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Friday, October 13, 2017

For vanquished Nationals, an inning that will live in infamy | WaPo

“Some things like that happen and you just have to be able to deal with it,” Scherzer said. “This game – you can execute pitches and sometimes that’s not enough. You just got to keep going out there, stay within yourself and keep executing pitches. “

And sometimes, as the Nationals found out, you just can’t.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:27 AM | 236 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: choking dogs, cubs, nationals, nlds

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   1. Esoteric Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5553042)
The only consolation about the agony of yesterday's Game 5, as a Nats fan, is that nothing will ever be able to hurt me quite as badly as 2012's NLDS Game 5. I couldn't look at the sports pages for two weeks after that one. This one, I'll survive.
   2. TomH Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:46 AM (#5553051)
If your team gets 14 hits, for 23 total bases, along with 9 walks, while your opponents have 9 hits, for 13 total bases, along with 6 walks, you win the game maybe 97% of the time?
   3. bunyon Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:50 AM (#5553052)
If the rule they showed on MLB tonight is accurate the ball should have dead after Wieters was hit with the bat (no, the other time). The rule just says the ball is dead, nothing about who possesses it.
   4. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5553054)
To add insult to injury, the DC Metro's last train left the two stations near the ballpark several minutes before the game ended.
   5. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5553065)
Outfield fly rule!!
   6. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5553067)
I was at that game 5 years ago. It was a cold and miserable night and through the first 3 innings it looked like the Nationals were going to go on. Gio wasn't great but nothing to alarming. A nothing run in the fourth, nothing to get concerned over and then the wheels starting coming off in the 5th. It took awhile in the 6th with the pitching change but the Nationals got through it. Most people in the stands felt pretty good about the game at that point and the Cardinal fans in front of us were pretty quiet and morose. But then Edwin Jackson took the mound for the 7th and I informed the Card fans in front of me that they might just have a chance afterall. Sure enough he coughs up a run and in the next inning the Cards get another run with the lead off homer. But almost everybody in the park breathed a sighed of relief when the Nationals scratched out a run in the 8th to take a 2 run lead. At that point there was a ton of excitement and exhilaration in that air. But then the 9th happened and it just totally destroyed the crowd. To get to two outs and then to have it all just totally fall apart was just crushing for some. To not only give up the lead but also to fall behind 2 runs was just mindboggling and like this year the heart of the Nationals order went down meekly in the bottom of the 9th. Werth flew out on a 0-2 pitch, Harper struck out on three straight pitches, and Zimmerman fell behind 1-2 and popped out.
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5553072)
That fifth inning was brutal to watch. And I'm a Cubs fan.

I've always been fatalistic as a Cubs fan, but I can say that I was never less sure of them holding a lead than I was once the Nationals made it 9-7. At that point, it felt inevitable that the Nationals would continue to chip away, ending with a dramatic walk-off to seal the series.

   8. jmurph Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5553077)
Anyone know the success rate, or I guess just the collective performance, of the ace-as-middle-reliever move that teams break out in the post-season? I'm sure it's confirmation bias on my part, but man it seems to fail pretty damn frequently.
   9. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5553080)
If the rule they showed on MLB tonight is accurate the ball should have dead after Wieters was hit with the bat (no, the other time). The rule just says the ball is dead, nothing about who possesses it.


Here's the rule:

6.01 Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher Collisions

(a) (7.09) Batter or Runner Interference

It is interference by a batter or a runner when:

(1) After a third strike that is not caught by the catcher, the batter-runner clearly hinders the catcher in his attempt to field the ball. Such batter-runner is out, the ball is dead, and all other runners return to the bases they occupied at the time of the pitch.


The key part is "clearly hinders." I read comments by the plate umpire who said he told Wieters and Dusty that in his judgement, what Baez did did not clearly hinder Weiters. YMMV, but an umpire's on the spot judgement on whether a player did or did not interfere is not, and should not be reviewable.

