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Article: TEX 4, MIN 1: Quiet Bats Can’t Back Up Great Pitching

devin smeltzer trevor may ryne harper miguel sano byron buxton
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#41 jkcarew

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:55 AM

Horrible play by Buxton. If you tag there, you jog down the base-path a few feet to observe the flight of the ball. If it's airmailed in the direction of home, you break to 3rd in a 'delayed' fashion. You might be safe, but if you're out, the catcher (or a deep cutoff player) is the one throwing you out, and the run scores. If you want to be 'aggressive', that's how you do it on that play. With one out and the ball hit where it was and another runner tagging from 3rd, you never...under any circumstances...just put your head down and sprint as fast as you can to third and get yourself thrown out. Especially in a tight game where runs are hard to come by. That, obviously, made it an even stranger decision.

 

Having said that, mistakes and weird stuff happen. The bigger problem recently has been the lack of consistency with the offense. It's probably a safe bet that, even with needed improvements, pitching overall for the Twins is going to be 'just ok'. The offense has to be better than that to continue the ride.

Edited by jkcarew, 08 July 2019 - 11:13 AM.

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#42 spycake

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:02 AM

 

So does something like that reduce his WAR?

Yes, I think so. Baserunning is a component of WAR, and I assume outs on the bases have an impact.

 

That said, it might not have that big of an impact, since WAR is likely looking at it in a context-neutral way. And Buxton has probably accumulated enough baserunning value otherwise to offset this gaffe pretty well.


#43 bighat

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 02:05 PM

Didn't see the Buxton play and finally went back to watch it. I figured there's nothing wrong with trying to be aggressive and Buxton should always try and tag...what nobody mentioned here was that there was a runner on 3rd tagging also. Yeeps, yeah that was a bad play. That said, he was only barely out!

 

All said and done, I hope Buxton continues to be aggressive.

 

We can rail on Buxton all we want, and yeah he'd like a do over, but this offense has been really boom-or-bust lately and they need to be more consistent.


#44 Blake

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 02:41 PM

In looking at this game, and other such "opener" games in the past, I think the Twins need to figure out a way to win these games. It appears this is an effective way to beat the Twins. If so, then expect playoff teams to go with this sort of pitching arrangement, should the Twins make the playoffs.


#45 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 03:35 PM

Buxton should be safe 10 of 10 times on that play, because he shouldn't tag up 10 of 10 times.

That was a really, really bad baseball mistake. Really bad, and a mental error which I find difficult to ignore. I'm pretty confident Buxton would agree.

That it cost a game is beside the point, almost. Hopefully that won't ever happen again.


I can see that you feel strongly that it was the wrong decision, and I respect that. However, I don’t think it’s as clearcut as you say. There were three possible outcomes:
a) thrown out
B) safe
c) safe, ball gets away

Figuring out the likelihood of each is what you have to figure out. Just speculation, but my guess is:

10/70/20

So 10% chance the inning ends, 70% chance of a run score, runner on 3rd, and 20% chance of two runs scoring.

Then you also have to figure out what percentage of the time he would score from third with two outs when he wouldn’t have scored from second; wild pitch or infield hit.

I know the rule don’t make the third out at third. I just don’t think the decision was as definitively poor as you say. The percentages could make it pretty close.

#46 USAFChief

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 03:47 PM

 

I can see that you feel strongly that it was the wrong decision, and I respect that. However, I don’t think it’s as clearcut as you say. There were three possible outcomes:
a) thrown out
:cool: safe
c) safe, ball gets away

Figuring out the likelihood of each is what you have to figure out. Just speculation, but my guess is:

10/70/20

So 10% chance the inning ends, 70% chance of a run score, runner on 3rd, and 20% chance of two runs scoring.

Then you also have to figure out what percentage of the time he would score from third with two outs when he wouldn’t have scored from second; wild pitch or infield hit.

I know the rule don’t make the third out at third. I just don’t think the decision was as definitively poor as you say. The percentages could make it pretty close.

A 10 percent chance he's thrown out, and a 20 percent chance the ball gets away?? 

 

Let's just say we disagree. I have no idea the chance he gets thrown out, but it's a lot more than 10 percent--a lot more, he did get thrown out, remember--and I would estimate the chances the ball gets away far enough for him to score at less than 1 percent. These are major league players.

