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Game notes – Tuesday 8/30/2011

Posted by John Autin on August 31, 2011

-- Ramon Santiago pinch-ran in the 8th, stayed in the game, and won it for Detroit with a HR in the 10th, his first-ever walk-off shot.

  • It was the 3rd HR this year by a player who also pinch-ran. The others:
Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 David Cooper 2011-05-10 TOR BOS W 7-6 2 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.428 1.152 3.240 1 PR 1B
2 Eric Patterson 2011-05-03 SDP PIT W 6-5 3 2 1 2 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.329 2.442 1.987 2 PR 2B
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/31/2011.

-- Roy Halladay came into this game with no RBI in 58 ABs this year, then hit a 3-run double. He got his 16th win (7 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits), snapping a 2-start winless "streak."

  • The last time Halladay went 3 straight starts without a win was June 10-20 of last year.

-- How often do you see a line like CC Sabathia put up tonight in New York's 5-2 win? -- 6 IP, 10 Ks, 10 hits (with a HR and 2 doubles), 2 walks. The last game of 6 IP or less with double-figures in both Ks and hits was in 2007, by Brandon Webb.

  • In the 2nd, Carl Crawford did something he'd only done once in 68 prior PAs against Sabathia: He drew a walk. In his next trip, he did something he'd never done before, taking CC deep.
  • The BoSox left 16 men on base, going 2 for 13 with RISP, one of which did not lead to a run.
  • At 3 hours, 59 minutes, it was the longest regulation game of the year for Boston, and the 2nd-longest for the Yankees (after their walk-filled, salami-stuffed 22-9 defeat of Oakland).

-- Catch us if you can! Arizona leads 9-3 in the 8th, seeking their season-best 8th straight win.

  • The D-backs had allowed 1 run or less in 5 straight games, tying a franchise mark, and 6 total runs in the 7-game win streak. Texas has this year's longest streak allowing 1 run or less, 6 games in July.

-- If only we could: The Giants trail Chicago 5-1 in the 7th. Carlos Beltran is 0-3, stranding 3 RISP with 2 out. The Giants are looking down the barrel of a 6-game deficit.

-- With 2 HRs tonight, Mike Trout (20 years and 23 days old) became the youngest with a multi-HR game since Andruw Jones in 1996. Since 1965, Jones and Junior Griffey are the only players younger than Trout with 2 HRs in a game.

  • Trout, the youngest hitter in the AA Texas League this year, was among the leaders in BA, OBP and SLG, tied for 1st with 13 triples, and 3rd with 33 SB.

-- The .242 BA may hide the historic nature of Carlos Santana's season. With a 121 OPS+ (before his 21st HR tonight), he would be the 9th catcher ever with a qualifying OPS+ of at least 120 within his first 2 seasons. And only 4 other catchers have had a year of 20 HRs and a .350 OBP within their first 2 years.

-- Prince Fielder made his 13th error, 3 more than any other 1B this year, contributing a 2-run Cardinals inning a 2-1 game.

-- Mike Stanton forged into a 3-way for the NL HR lead, bombing his 31st into the "oppo" upper deck in New Shea.

-- Matt Wieters might never justify being taken with the #5 overall pick in 2007, but a young catcher with a 105 OPS+ (before tonight's HR) who negates the running game is a valuable piece. Wieters has thrown out 40% of would-be thieves, and the O's have allowed just 65 SB, best in the AL. His hitting has improved this year; he's cut his K rate and upped his SLG by about 50 points. He doesn't have to produce the superstar slashes he had in the minors (.343/.438/.576) to be a very good MLB player, but those numbers do give hope for continued improvement.

-- Houston's J.D. Martinez has 29 RBI in 29 games. Like Trout, Martinez was one of the top hitters in the Texas League.

23 Responses to “Game notes – Tuesday 8/30/2011”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I'll leapfrog my own intended comments to comment on Wieters. It doesn't look like he's going to be the (super)star some projected after his '08 minor league season. But he certainly looks on pace to have a quality MLB career. And I'll bet that's quite deserving of a #5 pick.

