Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey, look over here!

I don't think I've ever done something quite like this but I think this is a worthy moment. Dustin Parkes has an analysis of yesterday's fateful 4th inning over at Getting Blanked that is a near perfect summary of what went wrong and why so many, including myself, were so upset by John Farrell's decision to lift Brandon Morrow from the game.

I could, of course, simply take his information and re-write it in my own words to make the same point, but I don't want to do that. instead I'm going to link the article (which by the way addresses several other points) and quote here the part I consider relevant to this post:

Anatomy Of An Inning Gone Wrong

After three innings of shutout baseball in which he struck out five batters, this is how Brandon Morrow’s fourth inning went:

  • Strikes out Brennan Boesch with an 88 mph slider in the dirt, but Jose Molina looks completely unprepared for the pitch he presumably called for and it hits the dirt as the catcher stabs at it with his backhand, missing and allowing Boesch to advance to first base. It’s scored a wild pitch.
  • Walks Miguel Cabrera on six pitches. Look at where that sixth pitch lands according to Brooks Baseball:
  • Gives up a deep fly ball to center field that is hard hit, but playable for a good center fielder. Corey Patterson is not a good center fielder as evidenced by his route to the ball. Victor Martinez comes away with a double and one run knocked in.
  • Gives up a line drive to shallow center field off the bat of Don Kelly, scoring Cabrera. Martinez advances to third.
  • Collects the first official out of the inning on Jhonny Peralta’s liner right to Yunel Escobar.
  • Walks Alex Avila to load the bases on five pitches. He was again squeezed by the home plate umpire. This time on the first pitch of the at bat.
  • Is pulled for Shawn Camp who gives up a double to clear the bases.

Morrow was pulled with a fielding independent pitching number of 2.04.

I'm going to leave the pitch charts out of this as added motivation for you to follow the link. So, review this in an alternate reality. Molina catches the "wild pitch" - that's out #1. Get's the call on the strike that should have set Cabrera down - that's out #2. Patterson catches the ball Davis would have caught to retire Molina - out #3.

Through 4 innings, Morrow has allowed one hit, one walk, no runs and struck out 7 - Jays lead 2-0.

these are not obscure fact. they are not the sort of thing that you need post-hob sabermetric calculations to understand. these are things that on-field managers HAVE to know. Take some time for a lingering mound visit after the Martinez double and introduce some calm back into the situation. make sure there's no emotional baggage from what Morrow himself MUST know is a situation not of his making and focus on the upcoming batters.

Easy-squeezy.

Understand, I am NOT a Farrell basher. He has no previous managerial experience and there WILL be rough spots and mistakes and panicky moments (and yes, I think that was nothing but an emotional panicky response yesterday) but the key for a smart man - and he's a smart man -is, no matter how you justify yourself to the media, to look back and say "damn I fucked that up" and learn from it.

All that said, I WILL get on the Farrell bashing bandwagon in one respect - the continued insane usage of Octavio Dotel. (Yes, I've been down this road before)

Dotel entered to start the seventh inning. the first batter was a LH hitter - he walked. The third hitter is a switch hitter who hits left vs Dotel - 2 run homer. The fourth hitter also a lefty, he is hit by a pitch. Sixth batter? lefty - walks. How long must this go on? Dotel now has recorded 26 plate appearances vs. RHP, and 23 vs LHP and the results are overwhelming. When facing RHP his OPS allowed is .397, compared to the insanely astonishing rate of 1.545 against lefty.

It's past time to learn from this mistake. to not do so is indicative of a much deeper and more troubling issue for the team.

2 comments:

chill said...

At this point I believe what Farrell told the media about his concern regarding Morrow's arm slot and reduced velocity in the inning. As such and given the very recent arm problems, I am absolutely okay with him pulling Morrow before he hit 35+ pitches in the inning.

As for Dotel v LH Batters...fuck. Yes. Never. Again.

The Southpaw said...

Having heard the explanation, I can live with the "pitches in an inning" rational, albeit i've never heard it mentioned as being "scary" before - but I still maintain that Morrow got hosed by his team-mates and the ump.