Monday, August 11, 2008

Bunting, Batting and Other Questions

Another fine performance by a starting pitcher wasted by the Yankees. (Maybe if Ponson had received SOME run support his two runs given up wouldn't have crept towards four runs.) Some questions.

1. Why as the season slips away do I find myself watching more games on TV than usual? I can't seem to stop watching. Is this like craning your neck to check out an accident while driving by on the highway?

2. Bottom of the 6th. The Twins are up 2-0 in a tight game with good pitching (and the Yankees almost incapable of moving a runner from first to second) so every run looms large. The Twins get a lead off double, no outs. Then they lay down a nice bunt to move him over. Runner on third with one out. Then they hit a ball deep into left field, scoring the run. Twins up 3-0. Was that a dumb move in your book(s)? To me, it's great baseball and very frustrating when you have to face it.

3. Bottom of the 9th. Abreu and A-Rod and Nady fail to get to first base. Twins up 4-0. In that situation, I was rooting for one of them to of course get on base. A double or even a triple would be even better. Naturally I'd prefer a solo home run to striking or grounding out. But in that situation, isn't a double or a triple FAR preferable to a home run? My thinking obviously is that the pitcher can shrug off a home run since the Yankees are starting from scratch. A runner on second or third or even first is a distraction and an annoyance and the Yankees can feed off a base runner, maybe getting a walk because of the open base and then a home run has us within one or a double has us within two and a runner on second -- all of which I see as much better than a solo shot. What say you?

4. Derek Jeter had a miserable night at the plate. He batted four times and saw a total of 10 pitches, I believe. Awful. Just when he starts to look good, he slumps again. A permanent decline or will he bounce back next season? I know we don't expect him to be this bad, but will he bounce back seriously or just do not as bad on his way to being a so-so player? Me, naturally, expect full bounce back.


dasnootz said...

3: A home run, a single, a double, a triple, a walk, a hit by pitch, a stolen first, a reached on error... it doesn't matter.

With a 4 run lead the pitcher shouldn't/wouldn't worry about a lone base runner in the 9th inning.

Michael in New York said...

Surely a runner on base is more of a distraction than no runner on base. A solo shot is over and you've got the bases clear and can put it out of your mind. And like you said, since you're up 3 runs, you can do that. But runners getting on base feed on each other and the runner on base is a visual reminder to the pitcher that he screwed up and suddenly there are two runners on and the tying run is on deck. It increases the pressure more. But more importantly is that YOU NEED FOUR RUNS. A solo shot is far less contagious than a double, which does indeed create all sorts of ramifications for how you pitch to a batter, four run lead or no. Suddenly you might unintentionally walk them because of the open base or just seeing the runner leaning towards third. A game can slip away in a blink of an eye and a runner on base means a lot when 8 run innnings are as common as dirt.

priv8pete said...

4. Jeter is old and is getting older. While we all love him and wish that every player had his intensity, drive and exuberance he is not a league average player making superstar money. But, he looks good and sells merchandise so his contract doesn't hurt the Yankees as much as his bat and his inability to get to balls hit to his right.