    Look here:
    Only a bit more than half of #5 picks have made the majors, and they've averaged 10.2 WAR in their careers. Now, that's far from a conclusive study. It's my impression (unconfirmed) that high draft picks are succeeding at a higher rate than they did many years ago. And it would be more accurate to look at surrounding picks, not just #5s. Still, it's obvious that #5 picks don't regularly turn into stars, and Wieters appears on pace to have a good career.

  2. Johnny Twisto Says:

    On the Yankee game, a few items which won't be obvious from the boxscore:

    Top 2, runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out. The lefty-batting Eric Chavez hits a medium-strength grounder just to the right of second. In real time, I was surprised Pedroia didn't reach it (it appeared to just tick off his glove). On the replay, I realized he had started cutting for 2nd, apparently thinking Scutaro would field it. Ten feet away from the ball, he adjusted his angle, but couldn't quite get there. If he had gone for the ball the whole way, he catches it, and it's probably an inning-ending DP instead of an RBI. On the Yankee telecast, Al Leiter (a good, aware announcer) notes that perhaps Pedroia, shifted towards first, thought Scutaro would make the play. He never got to pointing out that Pedey was aimed for 2nd and then re-angled at the last second. The Mets' announcers would have seen this, I think.

    Bottom 4, runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 outs. Marco Scutaro doubles down the left field line. Brett Gardner cuts the ball off in the little doorway midway down the line. If it bounces off that wall, which it does with most left fielders, McDonald probably scores.

    I guess I should also note that Cervelli was hit with a pitch because he committed the egregious sin of giving a little clap when he crossed the plate after homering in his previous PA. Baseball players are the most sensitive little witches.

    Dammit, I've forgotten the other event or two I wanted to point out. Anyway, the aforementioned plays can all be seen here:!/video

  3. Johnny Twisto Says:

    On the '07 draft, it's still too early to evaluate it, but the guys picked immediately after Wieters don't look like they're going to be much better. Madison Bumgarner went #10 and Jason Heyward was #14, but they have a lot to prove (as does Wieters). Wieters is almost certainly going to be one of the top several picks of that first round. (I can't say a later-round pick who blooms proves a top 10 pick was poor, unless the later-round pick dropped solely because of signing demands.)

  4. Timothy P. Says:

    I don't know how anybody could look at the numbers and objectively come to the conclusion that Jose Bautista is having a better year than Curtis Granderson.

  5. jim Says:


    really? you don't think the guy hitting .311/.453/.642 is having a better year than the guy hitting .274/.376/.587? the difference in PAs is only 50, and one player has had several slumps and injury trouble. the runs scored and RBI numbers are literally entirely the result of granderson hitting in the yankee lineup. put bautista in there, and it's 1920s ruth all over again.

  6. Timothy P. Says:

    The only thing I see Bautista doing better than Granderson is getting more walks. Bautista has been IBB 19 times.

  7. Larry R. Says:

    Bautista...7.9 WAR. Granderson...5.4 WAR. That's almost 50% higher.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The only thing I see Bautista doing better than Granderson is getting more walks.

    If you look closer at #5, you may see that Bautista's BA is 40 points higher and his SLG is 60 points higher. Are those things that count, or are we ignoring them today? You really have "no idea" how *anyone* could think Bautista has played better? I'm surprised, as you are known to be a paragon of objectivity.

  9. John Autin Says:

    My point about Wieters "justifying" his high draft status was poorly worded. I was just trying to capture the aura of mild disappointment that seems to have attached to him as he has "failed" to live up to the hype that followed him from his amateur days through his minor-league mashing.

    Christina Kahrl recently analyzed the running-game impact of 2011 starting catchers, and concluded that Wieters is doing the best all-around job.

  10. John Autin Says:

    Gardner's play on Scutaro's double surely saved a run. He takes great angles.

  11. nightfly Says:

    The Noo Yawk media sorts have been particularly tiresome today. "CC Sabathia solves Red Sox jinx" or word to that effect, all over my monitor and newsprint. Jeepers.

    Boston went 10-27 against Sabathia, with 2 db, 1 hr, 2 bb, 1 hbp, and a wild pitch. Slash line: 370/433/556. They left ten men on and had an eleventh thrown out on the bases (and that seems to be happening a lot to the Sox lately). I mean, forget the relievers for a moment... how did anyone solve anything? They could just as easily had seven runs in those six innings, instead of just two.