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#47 ashbury

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:02 PM

A 10 percent chance he's thrown out, and a 20 percent chance the ball gets away?? 

 

Let's just say we disagree. I have no idea the chance he gets thrown out, but it's a lot more than 10 percent--a lot more, he did get thrown out, remember--and I would estimate the chances the ball gets away far enough for him to score at less than 1 percent. These are major league players.

The problem is also that Schoop just is not a fast baserunner. You have to give him time to score. Buxton's speed actually worked against him and was part of the problem here - if Cron had tried that, the ball would have reached 3rd base just as quickly, but Cron would not have been tagged out until Schoop (who wasn't hustling, to my eye) made it home.

 

"Don't make the first or third out at third base" is usually a decent rule of thumb anyway. Buxton can score on essentially any single. Being on third with two outs gives him a shot if there's a WP/PB, but it's just not that valuable, compared to the risk of NOT EVEN SCORING SCHOOP'S RUN.

 

That's the kind of bonehead play I would have made*, back in my slow-pitch or vintage-ball day. Thinking you've found an edge, instead giving the opponent one last shot at salvaging the situation.

 

 

* Harsh criticism of anyone, I know. Sorry, Byron, not sorry.

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#48 Linus

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:06 PM

The risk / reward on that play is ominous. The reason you don’t do it is there frequently is “the perfect throw”. It gains you so little advantage you should never take that risk. People need to analyze this like a poker hand and it would never happen
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#49 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 06:34 PM

I can see that you feel strongly that it was the wrong decision, and I respect that. However, I don’t think it’s as clearcut as you say. There were three possible outcomes:
a) thrown out
B) safe
c) safe, ball gets away

Figuring out the likelihood of each is what you have to figure out. Just speculation, but my guess is:

10/70/20

So 10% chance the inning ends, 70% chance of a run score, runner on 3rd, and 20% chance of two runs scoring.

Then you also have to figure out what percentage of the time he would score from third with two outs when he wouldn’t have scored from second; wild pitch or infield hit.

I know the rule don’t make the third out at third. I just don’t think the decision was as definitively poor as you say. The percentages could make it pretty close.


Your percentage that Buxton scores on a wild throw is way, way too high.
There is no way that major leaguers throw that ball away 1 in 5 times, I'd guess it's closer to 1 in 50.

#50 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 09:03 PM

A 10 percent chance he's thrown out, and a 20 percent chance the ball gets away??

Let's just say we disagree. I have no idea the chance he gets thrown out, but it's a lot more than 10 percent--a lot more, he did get thrown out, remember--and I would estimate the chances the ball gets away far enough for him to score at less than 1 percent. These are major league players.


Ok, I concede that saying it was a 20% chance of a wild throw (which includes, mostly, deflecting off of Buxton; it almost happened on that play) is probably too high. But I still think there was 10% or less chance that he is thrown out. Gallo threw the ball 94.7mph, it bounced once and was caught literally on Buxton’s side, and even with all that, he still was out by only a fraction. (To me, if the ump calls him safe, there isn’t enough evidence to overturn it.) That was a highly unlikely out.

I agree the risk of ending the inning was a huge downside, and I also agree that the advantage gained was small.

But let’s say that the throw is six inches to the left, hits Buxton’s shoulder, he scores, and they go up 3-1, and go on to win the game.

It was the same decision. Would you be harping about his awful decision then, or would you be applauding his aggressive play?

I’m still not arguing he made the right decision. I’m just saying it wasn’t as clearcut as you contend.
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#51 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:35 PM

Another poster upthread had it right, I think—the smart play is to take off for third, but check part way to see where the throw is going.

And on plays like that, I think everyone just assumes Buxton is going to be safe anyway.

#52 USAFChief

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 06:47 AM

 

Ok, I concede that saying it was a 20% chance of a wild throw (which includes, mostly, deflecting off of Buxton; it almost happened on that play) is probably too high. But I still think there was 10% or less chance that he is thrown out. Gallo threw the ball 94.7mph, it bounced once and was caught literally on Buxton’s side, and even with all that, he still was out by only a fraction. (To me, if the ump calls him safe, there isn’t enough evidence to overturn it.) That was a highly unlikely out.

