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Game Five Thoughts

Posted by Sean Forman on November 1, 2010

I'm always a little sad when we come to the end of the baseball season.

Also, I'm laying down a marker that I WILL NOT stay up until 1am watching the World Series of Poker. I WILL NOT stay up until 1am watching the World Series of Poker. Of course it isn't on 12-1, so that will help.

As long as Freddy Sanchez is in the game, I will remain unconvinced that amphetamine testing is effective.

With George Bush and Nolan Ryan sitting in the front row each game, where is Chuck Greenberg sitting? He was the actually money behind this summer's bid, right?

Congrats to the Freaking Freaks on keeping their website up during a shoutout during the World Series. Or perhaps that is just an indication of how poor the ratings are for this series.

Charles Komanoff shot me an e-mail about my note from last night about all of the DP's the Giants have turned. The Dodgers turned ten in the 1955 WS while beating the Yankees. Irv Noren filled in for an injured Mickey Mantle for four of the games and had perhaps the worst World Series ever put up a 1 for 16 with five GIDP's.

I won't have game 5 WPA until tomorrow morning, but so far the WPA leaders for the series are for the batters.

| name_common    | wpb   |
+----------------+-------+
| Mitch Moreland | 0.258 |
| Andres Torres  | 0.189 |
| Edgar Renteria | 0.147 |
| Freddy Sanchez | 0.129 |
| Aubrey Huff    | 0.126 |

Pitchers

| name_common       | wpb   |
+-------------------+-------+
| Matt Cain         | 0.495 |
| Madison Bumgarner | 0.477 |
| Colby Lewis       | 0.269 |
| C.J. Wilson       | 0.145 |
| Alexi Ogando      | 0.095 |
| Neftali Feliz     | 0.083 |

I'm guessing if Lincecum wins tonight he's the MVP.

"Posey is standing just a few feet from his mentor." I'm not quite sure how much mentoring Bengie Molina did for Posey this year. They were in San Francisco together for about a month this year.

Last consecutive shutouts in the World Series was in 1966 when the Orioles ended the 1966 WS with three straight shutouts.

Lead owner of the Giants Bill Neukom made his money as the lead counsel for MicroSoft. Started with them when they had 12 employees and stayed with them for quite a long time.

So is Zach Grafnakakalakis playing the same role in Due Date as in the Hangover and Bored to Death or does he have no range?

I feel like I should say something about Renteria, but I've got nothing. OK, here's one. Renteria is the third oldest SS to homer in a World Series. Teh Jeter is #1. Who's #2?

Neftali Feliz for six outs or more....but, but, he never does that?!

"You've got to walk Renteria and pitch to Rowand there." Are they really saying that Renteria is too dangerous to pitch to? Four home runs all year and you really are concerned about him?

Just about a third bad baserunning play by Kinsler there nearly picked off first.

Does McCarver realize that the Huff bunt had no impact on the run scoring in the seventh inning? If Huff, say strikes out. Then Burrell strikes out for two outs and Renteria's home run scores the runners from first and second.

"And Bruce Bochy was six months old when the Giants last won the World Series." And he vowed then and there to win the next one as their manager.

"I don't agree with taking out Lincecum here. He is just at 101 pitches." Tangotiger is yelling at Tim McCarver right now about how the starter is much less effective the 4th time through the lineup.

Congrats Giants. Let's hope the offseason goes quickly.

And now my major pet peeve. Let's cover up the ultra-classy giants jerseys with $10 t-shirts to schill for MLB. Do the players get a cut of that? Is that why they wear them? I guess I just need to let it go.

I always get a kick of how the players congregate on the field and the coaches all hug in the dugout.

Nice interview of Bruce Bochy there.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 1st, 2010 at 9:49 pm and is filed under World Series. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

32 Responses to “Game Five Thoughts”

  1. "I'm always a little sad when we come to the end of the baseball season. "

    Me, too, but it's not over yet. Still have three weeks of Arizona Fall League. Doubleheader tomorrow, and Bryce Harper on Wednesday.

    Who's coming?

    "OK, here's one. Renteria is the third oldest SS to homer in a World Series. Teh Jeter is #1. Who's #2?"

    Ozzie Guillen?

    My only thought is the same one I had all year when watching a FOX broadcast.

    I have no idea who the head of FOX Sports Broadcasting is, but it's painfully clear Ken Rosenthal has a manila folder locked away somewhere full of compromising pictures.

