Phil Gaskill

Not sure who you’re arguing against, because I’ve never said anything about the Yankees’ ability to knock runners in. What I said was that they have little ability to manufacture runs given their team makeup and current situation. And I should add that the next two or three games are in Detroit where there’s no short RF advantage as in NY, so even their HR hitting advantage is diminished. And you do know that Slg and OPS are both affected–greatly–by home run totals, right? And that the rankings should only be made within the AL, where the DH is in… Read more »

Phil Gaskill
Phil Gaskill
9 years ago
Reply to  Phil Gaskill

So “live by the HR” doesn’t imply inability to score runs any other way? Please explain the difference between “knocking runners in” except with homers and “manufacturing runs.” I guess I’m just not understanding your point. And if by “given their team makeup and current situation” you mean “the whole team is in a horrible slump,” then you’ve got a point, to an extent: but the “to an extent” part of that is that that point can end at any moment, just as quickly as it began eight (or seven, if you prefer) days ago. And I admit you’ve got… Read more »

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  Phil Gaskill

“So “live by the HR” doesn’t imply inability to score runs any other way? Please explain the difference between “knocking runners in” except with homers and “manufacturing runs.” I guess I’m just not understanding your point.”

Correct, it doesn’t imply that. Obviously, all teams score some runs without homers and some with them.

The original point is that without Gardner and Jeter, and with Cano in a slump, and ARod even worse, and Granderson now doing his best Adam Dunn imitation, the Yankees are in deep trouble if they don’t hit a HR.

Phil Gaskill
Phil Gaskill
9 years ago
Reply to  Phil Gaskill

> Correct, it doesn’t imply that. Obviously, all teams score some runs without homers and some with them. And obviously, I didn’t mean “inability” in a 100% literal way: I meant “great difficulty, compared to your average bear.” Of course all teams, even the Yankees, score some runs without homers My point about the actual RISP numbers, BTW, was that all season long (it seemed to me), everybody was complaining that the Yankees were “horrible” at scoring RISP runs, when it turns out that they were (I’d say, without referring to the numbers again) roughly average or even slightly above… Read more »

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

Coke’s career numbers vs. RHBs: .299 BA, .370 OBP, .802 OPS (704 PAs).

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

Yes but Leyland is going to use him primarily against lefties, which is invaluable against the Yankees, especially in NY.

When I wrote somewhere that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coke close last night I got some snide remarks, but that’s exactly what happened.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
9 years ago

Lineup for game 3

Swisher
Cano
Rodriguez
Granderson
Teix
Ibanez
Nunez
Ichiro
Martin

Sabathia

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Unless Girardi has changed his mind based on yesterday (which he said he wouldn’t do), Hughes is starting game three. Which is certainly not what I would do.

Mike L
Mike L
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

I guess the question is, if you see Hughes as a potential loss, than he’s either a loss in game 3, overmatched against Verlander, or a loss in game 4, which, either way leaves you down 3-1 regardless. So why waste a possibly fatigued CC against Verlander, who could literally no-hit you.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
9 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Big difference between 3-1 and 3-0.
If it is not an angry but loose must-win mentality all around there is something very wrong. Nothing short of Jeter giving a speech via skype before the game is acceptable.

CC is a 300 pound anomaly.
Fatigue is not an issue.
Ace vs Ace. Period. Not a lot of thought required.
If Girardi is not up to the task I will gladly take over the job right now.

And next month I’ll take Ca$hman’s job and trade Curtis Dunnderson for Aroldis and B. Hammy.

Ed
Ed
9 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Jeter is one of the few Yankees with a good track record against Verlander (.364 BA, .883 OPS).

Teixeria (.086 BA, .367 OPS), Cano (.184 BA, .488 OPS), and Ibanez (.103 BA, .344 OPS) have all been dreadful against him.

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

It appears to me to be a tradeoff between (1) the fact that it’s (much) better to go down 1-2 then 0-3, and (2) the fact that Sabathia is likely to be better with an extra day of rest. So I was too strong in my “not what I would do” comment, because Girardi has knowledge of Sabathia in that regard that I obviously do not. Having said that, I do think too much is made of the idea that starters need four days rest (especially for a horse like Sabathia), and it’s not like it gets all that easier… Read more »

Evan
Evan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

Another advantage of using Sabathia in game 4 is that there is a greater expectation that he will be able to pitch into the 8th or 9th inning than either Hughes or Pettitte. Having Sabathia in between these two pitchers is more likely to maximize Girardi’s ability to successfully push his primary relievers to obtain additional outs.

birtelcom
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

A team down 0-2 in a best-of-seven series has a starting pitcher who can add, let’s say, a 25% boost to his team’s chances of winning either Game 3 or Game 4. I guess I’m not sure of the logic of an argument that there is an advantage to using the boost in Game 3 as opposed to Game 4. Especially if you accept what seems to be Girardi’s assumption that because of the extra rest opportunity the likely boost will be, say, 30% in Game 4 as opposed to only 25% if used in Game 3.

