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Twins 6, Blue Jays 5: Twins Walk Off the Jays to End a Wild Game


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1 hour ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

You want to talk margin of error?

If you intentionally walk the 7 hitter, and you fail to turn a double play, then the top of the order will come to the plate in the inning, no matter what else you do. That means facing the league leader in batting average in Luis Arraez, rather than Jake Cave.

Once Cave reaches, then you're potentially facing Carlos Correa instead of Tim Beckham.

There's no easy way here. The Jays choice is entirely defensible.

Check out Arraez and Correa's last 7 and 15 games. Cave and Beckham bring a much hotter bat from St.Paul, and Cave is still hot. Arraez and Correa are almost automatic outs right now. I would, as a manager, always figure in the moment as well as reputation.

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1 hour ago, Dantes929 said:

I wasn't speaking to your larger question of intentional walk number but the individual situation.   If you end up walking both those guys you are going to face Urshela and Arraez.     Cave to me is a no brainer because he strikes out a lot and you have a strikeout pitcher.    You strike him out (and actually get the out) and numbers change.    There are definitely situations where I would walk guys so I am surprised by your stats but last night would not be exhibit A for intentionally walking guys.   As far as walks go I think players don't work on it as much but also I think it is just tougher to hit a 98mph fastball than the 92mph that guys used to face.    On the flip side, the only thing worse than major league players executing a sacrifice bunt is major league teams defending sacrifice bunts so kind of a wash for me.

Not to kick a dead horse here, but I wasn't talking about walking both.  You walk Cave, setting up a force at all 3 bases.  You pitch to Beckham, and (assuming he doesn't end the game) Contreras hoping to get the ground ball.  The walk to Beckham was only after what happened with Cave and his taking 2nd.  Rather than have 2nd and third with no out, I would walk Beckham to get a force everywhere.  Once you lost Cave, you were going to face Arraez anyway, unless it ends before that.  So, while I might be able to get the no walk at all thought, once it got to 2nd and 3rd no out, it ends any doubt about walking Beckham.  But there would only be one IBB in either scenario.  

Overall, I wonder why the strategy is considered taboo; heck, I can't even convince anyone on this site it is still sound.  :)  The strategy I described would have been normal for a century.  What happened recently to change that?  It's almost like when they decided not to actually throw the 4 balls outside before he took his base, they all said what's the use?  :)  

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13 hours ago, Mark G said:

Overall, I wonder why the strategy is considered taboo; heck, I can't even convince anyone on this site it is still sound.  :)  The strategy I described would have been normal for a century.  What happened recently to change that?  It's almost like when they decided not to actually throw the 4 balls outside before he took his base, they all said what's the use?  :)  

It is not taboo. There have been 80 intentional walks in MLB extra innings this year, at ten times the frequency of the next highest inning. It’s just not a strategy chosen in every game.

I don’t think you are considering strikeouts enough here. Strikeouts are extremely common in the modern game, much more than double plays. And strikeouts rarely allow base runners to advance and virtually never allow the batter to reach. On average, Jake Cave strikes out in a third of his plate appearances, with Tim Beckham not far behind — and Jordan Romano strikes out more batters than an average pitcher. There is a huge cost to passing up those opportunities hoping for a much rarer double play.

And the Jays strategy did not require perfect execution to work, as you claim. Batters fail to reach base on a strikeout, what, 99.9% of the time? That was a massive fluke. Judging the soundness of their strategy on that outcome is like judging the soundness of an intentional walk based on the pitcher committing a balk right after it. Once a fluke event like that happened, they were going to be between a rock and a hard place regardless of their strategy choice.

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13 hours ago, h2oface said:

Check out Arraez and Correa's last 7 and 15 games. Cave and Beckham bring a much hotter bat from St.Paul, and Cave is still hot. Arraez and Correa are almost automatic outs right now. I would, as a manager, always figure in the moment as well as reputation.