    It's hard enough listening to him, but the only way he should be anywhere close to a camera is on family vacations.

  2. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Congrats to the Giants! I have been waiting a LONG time to say that -- their '62 loss was hard to take, even for an old Redlegs fan like me; and after Koufax retired, I thought they'd finally become the team to beat. As it turned out, I was right -- just forty years {ouch!} ear ly.

    As for the "off-season", how much contact can we set up with some of the Carribean leagues? And the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues are just four months away.

  3. @1... you said Ozzie Guillen and i thought you were insane, because he never played in a World Series. So I looked it up.... and darned if he didn't play with Atlanta in 1999... a year that before looking I would have said was a few years after Ozzie was out of the league...

    But he didn't homer (or even get a hit) in that WS..

  4. Play Index shows me Roger Peckinpaugh is the oldest SS to homer. I thought it was weird that Jeter wasn't no. 1, but I checked and sure enough he didn't homer in last year's Fall Classic. Meh.

  5. "You've got to walk Renteria and pitch to Rowand there." Are they really saying that Renteria is too dangerous to pitch to? Four home runs all year and you really are concerned about him?

    No, but 1st base is open and Edgar right now is swinging a much hotter bat than Rowand. Can't thow Edgar a strike there.

  6. rico petrocelli Says:

    Lincwxum was wicked. 10 Ks to close a WS. Gibson did it aganst the Sox in 67. Who were the other 3?

  7. The Giants deserve this WS. They pitched very well against those Power Rangers!

  8. As a Dodger fan...worst. season. ever.

  9. Am I the only one who heard Joe Buck rattle off the Fox graphic towards the end of the game about the way things were in 1954? Did he really say there were NO teams west of the Mississippi River in 1954? Considering Buck and McCarver both have major Cardinals connections, that's a sad oversight on their part not to notice the poor research....

  10. "Does McCarver realize that the Huff bunt had no impact on the run scoring in the seventh inning? If Huff, say strikes out. Then Burrell strikes out for two outs and Renteria's home run scores the runners from first and second."

    I am NOT a believer in the concept of any outcome being pre-determined (i.e. I don't necessarily think Renteria hits the HR no matter what transpires before his plate appearance). It is possible that Lee pitches to him a little differently with runners on first and second, then he does with runners on second and third (let alone if he pitches to Burrell differently to try to get a DP - although I am inclined to think Burrell strikes out no matter what in that PA). I am not saying it is impossible for Renteria to HR in any other situation, but I think it is possible that Lee was PERHAPS nibbling a little more than he might have if it were first/second, which may have led to the 2-0 count and the HR.

    Therefore, I believe Huff's bunt was one of the best bunts I have ever seen (especially considering he never had a sacrifice prior - stat from FOX, I did not check it) and it DID have a tremendous impact on the game because it EXACTLY led to Renteria's 3-run HR.

    Also, I am a little surprised that someone who lists WPA leaders in thier post (which is an amount that a player helps their team win depending SOLELY on the specific outcome of a PA/event during a given situation - NOT what happens afterward), would also consider Huff's bunt in that situation to have NO effect on the Giants winning. That attitude is the opposite of the idea of WPA. And I am sure that Huff's WPA will end up better (higher) due to his sac bunt, then it would have if he struck out or popped out in a bunt attempt in that same spot.

  11. @10 Tmckelv - you beat me to it with your post...I totally agree with you. Very well said.

  12. I take it you're not a Tim McCarver fan. :D

  13. WanderingWinder Says:

    By the way, Greenberg is NOT the big money behind the Rangers' ownership group. There are a couple guys whose names I can't remember who are the major investors - Greenberg is the big name because with his small amount of money, he's the "managing partner" of the group - just like Bush was when he had a small ownership stake in the team.

  14. @9, ES -- Good catch re: St. Louis situated west of the Mississippi River. (When I heard that statement on Fox, I tried to remember which side of the river St. Louis was on. Pretty sad, considering that I used to live in Chicago.)

  15. A World Series game ending in well under three hours time! Hallelujah!

  16. @6: Sandy Koufax fanned ten Twins in Game Seven of the 1965 Series, his second consecutive shutout (on two days' rest).

  17. @10

    FWIW the WPA chart gives Huff credit for -0% for the sacrifice bunt - a slight negative, but less than 0.5% so it rounds down to zero. I agree with your larger point that it is impossible to say how the bunt affected the subsequent at bats.