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

birtelcom, I think it’s largely a psychological issue. If they can beat Verlander in Detroit then they can feel like there’s no reason they can’t win the series. If they lose, I see not an ice cube’s chance that they win the thing. If it were me, I’d pitch Sabathia and put the “smallest” ball lineup I could in there, including Gardner and Ichiro at the top of the lineup. And *order* Granderson in no uncertain terms to cut down on his swing and get on base and cause some havoc thereupon. Actually, order that for the entire team. Just… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

@46

A team has come back from 0-3 exactly once in 110 years.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

@48 Totally agree with the small ball – but Granderson is what Granderson is right now. “Cut down your swing” is easier said than done if it is not something that player is in that habit of doing. You might be asking him to simply look even worse striking out than he already looks. And say, for the sake of argument, that he does get on base – Granderson’s physicality seems to have declined (or he is quietly injured). Something. He had 10 steals This is a team that had nobody over 14. How is Granderson not running? Yes, he… Read more »

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
9 years ago
Reply to  Jim Bouldin

Make what you want out of this but Granderson’s .232 BA is the lowest ever for a batter with more than 100 R and 100 RBI. His .319 OBP is the 5th lowest. And his 195 K is the second highest.

birtelcom
birtelcom
9 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

There have been 31 MLB post-season best-of-seven series that started 3-0. 1 of those was won by the trailing team. If each team had an exactly 50-50 chance of winning each game, we would expect two of those 31 to have gone to the trailing team. I don’t think we can assume any great psychological or other non-random element based on the fact that we have seen one, rather than two, reversals.

Evan
Evan
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

In fact we should probably expect to see far fewer than that because many (most?) of those 31 teams that were probably up 3-0 were better than the other team and thus had greater than a 50% chance of winning each game.

Jim Bouldin
Jim Bouldin
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

birtelcom, If your #55 was intended as response to my #48, then it misses the point. That’s not the way to evaluate the role of psychology in winning game three (not four!), which is what I was talking about. The comparison that needs to be made is therefore the likelihood of winning the series (1) after you’ve gone down 0-2 and bounced back to win game three, vs (2) after you have gone down 0-3 and bounced back to win game four. I haven’t looked at the historical numbers for those two scenarios, but I’d be willing to bet they… Read more »

jeff b
jeff b
9 years ago

To this point, one thing is certain, Carlos beltran is the best hitter in postseason history.

birtelcom
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  jeff b

Especially when he doesn’t have to bat against Adam Wainwright.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  jeff b

In 29 postseason games, Beltran has THIRTY-EIGHT RUNS?!?

MikeD
MikeD
9 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Yet if only Beltran moved the bat off his shoulder against Wainwright.

I say that, of course, as a joke. Living in NY, it’s odd how a single moment, a single AB can forever be used against you. Listening to talk radio in NY (something I rarely do, but get trapped by ocassionally in my car), the perception of Beltran is unfairly ruled by that one AB in 2006. Nevermind he has been a spectacular postseason performer through his career, or that he was thrown a knee-bending breaking pitch that would freeze just about any batter.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago

Guess who led the majors in road HRs and was 3rd in road scoring? They also hit 8 HRs in 7 games in Detroit.

Mike L
Mike L
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

If we’ve learned anything from watching baseball over the last few years, it’s that it’s not over until it’s over. We can bury the Yankees in a few days, if it’s appropriate. The team won 95 games; even without Jeter, they have plenty of players who, if they play to their potential, can turn things around. Do I expect it? Nope. But it’s possible until it’s impossible. And I’m going to find it bizarre if the Cardinals repeat as World Series winners. As far as I’m concerned, they don’t even belong in the playoffs-and I like them.

Larry
Larry
9 years ago

Birtelcom, that was a brilliant way to dissect the impact of the call. Therein lies a way to “score” how bad a call was. For example, you can tell a lot about an umpire from his Batting Average – meaning the Batting Average that occurs when he is behind the plate. In a similar vein, I have read discussions about Win Expectancy. The Yankees Win Expectancy went from 30% to 25%. It would be an interesting way of “scoring” other controversial calls.

