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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cubs hold off Dodgers in Game 4 of NLCS | MLB.com

These 9 PM East Coast starts are a killer. I fell asleep around the third inning. It looks like I missed a good game.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

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   1. The Duke Posted: October 19, 2017 at 08:16 AM (#5557905)
The only thing I will say about the phantom foul tip is that Granderson immediately signaled foul tip. The reaction indicated to me that something happened - even though the replay doesn’t show contact. My guess is that’s what I think the umpire saw that caused the call.
   2. Brian Posted: October 19, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5557906)
On the flip side of that coin, the 5 PM starts this week have been fantastic!
   3. PreservedFish Posted: October 19, 2017 at 08:44 AM (#5557908)
Granderson must have believed that he had really nicked the ball.

There's no way any umpire could have seen it, because it didn't happen. I agree with what Lassus said last night - without instant replay, they wouldn't overturn this call. But the umpires are spooked that the technology will make them look bad. So instead of being confident in their decision they talk themselves into doing something stupid for stupid reasons.
   4. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 19, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5557910)
Oh, we're allowing players to make their own calls now? Does this apply to everyone?

   5. stanmvp48 Posted: October 19, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5557912)
Granderson should get 4 strikes as some kind of handicap. Seriously, I wonder if any team has trotted out three more washed up lefty hitters in post season than Ethier, Granderson and Utley.
Combined post season stats .094/.121/.188.
The TV commentator quoted Roberts as saying there is nobody he would rather have up in a clutch situation than Chase Utley.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 19, 2017 at 08:55 AM (#5557914)
I agree with what Lassus said last night - without instant replay, they wouldn't overturn this call. But the umpires are spooked that the technology will make them look bad. So instead of being confident in their decision they talk themselves into doing something stupid for stupid reasons.

Replay needs to die in a fire.
   7. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 19, 2017 at 09:26 AM (#5557922)
Something stupid for stupid reasons and manage to change the right call to the wrong call.

Joe's comments last night after the game were spot on - it was simply an indefensible process.

I'm sure it's happened before, but how many times have you ever seen the umps huddle and overturn a swing vs foul tip? It virtually never happens. It might have been defensible if the ump had signaled a foul tip but erroneously thought Contreras caught the ball, but that wasn't what he signaled to begin with. So Granny throws a fit, Roberts asks for a consult, and an ump further away overturns the call in the wrong direction, all while a two-story high replay screen clearly shows he didn't tip it (and sure, I'm well aware that umps are instructed not to watch the scoreboard replays)?

It was just an awful display of umpiring.

Not that Granny needs help swinging and missing at this point, but I'm pretty sure karma took his bat out of dimensional synchronicity for the next pitch just because it was all too much.
   8. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 19, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5557929)
FWIW - Jim Wolf admitted afterwards it was a blown call - but the thing is Wolf didn't blow the call. He actually got it right. I suppose he's correct that he "blew it" in the sense that he allowed grandy/roberts to talk him into seeking help, but ultimately - whichever knucklehead decided that "gee, I think I heard a sound" is the one who ought to be coming forward with a mea culpa.

Wolf has plenty to apologize for with pulsating strike zone; let the culpable ump take the fall for failing to turn off whatever podcast he was listening to on the bluetooth during play.
   9. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 19, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5557946)
I'm sure it's happened before, but how many times have you ever seen the umps huddle and overturn a swing vs foul tip? It virtually never happens. It might have been defensible if the ump had signaled a foul tip but erroneously thought Contreras caught the ball, but that wasn't what he signaled to begin with. So Granny throws a fit, Roberts asks for a consult, and an ump further away overturns the call in the wrong direction, all while a two-story high replay screen clearly shows he didn't tip it (and sure, I'm well aware that umps are instructed not to watch the scoreboard replays)?


And let's not forget the Rizzo foul tip that wasn't called.
   10. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5557955)
Wolf has plenty to apologize for with pulsating strike zone;


So, looking at pitch/FX, Arrieta had 2 pitches clearly inside the box called balls, and one clearly outside the box called a strike. Call it -1 strikes for Jake. Wood had 0 pitches fully inside the box called balls, and 5 fully outside called strikes. So +5. Davis and Duensing had 0 of either. Dodger relievers had +1, the called strike 1 for Cingrani to Davis. Add in the 2 foul/not foul tips, and the Cubs were -2, the Dodgers +7.
   11. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:17 AM (#5557958)
Well, I'm sure we can all understand the umpire's desire to fly off to their fall vacations from Chicago rather than having to go back to LA.
   12. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5557962)
Wolf's explanation still leaves a lot to be desired. For those that didn't click through on 8:

Wolf — the brother of former big league pitcher Randy Wolf — said afterward he heard "two distinct, separate sounds" on the pitch, believing the first to be the pitch bouncing in the dirt and the second being the pop of the catcher's mitt. After Roberts appealed and Wolf gathered his crew, he was told by his fellow umps "that the ball did not bounce — it did hit the ground but it did not bounce."

