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First Inning Blues...

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16 replies to this topic

#1 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:48 AM

So again today we start the game giving up a first inning run. I quickly checked baseball-reference and the team ERA in the first inning is 9.43 - far and away above any other inning. The next closest is the fifth inning, at 5.14. I can understand that, as you are talking about the third time through the order usually, and pitch count is now in the high double digits. But why do we suck so much in the first inning?

Is it a question of other teams putting together quality scouting reports so they can do their homework well and be waiting for what is coming? Is it a case of our starters being too predictable their first time through the lineup? Is there an issue with the pregame warmup and preparation? All of the above? Granted, this is not a good rotation, but the difference between the first time through the order (OPS 0.936) and the second time through the order (0.810) shows that something is going particularly wrong in the opening frames.

#2 ThePuck

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:52 AM

Take it one step further...our first inning ERA is the worst in baseball...with the 29th team more than a half a run less...

#3 GCTF

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

I also have the second-ninth inning blues

#4 Boom Boom

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:07 AM

Our sinkerballers are too strong at the start of the game.

#5 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

Our sinkerballers are too strong at the start of the game.


Please say more - I would like to know what that means.

Edited by IdahoPilgrim, 22 May 2013 - 11:14 AM.


#6 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:14 AM

I looked up a few more stats to add to the mix. League wide the first inning does have the highest ERA (4.56) and the 5th is second (4.46) but clearly the discrepancy is much greater on the Twins than other teams.

Also, OPS first time through the lineup league-wide is .722, second time through is .725 - virtually the same, so the Twins numbers are particularly glaring in the discrepancy between the two.

#7 Boom Boom

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

Please say more - I would like to know what that means.


I don't know if it really means anything, but Blyleven on the broadcast has said several times that sinkerballers perform better when their arm is a little tired.

#8 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:27 AM

I don't know if it really means anything, but Blyleven on the broadcast has said several times that sinkerballers perform better when their arm is a little tired.


Thx. I'm assuming that it means that the tendency is to throw too hard and as a result the sinkerball doesn't sink, leaving it up.

It's gotta be more than that, though.

#9 mike wants wins

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:38 AM

Thx. I'm assuming that it means that the tendency is to throw too hard and as a result the sinkerball doesn't sink, leaving it up.

It's gotta be more than that, though.


It is, but you expect deep analysis from Bert? Or any Twins' announcer?

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#10 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:39 AM

It is, but you expect deep analysis from Bert? Or any Twins' announcer?


Point taken.

#11 spideyo

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:11 PM

If I recall correctly, in 2010, didn't we lead the league in runs SCORED in the first inning?

#12 Boom Boom

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:14 PM

I'm sure one could do a fairly deep analysis of days rest on sinkerballers and their performance by inning if one was so inclined. It may just be hogwash.

#13 spideyo

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

I'm way too lazy to do the research, but I'm curious as well to know how many of those 1st inning runs are due to home runs, walks, "easy hits" or anything else that is totally the pitcher's fault, and how many can be attributed to weak defense and/or errors

#14 snepp

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:20 PM

I'm going to attribute it to bad pitchers trying to "establish the strikezone" when facing the top of the order.

#15 Danchat

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:36 PM

The obvious answer is that the opposing teams get all their runs in the 1st inning and then stop trying. They feel a little bad for us and rest up for when they face a real team.

#16 TheLeviathan

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:38 PM

Well, this is easily explained. The first inning is far and away the most likely time one of our starters will still be in the game!

#17 silverslugger

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:07 PM

I'm going to attribute it to bad pitchers trying to "establish the strikezone" when facing the top of the order.


You beat me to it Snepp, couldn't agree more. Our starters are facing their best batters and not throwing as many secondary pitches/off speed stuff as they try to establish and keep the pitch count down. Also, by the fifth these same pitchers are facing these same batters third time through and the batters have seen everything they have to offer which is, unfortunately in our case, not much.