Larry
Larry
9 years ago

Birtelcom, I like that 1/2^n reasoning. Makes a lot of sense. We can test the correlation with another situation. How many times has a 7 game series gone 3-1? We would expect 1/2^3 = 1/8 of those to have the comeback team win. Does that fit with history?

birtelcom
birtelcom
9 years ago
Reply to  Larry

One out of 8 would be 12.5% rate of series wins for teams trying to come back from a 3-1 deficit in games. In fact, the rate over MLB post-season history has been extremely close to that: 14.5% (11 successes out of 76). There’s a huge amount of data on the seven-game series in baseball, basketball and hockey here: http://www.whowins.com/tables/up31.html

Larry
Larry
9 years ago

Evan, I was thinking that too. I think one way to get a sense of how much better the winning team is than the loosing team in a short series is to check out the Pythagorean Projection of the post season. Meaning, run the calculation based on the runs scored by Team A where Team A is the winning team of any and all post-season series. The result would probably show that Team A has a Pythag projection of around .510 to .520. So the odds of coming back, down 0-3 would be more like .48^4 instead of .50^4

birtelcom
birtelcom
9 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Koosman with the double for the Mets in that 1969 game. Which is pretty funny. Since 1876, 181 pitchers have accumulated at least 1,000 career PAs as batters. Of those 181, the lowest career batting OPS of all is the .292 of Jerry Koosman.

Larry
Larry
9 years ago

Doug, that is very odd. Back in the day of the complete game, starting pitchers in the early WS and even early days of divisional play would often get 3 to 4 At Bats against each other. Odds that there have never before been reciprocal doubles!

GrandyMan
GrandyMan
9 years ago

In the 10-17-79 game, Tippy Martinez posted a bizarre line of 0 IP, 0 runs, 0 ER, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 SO, and 0 HR; this was the result of hitting the only batter he faced in the game. A seven-0 line has been posted 12 times by 11 pitchers in the postseason. Peter Moylan did it on consecutive days during the 2010 NLDS, and the most recent occurrence was by Chad Durbin during this year’s one-game playoff between the Braves and the Cardinals, as the result of an error.

GrandyMan
GrandyMan
9 years ago
Reply to  GrandyMan

*Correction to previous post: Durbin allowed an unearned run in this circumstance. Therefore, the most recent pitcher to post a seven-0 line in the postseason is, in fact, Peter Moylan.

Doug
Doug
9 years ago
Reply to  GrandyMan

One of those seven zero games was an eight zero line, with the addition of zero batters faced.

In game 5 of the 1999 NLCS, the Mets Dennis Cook relieved Turk Wendell while Wendell was pitching to the Braves Brian Jordan in the top of the 7th. Cook walked Jordan intentionally, but the walk was charged to Wendell. The Braves pinch-hit for the next batter and Cook was relieved by Pat Mahomes.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN199910170.shtml

RJ
RJ
9 years ago

Holliday’s slide on Scutaro was disgraceful. Hearing the St Louis commentator call it a “good, clean play” after Scutaro’s leg was almost snapped in two was just a joke. I’ve said it before, but I believe there needs to be a rule change or a general clamping down on dangerous “slides” that patently have no purpose other than to wipe out the fielder.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  RJ

Rule 7.09(e) is meant to discourage such slides:

“If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner.”

But they failed to enforce that rule.

Doug
Doug
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

Guess the only problem was that Holliday did neither of these things:
base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball
base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball

Instead, Holliday interfered with a fielder in the act of catching/throwing a thrown ball. No doubt, one of those omissions in the rule that umpires have to consider in interpreting the rule’s intent.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug, I think that the standard interpretation of “in the act of fielding a batted ball” encompasses the play from beginning to end, including relay throws.

I do wish the rule was more explicit.

RJ
RJ
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

My position is that if the rule doesn’t outlaw slides like Holliday’s, then it should. I find it quite bizarre that something like this is deemed acceptable in, of all sports, baseball, whereas it would be considered recklessly dangerous in any other sport.

Evan
Evan
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

John, that rule is in place to prevent situations such as 1st and 2nd, less than 2 outs, grounder to the shortstop: runner on 2nd intentionally lets the ball hits him or runs into the fielder to prevent a routine double play. Without the rule this would just be one out.

John Autin
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Evan

Evan — I suppose it’s possible that I am citing the wrong rule number. But it is common knowledge that MLB instituted a rule for the exact purpose of preventing what Holliday did. When first instituted, it was commonly known as the McRae Rule. It allows the umpire to call a DP (declaring the batter/runner out at 1st base) when the baserunner is too aggressive trying to “break up the DP.” The rule of thumb that was widely discussed at the time, although I can’t find it in the text now, is that the runner must wind up within reach… Read more »

Ed
Ed
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

Here’s a video of the infamous McRae slide in the ’77 ALCS that led to the “McRae rule”.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/20573094/gif:-hal-mcrae-and-the-mother-of-all-takeout-slides

And here’s video of two Joe Morgan slides. Make sure to check out the second one:

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/16/joe-morgan-looks-at-matt-hollidays-slide-and-laughs/