"I basically talked myself into 'he did foul tip it,'" Wolf said.


That really doesn't make a ton of sense, and I'm not sure how that conversation per Wolf convinces him to change his call. He's not saying anyone is claiming it was foul tipped even, which would be the only "acceptable" explanation for changing the call. Of course none of them saw a foul tip, because there wasn't one. I've never seen an umpire get talked into overturning a call like that without replay or another ump helping them. Absurd, and well beyond the standard blown call because he was actually coerced into changing into a bad call.

So, looking at pitch/FX, Arrieta had 2 pitches clearly inside the box called balls, and one clearly outside the box called a strike. Call it -1 strikes for Jake. Wood had 0 pitches fully inside the box called balls, and 5 fully outside called strikes. So +5. Davis and Duensing had 0 of either. Dodger relievers had +1, the called strike 1 for Cingrani to Davis. Add in the 2 foul/not foul tips, and the Cubs were -2, the Dodgers +7.

Thanks. That just reinforces the point I've been harping on the last few chatters - TBS's KZone is too low - it's shown numerous catches every game in the playoffs that are strikes at the bottom of the zone that just aren't. Last night, Wolf called those as strikes for Wood. A bad zone is a bad zone, and inconsistent zone is worse.
   13. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5557973)
That really doesn't make a ton of sense, and I'm not sure how that conversation per Wolf convinces him to change his call.

It doesn't. Shorter Jim Wolf: "I shat the bed."
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5557974)
For a one-run game in an elimination scenario, that sure was a dull ballgame. Five runs scored on five solo homers. It was just a parade of guys striking out in an attempt to hit a homer, which if you got really lucky, might follow a walk. Each team had a grand total of two hits in the field of play.

Wade Davis pitched two full innings, allowed four baserunners and one run, and the only ball hit into the field of play off him was the last pitch of the night.
   15. Batman Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:35 AM (#5557981)
In Granderson's defense, he probably doesn't remember what a bat hitting a ball feels like.
   16. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5557991)
Thanks. That just reinforces the point I've been harping on the last few chatters - TBS's KZone is too low - it's shown numerous catches every game in the playoffs that are strikes at the bottom of the zone that just aren't. Last night, Wolf called those as strikes for Wood. A bad zone is a bad zone, and inconsistent zone is worse.


Here's the chart for Wood.

He benefitted from 2 called strikes completely below the bottom of the box. He had one strike and one ball on pitches on the line. The ones I tallied up above were only balls completely in or out of the box, not ones on the line.

Here's Jake's chart

No called strikes completely below the box, one ball completely inside the box above the bottom line, and 2 called balls on or touching the line.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5557993)
Can we put a number to the run value of that many botched calls?
   18. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5558001)
I don't mean to give the impression I'm harping on ball/strike calls. I accept some level of human element, and I do think, for instance, Jake's pitches had a lot more movement on them so ones right on the edge of the zone are likely easier to miss than Wood's last night. IIRC, the more egregious ball/strike calls didn't end up hurting the Cubs (at least it didn't result in any Dodger runs - one of the misses was strike 3 and resulted in a BB but the Cubs got out of the inning). I feel like there were a couple of games in the NLDS with much worse zones, but again, I've been going mostly by the KZone used by TBS and I have questions how accurate it is.
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5558005)
Can we put a number to the run value of that many botched calls?


+9 net strikes in a 1 run games seems significant. If you count pitches on the line, which are, or should be strikes, Jake loses another 3, Wood 1, for a net +11 for the Dodgers.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5558009)
I've been going mostly by the KZone used by TBS and I have questions how accurate it is.

Is it the same as the MLB.com zone?
   21. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5558018)
Is it the same as the MLB.com zone?

I have no idea. Since they put theirs in the corner, it's even harder to compare. On occasion, they'll show a replay with the gray box directly over the plate like ESPN/FS1 does.

I'd guess they all use the same source, why would TBS try to recreate something on their own? The box in the corner appears to be a slightly different shape though, so maybe it's just in the presentation.
   22. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5558021)
Going back to Tuesday's game, Hendricks had 5 rulebook strikes called balls, and 2 balls called strikes, -3. Darvish had -2. On Sunday, Lester was -6, Hill -3. On Saturday, Quintana was a net 0 (2 of each), Kershaw +5 (5 pitches completely out of the zone called strikes). Not looking at the relievers, and there may be some Cub advantage there, or not, but a +20 advantage over 4 games for the Dodgers seems like it could explain some of the Cubs hitting woes.

Kershaw's chart
   23. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:16 AM (#5558028)
a +20 advantage over 4 games for the Dodgers seems like it could explain some of the Cubs hitting woes.