“Almost automatic out” Luis Arraez went 3-for-5 in the very next game. So do you have any predictive power about these “moments”, or do you just learn about them after they’ve started or ended?

And Tim Beckham’s “hot bat from St. Paul” was 2-for-13 with 5 Ks, and Cave’s hot bat actually struck out. Was that a triumph of “moment” or “reputation”?

Look, the Jays were likely to lose just like every other team heading into the bottom of the 10th tied. There is no managerial malpractice in pitching to Cave or Beckham in that situation.

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3 hours ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

And Tim Beckham’s “hot bat from St. Paul” was 2-for-13 with 5 Ks

I pointed out when he was called up that Beckham's "hot bat" was built on the foundation of a .522 (!!) batting average on balls in play,  Now in the majors, the BABIP is a below-normal .222.  Odds are that his traditional numbers with the Twins may come up a little from where they are now, but there's no way his numbers with the Saints were anything but an unsustainable mirage.  (With no definable defensive skills anymore, he's no longer a major league player, but there was a roster need.  But I digress.)

So yeah, the opponent should go right after a bat like his, in that situation.

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8 hours ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

“Almost automatic out” Luis Arraez went 3-for-5 in the very next game. So do you have any predictive power about these “moments”, or do you just learn about them after they’ve started or ended?

And Tim Beckham’s “hot bat from St. Paul” was 2-for-13 with 5 Ks, and Cave’s hot bat actually struck out. Was that a triumph of “moment” or “reputation”?

Look, the Jays were likely to lose just like every other team heading into the bottom of the 10th tied. There is no managerial malpractice in pitching to Cave or Beckham in that situation.

Look, I just wait for you to use the "predictive power" you are trying to chastise me about after they've started or ended, even a game later and the next day, or two, if they help you in an isolated instance. I even count on it.

Nothing I said was out of line to consider in the least. And thank you for reminding me and all yet again that the statistical odds say "the Jays were likely to lose just like every other team heading into the bottom of the 10th tied." One can never say it too many times.

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10 hours ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

It is not taboo. There have been 80 intentional walks in MLB extra innings this year, at ten times the frequency of the next highest inning. It’s just not a strategy chosen in every game.

I don’t think you are considering strikeouts enough here. Strikeouts are extremely common in the modern game, much more than double plays. And strikeouts rarely allow base runners to advance and virtually never allow the batter to reach. On average, Jake Cave strikes out in a third of his plate appearances, with Tim Beckham not far behind — and Jordan Romano strikes out more batters than an average pitcher. There is a huge cost to passing up those opportunities hoping for a much rarer double play.

And the Jays strategy did not require perfect execution to work, as you claim. Batters fail to reach base on a strikeout, what, 99.9% of the time? That was a massive fluke. Judging the soundness of their strategy on that outcome is like judging the soundness of an intentional walk based on the pitcher committing a balk right after it. Once a fluke event like that happened, they were going to be between a rock and a hard place regardless of their strategy choice.

The perfect execution I was talking about was 2nd and 3rd, no out, and no force anywhere.  At that point he was going to see the top of the order no matter what, and a force at every base would be simply more advantageous than no force anywhere.  That doesn't change no matter how many times a guy strikes out, or how many strike outs a pitcher has.  That is not my opinion, it it the opinion of almost every manager in the game for over a century.  The computers apparently say different.  Oh well.

A question:  if the batter was Buxton in either of the at bats I was referring to, do you pitch to him or walk him?  He strikes out just as often as the others, and is only hitting .220.  That would mean you pitch to him, as you describe it.  But I will bet they walk him.  I am asking a macro question, not a micro one, when I ask about the strategies used in todays game.  If there are 10 time more IBB's in extra innings than in any other inning, why have we only issues 4 all year?  And only received 5, not all of which were in extra innings?  It is just another example of things that don't happen much anymore.  Strike outs and home runs appear to be all anyone cares about.  I have wondered why for a while, now, and I appear to be a loner there.  Again, oh well.  :)  

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