   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5553081)
If your team gets 14 hits, for 23 total bases, along with 9 walks, while your opponents have 9 hits, for 13 total bases, along with 6 walks, you win the game maybe 97% of the time?


I put some parameters around this and queried the logs since 1990.

One team has between 12 and 16 hits, between 20 and 25 TB, between 7 and 10 walks, and more walks than the opponent.
The other team has between 7 and 10 hits, between 10 and 15 TB, between 4 and 7 walks, and fewer walks than the opponent.

Between 1990 and 2016 there were 105 games that met these criteria. The first team in the pair won 102 of the 105, which is just over 97%. So a pretty good guess.

-- MWE
   11. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5553083)
Anyone know the success rate, or I guess just the collective performance, of the ace-as-middle-reliever move that teams break out in the post-season? I'm sure it's confirmation bias on my part, but man it seems to fail pretty damn frequently.


Well, a couple of famous counter-examples are Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and Randy Johnson in 2001.
   12. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5553084)
So who were the three teams that won and against whom?
   13. jmurph Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5553091)
Well, a couple of famous counter-examples are Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and Randy Johnson in 2001.

Oh yeah I can think of several instances that worked just recently- Sale ended up giving up the tying run in game 4 the other day, but he was pretty damn good overall. Lester just this week, right? I'm genuinely curious what the overall results look like.
   14. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5553092)
Here's the passage from the article about the not-called interference, which directly lead to 1 run and indirectly 1 more:

Wieters immediately began pleading his case to umpires for interference, claiming Baez’s backswing hit him. He had a case, but umpire Jerry Layne, the crew chief and also the game’s home plate umpire, assembled his group to discuss the matter.

Nationals Manager Dusty Baker emerged to share his take to no avail. The crew decided not to change the call – not because the umpires didn’t think Baez’s bat hit Wieters, but because Layne ruled the backswing striking Wieters didn’t have an impact on the play, though the rule’s language doesn’t indicate that judging the interference’s impact is part of the call, only judging whether there was any inference at all.

“When the ball gets passed him, alright, in my judgment he didn’t have any more opportunity after he had a chance to field the ball,” Layne said. “There was no further play that could have been made on it. The graze of the helmet didn’t have anything to do, in my judgment, with anything at all, with that particular play. I understand, it’s pretty much my judgment. I got together and found everybody was in agreement. That’s what we went with.”

Interference isn’t a reviewable play so the ruling stood without further evaluation.


Here's the rule 6.03(a)(3) and (4) comment:
http://mlb.mlb.com/documents/0/4/0/224919040/2017_Official_Baseball_Rules_dbt69t59.pdf
If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.
   15. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5553096)
The key part is "clearly hinders." I read comments by the plate umpire who said he told Wieters and Dusty that in his judgement, what Baez did did not clearly hinder Weiters. YMMV, but an umpire's on the spot judgement on whether a player did or did not interfere is not, and should not be reviewable.


Misirlou, check out rule 6.03(a)(3) and (4) and its comment. The bat hitting the catcher doesn't seem to involve any judgement of hindrance. It actually states that it is "not interference" so no umpire judgement is required for that, but it is simply a strike and the ball is dead if you contact the catcher with the bat. (The umpire's judgement is only whether the bat contacted the catcher. They could actually make that part reviewable going forward, I suppose.)
   16. Shredder Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5553099)
“When the ball gets passed him, alright, in my judgment he didn’t have any more opportunity after he had a chance to field the ball,” Layne said. “There was no further play that could have been made on it. The graze of the helmet didn’t have anything to do, in my judgment, with anything at all, with that particular play. I understand, it’s pretty much my judgment. I got together and found everybody was in agreement. That’s what we went with.”
Well, you understand wrong. Your judgment comes into play on the question of whether there was contact with the catcher, not whether it had an impact on the play. Nats should have protested.

or what spycake said.
   17. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5553101)
Anyone know the success rate, or I guess just the collective performance, of the ace-as-middle-reliever move that teams break out in the post-season? I'm sure it's confirmation bias on my part, but man it seems to fail pretty damn frequently.