  12. Jimbo Says:


    And that's one of the reasons I think dWAR is pretty inaccurate. Gardner makes this nice play that you guys speak of, but statistically, there is nothing to represent it.

    Any player I look at has inconsistent dWAR stats that seem odd. I was just on Chipper Jones page. He has traditionally been a negative dWAR fieler at 3b. But at age 38 in limited action on a wonky knee he scores the highest dWAR of his career somehow? He played 89 games at 3b last year and made 10 errors while starting only 10 DP's and gets a dWAR of 0.8, and this year in 91 games at 3b he has made only 5 errors while starting 13 DP's and has a dWAR of -0.4

    These oddities are with every player, and I think it's just the fluctuational luck of having more or less balls hit to you, causing your range to appear greater or worse. Over a full career I can see the value of dWAR, it seems accurate when looking at players with long careers. But on a smalle sample, such as a single season, dWAR seems useless to me.

  13. Jim Dunne Says:

    (Using the full name now - too many other Jim's posting here, and I link to my own website with my name, so I'm not hiding anything...)

    Sabathia's start reminded me very much of his Game 5 start against the Rangers. He was getting hit around all night, but got a couple big strikeouts. 6 IP, 11 H, 7 K. He gets credit for making pitches when he needed to. The Red Sox DO seem to be running into a lot of outs recently though. It seems like once a week someone gets thrown out trying to extend a single

    I'm pretty sure dWAR does consider the play Gardner made like night. He threw out a runner on the bases, which I believe is part of the calculation.

  14. jiffy Says:

    Twisto, we should all know by now that Timmy P embodies the old quote about drunks, statistics and lightposts (uses them for support, not illumination).

    Maybe long-term a team would rather have Gradnerson than Joey Bats but no question Bautista is the best hitter in the majors this season.

  15. Jimbo Says:


    I didn't realize Gardner threw a runner out.

    I thought he had just made a nice play to hold a runner from getting an extra base. I only read about it, didn't see it. My mistake.

    I don't think defensive stats are complete enough to make dWAR a worthwhile stat, unless you are looking at huge sample sizes like 10 years+. I think a large part of the ups and downs from season to season is just the result of having more or less balls hit your way.

  16. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Gardner did not throw a runner out on that play. He just got the ball back in quickly to hold a runner at third. (And actually, I think he would get a tiny amount of "arm" credit for that in some defensive systems, in that a runner on 1st only got to 3rd and not home following a double.) But I agree, part of my reason for sharing the Gardner and Pedroia stories was that no matter how finely we are able to slice the zones on the field, even if FieldFX data one day tells us how much distance every defender covered, I think there will always be certain defensive plays which aren't quite quantifiable.

  17. Jim Dunne Says:


    You know what? I'm thinking of the wrong play - I had the play were Swisher threw Scutaro out at second base in my head. The Gardner play did not result in an assist.

    So, while you're right, players taking great angles to balls might not be given enough of a positive over a small sample, players who do the little things like this well on defense will invariably also take good routes on balls in the air, resulting in more outs. I really do think it evens out over time.

    There's no perfect defensive statistic, just ones that are better than others. I mean, for crying out loud, networks are still using freaking "fielding percentage" as a guide for what teams have the best defense. Fielding percentage! In 2011!

  18. John Autin Says:

    @17, JD -- Season fielding percentage is OK, I guess -- but what I really want to know is a team's F% over its last 10 games. 🙂

  19. Brendan Says:

    Bautista's using roids.

  20. John Autin Says:

    Always good to hear an informed opinion from the world's foremost anti-doping expert.

  21. Jim Dunne Says:

    Doping? Nah, Brendan is accusing Jose Bautista of creating a Jose Bautista android, capable of destroying us all.

    The press has been quiet about any androids assumptions thus far, but deep down they know. Oh, they know indeed... We're only months away from Mike Lupica being very, very disappointed in us all.

  22. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    It was the 3rd HR this year by a player who also pinch-ran. The others
    . . . were hit by players who have toiled most of the season in the minors. David Cooper has not appeared in a big-league game since May 25, Eric Patterson since June 8.

  23. John Autin Says:

    @22, KT -- Now, if Aaron Rowand had also been on that list, we'd really have a trend!