It probably does help explain a little of the Dodgers 26 to 4 BB advantage, and 32 to 43 strikeout advantage (the Dodgers did do a little better than the Cubs during the season in BB% and way better in allowed BB%). The Cubs are chasing a lot more, and the Dodgers are clearly much more comfortable taking close pitches. Plenty of that is the players themselves* and their approaches, etc. The little bit here helps though.

*Justin Turner and Chris Taylor both being what they are this year really pisses me off the more I think about it though.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5558032)
*Justin Turner and Chris Taylor both being what they are this year really pisses me off the more I think about it though.

Imagine if you were a Met or M's fan.
   25. Perry Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5558037)
It looks like I missed a good game.


Not really. #14 got it right. Chris Taylor was quoted either last night or the night before saying "I'm just looking for a pitch I can lift." Leadoff hitters talking like that tells you all you need to know about where baseball has gone.
   26. Bote Man Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5558040)
MLB must be so proud to showcase their premium "product" in front of the largest quantity of eyeballs all year with such a sh|tshow.

Just going off memory alone, here are the questionable, if not outright botched, calls and plays in this post-season (so far):

- ball "lost" in the ivy, player signals, no ruling, then retrieves ball, THEN ruled Automatic Double after both runners wind up at 3B

- swinging strike 3, no wait a minute, lemme think about it; ya know, that was really kind of a foul-tip, keep batting!

- Jerry Layne calling a pitch DEAD F@CKING CENTER of the strike zone a ball, more than once; you could spin the rectangular strike zone without wobbling on an axis centered on that pitch


The fact that botched calls and the impact of replay occupy the bulk of discussion says a lot about how these games are conducted.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5558044)

The fact that botched calls and the impact of replay occupy the bulk of discussion says a lot about how these games are conducted.


I wonder if the pace of play affects the umpires. I would imagine the home plate ump has trouble maintaining laser focus while the batter and pitcher dick around for 45 seconds.
   28. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5558061)
- ball "lost" in the ivy, player signals, no ruling, then retrieves ball, THEN ruled Automatic Double after both runners wind up at 3B

There's nothing questionable or botched about this one. The ground rules are incredibly clear; Hernandez messed up by reaching in after he put his hands up (or alternately he messed up by raising his hands). I know not everyone is that familiar with those plays, but they have always been that way in Wrigley in my lifetime and I've never seen an ump screw that one up.

If the complaint is the 3b ump didn't signal right away, I think he was deferring to the OF ump (usually he'd call it himself since there isn't an OF ump), but he also clearly didn't call either player out and appeared to tell Almora right away he was going back to 2nd.

I've seen a player put his hands up for a ball not in the ivy (it was behind him, clearly visible on the track and the ump saw it and didn't award the double). I've also seen players reach in and be unable to find the ball but not put their hands up right away, and the ump goes out and can't get the ball either and it's a double.
   29. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5558069)
I was in my car during the play, and I can't remember ever hearing mild-mannered Pat Hughes as furious as he was while the umps conferred. That outrage almost paled by comparison to his demeanor after the umps had concluded their little chat.
   30. jmurph Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5558072)
I've seen a player put his hands up for a ball not in the ivy (it was behind him, clearly visible on the track and the ump saw it and didn't award the double). I've also seen players reach in and be unable to find the ball but not put their hands up right away, and the ump goes out and can't get the ball either and it's a double.

Which prompts a thought: if a new stadium did something like add ivy to their outfield wall, everyone would think that was absolutely stupid. It would be like the dumb hill in Houston.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 19, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5558076)
I was in my car during the play, and I can't remember ever hearing mild-mannered Pat Hughes as furious as he was while the umps conferred. That outrage almost paled by comparison to his demeanor after the umps had concluded their little chat.

Imagine if it had been Ron Santo.
   32. Meatwad in mourning Posted: October 19, 2017 at 12:46 PM (#5558117)
pt was pretty mad about the plate blocking call as well the other day.
   33. Bote Man Posted: October 19, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5558210)
Remember: this is the VERY BEST that MLB has to offer.
   34. Satan Says Posted: October 19, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5558289)
Maybe it's a really hard job made more difficult by video scrutiny? What if you were taped at work and second-guessed if you weren't perfect?

It's a great gig, but utterly thankless.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: October 19, 2017 at 06:33 PM (#5558382)
And I once saw Jose Cardenal stick the ball into the ivy and raise his hand and get away with it.

Anyway, that was some extra terrible running by Almora on that play, not that it mattered at that point.

I can only imagine Hawk Harrelson on the foul tip play. He once accused the umps of throwing a game to the Cubs on what had been an obvious interference call, ranted at them for a couple more minutes even as it was becoming increasingly obvious it was an interference call, then ranted for a few more minutes about how the umps had blown the call because in his 300 years in baseball he had never seen an interference call that didn't result in a dead ball, etc. It was very impressive in its horribleness and that was a case where the umps were right and it was just a run of the mill regular season interleague game.

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