    Whether or not the bunt was the correct play at the time is a little difficult to say. From what I remember of the charts, bunting in that situation increases the offense's chances of scoring at least one run, but slightly decreases the overall run expectancy for the inning because of the reduced chances for a larger inning. The WPA charts don't take into account how the starting pitcher is performing on that day or the availability or quality of relief pitchers. Thus the manager might reasonably make the evaluation that a single run would be of much greater value in that particular game than WPA would assign.

  18. @5, Rich Vee --
    "Edgar right now is swinging a much hotter bat than Rowand."

    Over what span of time do you mean?
    At the moment of decision:
    -- Renteria and Rowand were both 0 for 2 in the game.
    -- In the postseason, Renteria was 9 for 34 with a HR. Rowand hadn't played much, but he was 3 for 10, with a triple and a double.
    -- In their careers vs. Lee, Renteria was 4 for 21 with a walk, a HR and 2 doubles; Rowand was 7 for 27 with 3 walks, a HR and 4 doubles.

    I've parsed this a number of ways, but it keeps coming back to this: Edgar Renteria hit .276 with 3 HRs this year, and .264 with a 78 OPS+ over the past 3 years. I can't see putting him on base just because he hit 3 singles the night before.

    Lee made a bad pitch to Renteria, and Edgar crushed it. Lee might have made the same mistake to Rowand, or he might have struck him out. But the day that Cliff Lee is afraid to pitch to the likes of Edgar Renteria will be the day that he's no longer the same pitcher we've come to know over the past 3 years.

  19. Lincecum was dominating last night.

    I am an American man who lives in Colombia, I live in Medellin...so it was was wonderful to see Renteria have his moment of glory. He is a Colombian from the costal city of Baranquilla and Im sure there was a lot of partying in Baranquilla last night and continuing today.....

    Its easy to toss enteria s OPS , but he is a proud professiona baseball player who a few eyars ago was one of the top shorstops in the game. Once again, players play for theiir own pride and their teamates....and those things.....at times are so much more important then OPS, etc. Lee gave him too good a pitch....but Edgar did hit it intot he stands....

    who knows what Linecums future can be? He certainly has the stuff to be the next generational pitcher....Posey impressed me enormously...and the Giants pitching was terrific.....

  20. This was one of the most enjoyable World Series in a long time for me. Congrats to the Giants.

    I love watching team baseball where you never know which player is going to step up and make a big play, get a game winning hit or pitch a shutout. The Giants are that scrappy team with good chemistry.

    You don't need the big home run hitter to win the World Series.

  21. Re: Huff's bunt --
    Assuming that Bochy ordered the sacrifice, I think it was the worst decision he made in the postseason.

    -- Huff was their best hitter throughout the regular season, and was equally good against both lefties and righties. Against Lee in the Series, he had gone 2 for 5 with a double.

    -- Why on earth would you bunt to set up Burrell there? He had been awful all Series (10 Ks in 12 AB thus far); I was very surprised that he started. And even if he weren't struggling so badly, he's just not enough of a contact hitter for that situation.

    And the comment @10 -- "it is possible that Lee was PERHAPS nibbling a little more than he might have if it were first/second, which may have led to the 2-0 count and the HR" -- is tortured logic. It just doesn't make sense if you play it out all the way: If Lee was "nibbling" with Renteria because 1st base was open, and the nibbling led to a 2-0 count, wouldn't Lee then get even MORE careful with his pitches, and/or intentionally walk Renteria? -- rather than groove a belt-high fastball?

    I don't know what Lee's intentions were, but I think he was trying to get Renteria out. He just made a bad pitch, and Edgar made him pay.

  22. Sean: "Tangotiger is yelling at Tim McCarver right now about how the starter is much less effective the 4th time through the lineup."

    I'm sure that Tango and Sean have a better idea of how to research this than I do. But my quick study does not quite confirm the thesis.

    Over the past 3 seasons, here is the MLB average of starting pitchers' OPS, by # of times through the order:
    -- 1st, .717
    -- 2nd, .757
    -- 3rd, .793
    -- 4th+, .776

    Granted, the 4th time is worse than the 2nd, and much worse than the 1st. But it's odd that the 4th time is better than the 3rd, and by almost as much as the gap from 2nd to 4th.