One thought, not really related to last night, is that ace-as-middle-relievers are more likely to be asked to go longer than a normal reliever (see Sale in game four) because managers will expect them to be able to go longer. For example in this game (David Price's post-season win!) his line looks a bit ugly largely because of his third inning of work (2IP, 1 run vs. 3IP, 6 hits, 3 runs). Would a normal reliever have been asked to pitch that third inning?

Just spitballing. I think your question is an intriguing one.
   18. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5553103)
Well, folks, that's four first-round exits in six years. Ouch. And three of them were in five games. Double ouch.

Bryce Harper is becoming the Tracy McGrady of baseball. (Maybe Bryce should play minor-league basketball after his MLB career is done?)

Hear that noise, Nats fans? That's the sound of your window slamming shut. (As a Tigers fan, I know that sound by heart.)
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5553104)
Misirlou, check out rule 6.03(a)(3) and (4) and its comment. The bat hitting the catcher doesn't seem to involve any judgement of hindrance.


OK, yeah, that seems pretty straightforward. Dusty would have had a legit grievance had he protested.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5553105)
Brutal inning, brutally slow game. Cubs got the breaks.
   21. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5553106)
If the umpires applied the wrong rule then at least in theory the game could have been protested.

Layne refers several times to "my judgment," as he has surely been trained to do, since judgment calls are not appealable. And the rule cited in #14 does refer to the umpire's judgment, but in context I read that as being judgment as to whether the contact occurred and was unintentional (neither of which are in dispute here). It does not seem to give the umpire discretion as to whether the rule applies.
(Edit: cokes to #15,16, etc.)
   22. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5553109)
I don't think fans on either side would dispute that Layne had a spectacularly bad game behind the plate.
   23. BDC Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:38 AM (#5553111)
Anyone know the success rate, or I guess just the collective performance, of the ace-as-middle-reliever move that teams break out in the post-season? I'm sure it's confirmation bias on my part, but man it seems to fail pretty damn frequently

I suspect the sample size is too small to draw any useful conclusions. If Scherzer's experience was horrific, you've got Pedro Martinez' six no-hit innings in 1999 on the other side.

One thing I wondered was whether the Bumgarner game in 2014 had touched off a new scramble to use aces (and other starters) as relievers in the postseason, and perhaps earlier than seventh games of World Series. But a rather cursory glance at postseasons back over the years suggests that it was done at a pretty steady rate all along. Though this year really does seem to feature a more drastic use of starters earlier, in early series, than I can remember before.
   24. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:40 AM (#5553113)
The only consolation about the agony of yesterday's Game 5, as a Nats fan, is that nothing will ever be able to hurt me quite as badly as 2012's NLDS Game 5.


I had forgotten the details. Wow, they had a 6-0 leading going into the 5th inning that game. Gio gave up 3 runs in the fifth as the Cards worked their way back, but the Nationals still led 7-5 with two outs and a runner on third in the ninth.

On the bright side, Werth and Harper struck out back-to-back in the bottom of the ninth on only 3 pitches each back in the 2012 NLDS Game 5. In 2017, it took 5 and 6 pitches, respectively, to strike them out back-to-back in the bottom of the ninth of NLDS Game 5. That's progress! If these trends continue...
   25. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5553117)
If Scherzer's experience was horrific


There's also the question of how you judge it. Scherzer's experience was "horrific" based on the final number of runs he allowed but the last two of those runs were set up by a dropped third strike (that appears to have been wrongly called) on what should have been the third out and a catcher's interference.

In last year's Game 7, Lester had a vaguely similar first inning of work (he threw a two-base wild pitch to score an inherited run and I believe David Ross made a throwing error) and then settled down and pitched really well for two innings.

