OSS: Can't win 'em all
- Since WPA doesn't account for TOOTBLANs (more below), Fowler was the Cubs leading WPA getter on the day. He had a single to lead off the game and a walk in the Cubs base-clogging rally in the the third, as well as the double that later led to that bizarre play.
- Hammel's line looks a lot better than it felt while watching him – six innings and just seven baserunners, but unlike a usual Hammel start they clustered up at the end of his outing rather than the beginning. Still, he cruised through those middle innings so quickly that it was easy to forget them.
The smell of TOOTBLAN was mixed with the smell of churros around the park today, as the Dbacks ran into at least two outs on the basepaths that I can remember. The Cubs lone official error of the game was a pickoff throw by Hammel that got away from Rizzo. From where I was sitting, I think it hit the runner. But you tee vee machine watchers must have had a better view. Anyway, Ahmed decided to try to get two bases on the wild throw, and was gunned down by Rizzo. Credit also to
SEXDex, who gunned down Goldschmidt trying to stretch a sharply hit single to center into a double.
FWIW, it was awesome seeing Heyward in person. I was at the game with an old friend of mine who hadn't been to a baseball game in over a decade and even he could tell how great Heyward was out there.
- I was very surprised that the aforementioned DT (double TOOTBLAN) wasn't the worst WPA play of the day*. Goldschmidt caught Fowler off the bag at third and after a pretty long rundown they did the same to Rizzo. Pretty awful to see, especially since Ray was clearly shaky and facing his third time through the lineup.
- It wasn't charged as an error, but Zobrist had a pretty bad-looking ole on a single hit up the middle. I think it was the first RBI single by Goldy, but I'm not sure. It's only been four games (plus ST), but it is one step in the direction that reports of his defensive numbers' demise may not have been so premature. To be fair to Zobrist, my angle up the 1b line may have made it look like that ball was a lot closer to him than it was.
- It's pretty easy to point to some shaky lineup management by Maddon today, both in having Ross start the game and also hit for himself in the ninth. We know from Kevin Millar that if you're a starter and are told you have a day off it's been etched into stone with a high powered laser, but it would have been nice to see Montero come in there. Maybe since there were already two outs….eh. Similarly, pitching to Goldschmidt in a game-tying RBI situation seems pretty foolish. I think IBBs are dumb 95% of the time, but in this case I'd much rather force David Peralta to be The Guy than Goldschmidt. This is splitting hairs though, I still feel like the result would have ultimately been the same even if they pinch hit for Ross or walked Goldy. You can't win them all, take a deep breath. Or don't. I can't tell you what do do. Seriously though, you should probably breathe.
*It was topped by a Dbacks double play in the first
Tomorrow: Kyle Hendricks vs Zach Greinke. A matchup that would look much closer were it not for Tamiflu.
I’m not sure how I feel about pitching to Goldschmidt. Peralta is a good hitter with a platoon advantage, and a walk would have put the potential go-ahead run on first. Goldy has more power and patience than Peralta, but a single is all you need to get the runner in, and both are .300 hitters. Someone would have to crunch the numbers, but I suspect the intentional walk would have been the worse percentage play there.
Rizzo the RatQuote Reply
I’d have said pitch around (or IBB…Strop looked pretty wild) Goldschmidt and bring in Wood to face Peralta there. In a game that close, there’s no reason to pitch to one of the best hitters in the league.
It’s just one game, but it was a shitty end to an already shitty day after the Schwarber news.
I’m guessing it would probably just go in the direction of pitching to Goldschmidt, it’s just one of those dumb optics things. If you believe that clutch exists at all you stay the hell away from him (dying laughing).
I think I saw some grumbles that Strop was getting squeezed
I should have added a fifth bullet to say that I saw a dude in a Sosa jersey a section over. Well done, sir.