I agree the risk of ending the inning was a huge downside, and I also agree that the advantage gained was small.

But let’s say that the throw is six inches to the left, hits Buxton’s shoulder, he scores, and they go up 3-1, and go on to win the game.

It was the same decision. Would you be harping about his awful decision then, or would you be applauding his aggressive play?

I’m still not arguing he made the right decision. I’m just saying it wasn’t as clearcut as you contend.

Let's say he doesn't try to tag, and they go up 2-1, and go on to win the game.

 

 

Ok, I concede that saying it was a 20% chance of a wild throw (which includes, mostly, deflecting off of Buxton; it almost happened on that play) is probably too high. But I still think there was 10% or less chance that he is thrown out. Gallo threw the ball 94.7mph, it bounced once and was caught literally on Buxton’s side, and even with all that, he still was out by only a fraction. (To me, if the ump calls him safe, there isn’t enough evidence to overturn it.) That was a highly unlikely out.

I agree the risk of ending the inning was a huge downside, and I also agree that the advantage gained was small.

But let’s say that the throw is six inches to the left, hits Buxton’s shoulder, he scores, and they go up 3-1, and go on to win the game.

It was the same decision. Would you be harping about his awful decision then, or would you be applauding his aggressive play?

I’m still not arguing he made the right decision. I’m just saying it wasn’t as clearcut as you contend.

I have said more than once, it was the wrong decision no matter the result. I'm 99 percent positive Buxton would say the same thing.

 

This play was unusual, for a reason. I don't remember the last time I saw it. And I doubt I will see it again any time soon...because it's simply not done. Both teams were surprised he would do that, and both teams instantly viewed it as a clear, unequivocal clearcut baserunning gaffe. 

 

I'm all in favor of aggressive baserunning, particularly from someone like Buxton. I love him turning a single into a double, for example, particularly when there are already 2 outs in an inning. I absolutely hate third base coaches not sending runners when there's any chance they score on a hit to the outfield, again particularly with 2 outs. 

 

But this wasn't aggressive, it was dumb. The cost/benefit analysis was done about 2 days after baseball was invented, and it hasn't changed. Nobody does this, and for good reason.

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#53 Twodogs

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 12:58 PM

Ok, I concede that saying it was a 20% chance of a wild throw (which includes, mostly, deflecting off of Buxton; it almost happened on that play) is probably too high. But I still think there was 10% or less chance that he is thrown out. Gallo threw the ball 94.7mph, it bounced once and was caught literally on Buxton’s side, and even with all that, he still was out by only a fraction. (To me, if the ump calls him safe, there isn’t enough evidence to overturn it.) That was a highly unlikely out.

I agree the risk of ending the inning was a huge downside, and I also agree that the advantage gained was small.

But let’s say that the throw is six inches to the left, hits Buxton’s shoulder, he scores, and they go up 3-1, and go on to win the game.

It was the same decision. Would you be harping about his awful decision then, or would you be applauding his aggressive play?

I’m still not arguing he made the right decision. I’m just saying it wasn’t as clearcut as you contend.


Gallo prob isn't really a true CF, prob more like a firstbaseman playing in the OF, sorry Gallo, but that's just my opinion, anyway, he was moving towards the play, so in reality he probably gets thrown out more often on that play, not less. If Jackie Bradley, or one of those dudes made that play, Buck is still out. It was prob a 30 to 40 percent chance he gets gunned down if you consider that most CFers are better than Gallo, hell Buck would have thrown Buck out. Also the problem wasn't that Buck was faster than School, it's the fact that the ball was faster to 3rd than School, even if Cron is running the only way School scores is if the throw beats Cron by so much that he is able to stop and get caught up in a run down. Either way you look at it it was a bad play, because of 2 factors. Because 3rd base is not that important with 2 outs already, ground ball or sac fly doesn't do anything for you. Base hit scores Buck from 2nd and the one thing that no one is talking about is that it was a tie game. Had the Twins been up by 5 or 6 runs then it doesn't really matter, but it does matter in a tie game. Buck has been playing great baseball, he is one of the reasons the Twins are in first place. But that one was just a bad play, a mistake, it happens. You just hope he learns from it for a really important game like in the playoffs.

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