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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread


Otto von Ballpark
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Now do it three more times. :)

Yeah, it sounds harder when you put it that way for Tampa, than it does if said for LA. Both have strong offenses, both have good pitching, but I just don't sense that the Rays stand to come out on top in a low-scoring game. The Dodgers seem too capable of pressing a bend-but-don't-break defense until they do break.

 

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I don't know if anyone has brought this up, but after watching replays over and over (curious to match up the misplays to how they scored it in the box score), I suddenly noticed something else: I think Brett Phillips made a baserunning blunder that could have cost his team dearly. It's at around the 16:00 mark in this video of the entire half-inning:

 

 

He has motored smoothly to second, watching the miscue in CF in front of him. Even though with 2 outs his run can not possibly matter, it's always better to advance a base in case the inning continues, so as to rule out the force. So, OK up to that point. After rounding second slightly, he stops, and even moves back toward the bag - he is done.

 

Then he notices the ball has gotten past the catcher. He takes off for third. Good baseball instinct 99% of the time, but dead wrong. Right?

 

If Arozarena scores, game is over. If Arozarena is tagged out, inning is over. But... what if somehow Arozarena has to return to third base, for some impossible reason that actually wound up nearly happening? Indeed, there is an instant, at around the 16:14 mark on this video, where both runners are heading toward third base; low comedy is about to break out. Stay at second, Phillips, and the inning perhaps goes on. Both men on third, somebody's out and the inning's over.

 

Oops, quick way to go from hero to goat. He's lucky.

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Yeah good catch. It’s close. Would Phillips be able to retreat to second if Arozarena beats a full retreat back to third? What I also noticed was Jansen not backing up home plate. And if the umpire is standing two inches more to his right, which way does the ball carom? Craziness!

The players just aren't as good with the fundamentals as back when you and I were kids. :)

 

The point is, there is literally no way the inning can continue with Phillips standing on third base - either the game is over with a win, or the inning is over and they go to extra innings. With him on second, there is one additional minuscule possibility, one that is in the Rays' favor, namely some kind of scramble back to third for Arozarena and the inning goes on. There is also the tiny, tiny chance of Phillips being the one who is put out in some really weird scenario during Arozarena scrambling back - but even ignoring that, the percentage move is to stay on second.

 

That is less true in some other inning, when the inning goes on even if the run scores and so you may as well take the free base. The ninth inning situation is thus a rarity, so I don't really blame Phillips - I'm just saying he dodged a very stray bullet that happened to come closer than you would at first expect, the moment Arozarena fell down.

 

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I don't know if anyone has brought this up, but after watching replays over and over (curious to match up the misplays to how they scored it in the box score), I suddenly noticed something else: I think Brett Phillips made a baserunning blunder that could have cost his team dearly. It's at around the 16:00 mark in this video of the entire half-inning:

I saw him break for third in that replay, and thought it was rather pointless. He was probably just reacting based off instinct at that point, since everything happened so fast.

 

But the better replay captures the moment at 16:15 in that video. Here's a still frame from when the catcher is attempting his swipe tag:

 

4peD6L1.png

 

You can see here Phillips is just starting to break away from second. Arozarena is already too far gone to simply retreat to third -- he's a dead duck hung up in a rundown, if the catcher has the ball. I'm not sure Phillips is really thinking about taking third or just offering some potential distraction for the defenders in the event of that rundown -- Phillips wasn't anywhere close to third, was watching the play in front of him, and would have had plenty of time to retreat to second himself if the ball got away and Arozarena was able to escape the rundown and retreat all the way to third.

 

Pointless, probably adrenaline fueled, but I don't think he was in any particular danger of a blunder.

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I watched very little of the game but I did see the last play and I thought exactly the same thing as the other recent posters regarding Phillips. If Arozarena wound up at third there was an advantage for Phillips to be at second base rather than first, specifically that it eliminates a force at second. But as soon as he reached second base he should have stood on the base until the inning was over. (Unless the next batter walked or hit a home run.) There wouldn't have been any reason for him to even take a lead in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on third.

 

This reminds me of a story an acquaintance told me. He had done some high school girls softball umpiring, and this apparently happened in a game to determine a birth in the Wisconsin state tournament some years ago. Last inning, home team down by one run, runner on third, two outs. The batter hits a home run. The runner on third base, in her joy and celebration, does not touch home. The girl who hit the home run circles the bases and touches home. The coach of the visiting team points this out to the umpire, who correctly rules that the batter is out for passing the runner. That becomes the third out and no run scores. The visiting team wins the game and goes to state.

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Analytics may get you to the postseason, but they are not going to win it for you. No way you pull Snell there with 73 pitches....... I mean, he is out there "risking my(his) life"! They are just not going to let him see the lineup a third time. Pitcher's need to fight to stay on the mound when a front office controlled manager comes out there in a situation like this and wants to pull you. If this goes down now how it looks like it will, Cash is never gonna hear the end of it.

 

Anderson, Curtiss, and Graterol must be thankful they are not on the Twins or in the system anymore. They get to play and actually advance in the playoffs - and be in a World Series.

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Analytics may get you to the postseason, but they are not going to win it for you. No way you pull Snell there with 73 pitches....... I mean, he is out there "risking my(his) life"! They are just not going to let him see the lineup a third time. Pitcher's need to fight to stay on the mound when a front office controlled manager comes out there in a situation like this and wants to pull you. If this goes down now how it looks like it will, Cash is never gonna hear the end of it.

 

Anderson, Curtiss, and Graterol must be thankful they are not on the Twins or in the system anymore. They get to play and actually advance in the playoffs - and be in a World Series.

This does feel like a Twins postseason game - leaving 4 runners on combined in the 1st and 2nd innings, failing to score any more runs after that, and yanking the pitcher too quickly.

 

Also, Nick Anderson has given up an earned run in EACH of his last 7 outings. All 3 against the Astros and all 3 against the Dodgers. Not acceptable for their supposed best reliever.

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