Peralta’s projected wOBA is roughly .350 while Goldschmidt’s is about .390. I’m way too lazy to find the split projection calculator, but Goldschmidt has hit righties as well as Peralta has in his career. I’d expect that Goldschmidt’s projection vs. a righty is about the same or a bit better than Peralta’s. Besides, what Perkins said. Walk Goldschmidt and bring in Wood (Peralta sucks vs. lefties).
Still may have lost, but that’s the smart move to make in that situation and IIRC, this sort of thing happened a lot last year with Maddon. People make errors all the time and I don’t expect a manager to be any different. It happens. Just seems to me the error last night by Maddon was the equivalent of dropping a popup. That sometimes happens, but it’s always more frustrating when it does because it’s such an easy play. Same thing with walking Goldschmidt last night.
Oh well. Cubs still on pace to win 161.
Hammell just looks like his stuff has big inning written all over it. I was surprised the Cubs got through 6 with him without allowing a big inning. Not a bad start by him, but I didn’t think it was very good either.
1. I wouldn’t use wOBA or any linear weights measure here. The weights are averaged among all base out states, and this situation (tying runner on third, two outs) is unique. Much of the wOBA difference between the two is driven by walks, and if we were so concerned about Goldy’s walk rate, we wouldn’t consider walking him intentionally. What we need to know is the likelihood of driving in the run (i.e. the chances of getting a hit).
2. The WPA of the intentional walk was not huge, but it was substantial (about 3.5%). I’d be very surprised if the advantage of facing Peralta over Goldy is that large, even if Wood were brought in.
Rizzo the RatQuote Reply
Maybe so. I thought Gary Cedarstrom was calling a reliably tight (read: mostly accurate) zone all night. Strop seems to be either “effectively wild” or simply “wild” depending on the night, which doesn’t play well with a tighter zone.
Sounds like trade rumblings already beginning. Jay Bruce anyone?
Smokestack LightningQuote Reply
I’d be surprised if they make a deal for anyone significant. Maybe at the deadline, but it’s too early.
Would love if the Cubs made a trade….for a pitcher
Is this for real or just fans who forgot that Soler exists wishcasting?
It’s pundit speculation largely (Morosi), but thought it worth throwing out there. Bruce is very available, would re-lengthen the lineup against RHP, bring back most of the depth (can’t catch tho). Depending on the cost, would be worth exploring.
I’m all about giving Soler every chance in the world, but if Bruce were to be had for somethings we’re not likely to miss, then I would probably go for it.
Smokestack LightningQuote Reply
I wouldn’t give up much to get Bruce and I’m sure the Reds could get more for him if they waited until closer to the deadline. I’m not all that high on Soler or Baez, but I’m not very high on Bruce either.
I’d be cool with a Bruce-Soler platoon if they could get him on the cheap, but I agree that they’re not going to get him at the price I would want. I’m obviously not necessarily the biggest Soler fan, but the obvious thing to do would be to give him that chance to prove himself. This is the whole point of having depth.
To day’s base ball squadron
Not to be overreaction guy, but wouldn’t mind seeing Zobrist bat lower in the lineup
That garbage has been around the second Schwarber went down. Started with ESPN stats and info. Gordo gleefully retweeted it and it’s been making the rounds since.
Can’t understand why anyone with even a passably working brain thinks it means anything.
Smokestack LightningQuote Reply
I didn’t want to be the first to say it because I thought someone would jump on me. I don’t like Rizzo and Bryant hitting so low in the order.
Even if it was just 20 games, a lot of fans would think it means something. It takes very little baseball data to convince most people of things unless it goes against everything they’ve ever believed.
I just people would say this and move on: the Cubs were a better team with Kyle Schwarber in an everyday role than they are without. That’s good enough. How much better? Well, we don’t really know that answer yet since we’re dealing with such small samples from the guys who will fill in for him (Soler, Baez, La Stella).
The Cubs were also built to deal with a loss like Schwarber. There. That’s really all that can be said about Schwarber’s loss and how it impacts the Cubs.
You have to stop being such a sensitive soul. If only you could gain some confidence in your opinions.
Suburban kidQuote Reply