If you evaluate based on some kind of component measure rather than raw runs allowed, I'm not sure that Scherzer's performance necessarily falls into the "bad" bucket.
   26. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5553118)
So another situation where replay itself leads to a change in the spirit of the game, and a resulting critical out ... and an unreviewable play where the umpires completely ###### up, leading to decisive runs being scored.(*)

In a decisive playoff game.

Well done, MLB.

(*) Why the bat hitting Wieters in the helmet wouldn't be reviewable is your quintessential exercise best left to the reader.
   27. jmurph Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5553120)
If Scherzer's experience was horrific, you've got Pedro Martinez' six no-hit innings in 1999 on the other side.

I'll never forget 99, but I'll also probably never forget Pedro's terrible inning in game 7 of the 04 ALCS that had us all thinking "oh god, here we go again." Though I mostly blame Francona for that one.
   28. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5553121)
Dusty would have had a legit grievance had he protested.


Although to be fair to Dusty, even if he had protested and was 100% correct by the rule book, there is no way that MLB would have upheld the protest in this situation. So I don't blame him for not bothering to protest.

Intentionally walking Jason Heyward with 2 outs, on the other hand, that's all on Dusty. Heyward is now 7-for-60 in his Cubs postseason career, with 1 unintentional walk and 16 K's. .117/.185/.167 for a .351 OPS. His 2 IBB keep him barely ahead of the 2017 MLB pitcher hitting line of .124/.156/.161, .318 OPS.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5553123)
for those of us with no dog in the hunt, is there any reason not to root for the Dodgers in the NLCS? Cubs won last year, and this was a pretty dicey result.
   30. jmurph Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5553124)
So another situation where replay itself leads to a change in the spirit of the game, and a resulting critical out

I didn't wade into the chatter so I'm sure this was already covered, but there was definitely no angle showing Rizzo's glove on Lobaton's leg while his foot was off the base, right? I certainly didn't see one. You could infer it from mentally combining the two angles, but I'm not sure that's how replay is supposed to be applied in baseball?
   31. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5553129)
That really is the most improbable sequence of events ever. It was pointed out last night (in the Chatter here and elsewhere) that there are four ways a batter can reach first base without hitting the ball, and the Cubs did all four, in order. Which was the first time all four happened in the same inning in major-league history.

But not just that. The sheer improbability of the events themselves. An intentional walk to Jason Heyward, of all people. A missed third strike that triggers a rule that I had never heard of (and it appears perhaps neither had the umpires?). I guess the catcher's interference and hit-by-pitch were "routine" - to the extent that a catcher's interference is ever a "routine" play.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5553131)
I didn't wade into the chatter so I'm sure this was already covered, but there was definitely no angle showing Rizzo's glove on Lobaton's leg while his foot was off the base, right? I certainly didn't see one. You could infer it from mentally combining the two angles, but I'm not sure that's how replay is supposed to be applied in baseball?

Yep, that was pretty much the consensus.
   33. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5553132)
I didn't wade into the chatter so I'm sure this was already covered, but there was definitely no angle showing Rizzo's glove on Lobaton's leg while his foot was off the base, right? I certainly didn't see one. You could infer it from mentally combining the two angles, but I'm not sure that's how replay is supposed to be applied in baseball?


There was one angle that clearly showed Lobaton's foot off the base. There was a second angle that clearly showed Rizzo's glove on Lobaton's leg. When they returned from commercial, TBS showed the two angles side-by-side and, they said, synched up, such that you could see Lobaton's foot off the bag on the left and Rizzo's tag on Lobaton's leg on the right. I was rooting for the Cubs, but I am very much not a fan of the use of replay for a call of that nature, even if I do agree that it was technically correct.
   34. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:03 PM (#5553133)
The telecast actually showed the two angles simultaneously. If they were able to do that perhaps MLB did as well
   35. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5553134)
Calls the Cubs were fortunate on:

Lobaton review
Jon Jay slide at second
Javy follow through

   36. jmurph Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5553135)
There was one angle that clearly showed Lobaton's foot off the base. There was a second angle that clearly showed Rizzo's glove on Lobaton's leg. When they returned from commercial, TBS showed the two angles side-by-side and, they said, synched up, such that you could see Lobaton's foot off the bag on the left and Rizzo's tag on Lobaton's leg on the right. I was rooting for the Cubs, but I am very much not a fan of the use of replay for a call of that nature, even if I do agree that it was technically correct.