Evan
Evan
9 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

I know I’m a little biased and probably in the minority here, but I thought Holliday’s slide pushed but didn’t cross the boundaries of legal. He slides before the base (unlike McRae) and follows through into Scutaro. The reason the contact took place where it did is because of where Scutaro was trying to avoid the contact (or take the throw) – where Holliday ended up wasn’t all that uncommon for where a player sliding into 2nd to break up a double play ends up. If Scutaro had been on the base at the time of collision and been flipped… Read more »

Doug
Doug
9 years ago
Reply to  Evan

I saw this rule applied (wrongly in my view) in a game this year. Situation was runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs. Ball was hit semi-weakly (harder than a slow roller, but not sharply) to short-3rd hole, and runner on second stopped momentarily to avoid being hit by the ball. Shortstop fielded the ball and recorded out at second. Everything seemed innocuous until the 3rd base ump invoked this rule, saying the runner at 2nd, by stopping in the basepath, had prevented the shortstop from charging the ball which (apparently, in the umpire’s judgment) might have allowed the defense… Read more »

Doug
Doug
9 years ago
Reply to  RJ

I was somewhat surprised that Holliday didn’t get plunked once the score got to 5-1. He came up in the 5th with 2 out, runner on second, and in the 8th with 1 out, bases empty. Probably the 5th was too early, especially with a man on, but I think that AB in the 8th would have been an opportune time to send a message.

RJ
RJ
9 years ago
Reply to  Doug

I’m guessing the events in the bottom of the 4th had something to do with it. Why bother hitting him when he’s managed to both fire up your team and directly contribute to your cause by muffing a routine play?

Larry
Larry
9 years ago

Doug, it seems starting pitchers haven’t hit very well in the post-season. I think I saw where Babe Ruth only got one hit as a pitcher in the WS. The DH started shortly after the expansion of the post-season with divisional play, so that knocked out half of the games right there. So we are left with only NL games in an era when the strategy is to go to relief rather quickly. While unexpected, it is reasonable that it took so long to have reciprocal doubles by starting pitchers

Doug
Doug
9 years ago
Reply to  Larry

True enough.

Both starters have doubled only 204 times in regular season play since 1918, and only 64 times since 1961.

BTW, that one hit by Ruth as a pitcher was a triple to score two. When Ruth was relieved, he moved to LF to keep his bat in the lineup (it was actually a form of double-switch as the left-fielder had made the last out in the previous inning).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS191809090.shtml

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
9 years ago
Reply to  Doug

There have been 1328 post-season games since 1903 and pitchers have hit one or more doubles in just 81 of them. Only Marius Russo (1943) and Orel Hershiser (1988) have hit as many as two in one game.

Ed
Ed
9 years ago

Chris Carpenter has actually doubled in two straight post season games. Can any other pitcher match that?

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
9 years ago
Reply to  Ed

I found three pitchers who doubled in 2 consecutive post-season games.

Murry Dickson 10-9-46 and 10-15-46 (WS)
Early Wynn 9-30-54 and 10-1-59 (WS)
Tom Seaver 10-6-73 and 10-10-73 (NCLS)

Doug
Doug
9 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Should also mention Ken Holtzman who doubled in consecutive World Series games – game 7 in 1973 and game 1 in 1974. Those were also consecutive post-season appearances for Holtzman, who didn’t appear in the intervening ALCS.

Holtzman is the only pitcher with 3 career doubles in the post-season. He also has a home run, so all four of his post-season hits are for extra bases, good for a 1.126 OPS in 14 PAs. Quite a contrast from his .393 OPS in 665 regular season PAs.

birtelcom
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Larry

Babe Ruth did indeed have only one hit in his 11 PAs as a pitcher in the post-season, although it was a triple. Overall since 1903, the Play Index shows pitchers when batting in the post-season have had a slash line of .131 BA/.169 OBP/.168 SLG/.338 OPS. That is very similar to the slash line for pitchers as hitters during the 2012 regular season (.129 BA/.162 OBP/.166 SLG/.327 OPS).

Larry
Larry
9 years ago

There are a couple of rules that allow the umpire, by his judgment, to rule the batter/runner out (thus completing a double play) due to the actions of a preceding runner. Rule 7.09(e) is the “Don Hoak Rule”. On April 21, 1957 the Reds were playing the Braves. They had runners on first and second, less than 2 outs when the batter hit a grounder to SS. Don Hoak was the R2 – he simply fielded the grounder and flipped the ball to the SS. On April 22, 1957, the two league presidents announced the immediate existence of Rule 7.09(e)… Read more »

Larry
Larry
9 years ago

@ Ed, The link corrected the runner to be Hal McRae. Indeed, I got a freeze frame as McRae prepared for his roll block by turning 90 degrees to the baseline. Clearly seen is his number 11. It would not have been a good career move for Joe Morgan to have done that since he played second and would have been wide open for retribution. The first slide was by Bench and it was perfectly executed. BTW, weren’t there some shenanigans involved where the opponent played back so Brett could get a couple of hits on the last day of… Read more »