    Also granted, there's selection bias in the data; the SP generally doesn't get to face the lineup a 4th time unless he's going well. And that also makes the "4th+" sample much smaller than the other 3, about 1/10 their size. But these are the data we have, and insofar as they can be used to inform the decision on removing Lincecum, I don't find them totally persuasive.

    And it gets really tricky when we look at Lincecum's own career splits for # of times through the order:
    -- 1st, .524
    -- 2nd, .716
    -- 3rd, .640
    -- 4th+, .661
    (Caveat: His "4th+" sample is just 189 PAs.)

    How about some Pitch Count OPS splits?

    Lincecum:
    -- 1-25, .555
    -- 26-50, .655
    -- 51-75, .642
    -- 76-100, .676
    -- 101+, .543 (288 PAs)

    MLB 2010:
    -- 1-25, .721
    -- 26-50, .717
    -- 51-75, .736
    -- 76-100, .765
    -- 101+, .696

    And it's not just the OPS that goes down after 100 pitches; the individual components (BA, OBP and SLG) are also lower in the "101+" sample than in any other, virtually across the board, for both Lincecum and MLB as a whole.

    How can these data help decide whether to take out Lincecum after 101 pitches, with the #3 hitter coming up for the 4th time? I am genuinely puzzled.

  23. To get rid of the selection bias we would probably need to strictly examine the OPS for the various times through the lineup but only including starts where the starter had a 4th time through the order. But this would still get to the problem of 4th time through the order often being against superior hitters because it is more apt be a partial trip through the order and thus only facing the top of the lineup. Also facing superior pinch hitters is more likely the further into a game the starter goes (especially in the NL). To really get into this you would need to examine some kind of pitcher OPS+ that takes into account the abilities of the hitters faced.

    As for Bochy's decision, watching it last night my impression was that it was more about confidence in Wilson than it was lack of confidence in Lincecum. If it had been Girardi bringing in Rivera in a similar situation I don't think anyone would have questioned it. I'm not intending to equate Wilson with Rivera, but I believe that Bochy likely has a very high level of confidence in Wilson.

  24. I don't know if you frown at posting links here, but I am always amazed at this clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7RNlg6qyyk

    Compare it to last night....They leave the field so quickly and it was game 7 on the road, the great koufax..a shutout...different times.

  25. [...] player who a few eyars ago was one of the top shorstops in the game. Once again players play for theiir own pride and their teamates….and those things…..at [...]

  26. I didn't even see #16 above....correlation!

  27. I am a big Ginats fan and am really happy now. I don't pretend to know what Bochy was thinking but...

    Re: the bunt. Yes, Huff has been the better hitter thna Burrell, but I think when Bochy writes out that lineup card, he has faith in his players, including ones who are slumping. Maybe he was thinking it was Burrell's time or that he would at least hit a sac fly. And maybe he was thinking that it would be one out with two men in scoring position and a single (while you can never count on any hit, a single is generally a lot more likely than a home run) scores two runs, which should be enough, given how Timmy was pitching. Easy to second guess. I think it was a clearly defensible move.

    Re: the Beard. Whatever the splits say about Timmy pitching to the lineup the fourth time, I think that was not relevant. I think he wanted Wilson on the mound in the ninth for many reasons. In no particular order: Wilson did not have a save in the WS and Bochy wanted him to have a chance to get one; it is a very normal move which Bochy has made many times this season- it's not like Timmy was working on a no-hitter or even a shutout; and Bochy wanted Wilson on the mound to close out the series because in the Giants' world, that would be the natural order of things.

  28. Jim Bouldin Says:

    @ 6 Well I'd guess Beckett for the Marlins against the Yankees (03?) was one of em

  29. Jim Bouldin Says:

    @ 21:

    Renteria's post-game quote of the homer pitcher: "The ball no cut". Apparently then, Lee was trying to throw a cutter toward the inside of the plate, and it just didn't do it.

    John @ 22:
    Yes, puzzling stats indeed, but the key stat comparison is the OPS of the SP the 4th time through, vs that of any relievers who replaced them, over the season (or postseason or whatever)

  30. @9 -- I slapped my forehead when they read that graphic. Did St. Louis teleport over from the east side sometime in the 60s?

  31. [...] Game Five Thoughts » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive [...]

  32. @24: I just watched that youtube video of Koufax beating the Twins. It was great hearing Ray Scott do the play-by-play, and not having the screen covered with graphics. The players probably left the field so quickly because they had to start their off-season jobs the next day.