I agree that Rizzo tagged his leg while his foot was off the base. I disagree that what the replay showed amounted to "indisputable video evidence," which google tells me is the standard for overturning a call.
   37. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5553136)
Well, folks, that's four first-round exits in six years. Ouch. And three of them were in five games. Double ouch.

Dusty Baker has been in the playoffs in each of his last four seasons. In three of them, he lost in the LDS. Each time it was by one game, and each time his team outscored the opposition in the series. In the other postseason appearance, his team lost the one-game WC in 2013.

If we go back to his last six seasons, Baker has been in the playoffs five times and lost the LDS four times.
   38. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5553137)
Well, a couple of famous counter-examples are Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and Randy Johnson in 2001.


And don't forget this gem in 1999. It wasn't the World Series or a Championship Series, but it may be the best "starter as a reliever" performance in playoff history.
   39. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5553138)
When they returned from commercial, TBS showed the two angles side-by-side and, they said, synched up, such that you could see Lobaton's foot off the bag on the left and Rizzo's tag on Lobaton's leg on the right.


I thought I once heard something to the effect that MLB couldn't rely on camera synchronization in replay reviews? I think it was in regards to runners tagging from 3rd on a fly ball. Maybe it's different if the two cameras are capturing the same area of the field...
   40. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5553139)
I love me some dusty failing.
   41. OsunaSakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:10 PM (#5553142)
The last time Washington won a baseball playoff series, they used their future Hall-of-Famer ace as a reliever for 4 innings in the deciding game.
   42. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:10 PM (#5553143)
If you evaluate based on some kind of component measure rather than raw runs allowed, I'm not sure that Scherzer's performance necessarily falls into the "bad" bucket.


3 straight hits to go from 1 run ahead to 1 run behind qualifies as bad.
   43. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5553144)
Calls the Cubs were fortunate on:

Lobaton review
Jon Jay slide at second
Javy follow through


And the last two of these led directly to three runs. Thinking about it, what was especially striking to me is that I think only one of those plays would really be controversial if it had gone the other way. The Jay slide was going to be controversial regardless of the ruling on the field / in replay, because that rule and its interpretation are inherently controversial.

But on the Javy backswing, okay, it would have initially been controversial because nobody knew the rule. But the rule is clear, it makes sense, and it's not like Javy really deserved to get on base anyway. He struck out by flailing wildly at a pitch in the dirt.

And on the Lobaton pickoff, again, okay, you can show simultaneous video where it's probably the right call. But it's ambiguous, and, like with the Javy play, it doesn't feel like an out the Cubs "deserved" anyway - it wasn't a clean pickoff, and lots of people don't like that application of replay anyway.

It's really unfortunate that this game ended up turning on such things.
   44. jmurph Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5553145)
I thought I once heard something to the effect that MLB couldn't rely on camera synchronization in replay reviews?

I also thought that was the case, but I don't see it covered in the rules. I skimmed, so might have missed it.
   45. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:13 PM (#5553146)
Well, folks, that's four first-round exits in six years. Ouch. And three of them were in five games. Double ouch.


In terms of postseason performance, are the Nationals the new A's? They lost 4 straight LDS in 5 games each, plus 2 more later, plus their only trip to the WC game. Their only recent playoff round/series success was a 3 game sweep of the Twins in 2006 (and the Twins only recent playoff round/series success was beating the A's in the 2002 ALDS!).
   46. jmurph Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5553147)
I feel like not being able to see the glove on the leg while the foot is off the base in one clear shot would not be enough to meet this definition:
To change a reviewable call, the Replay Official must determine that there is clear and convincing evidence to change the original call that was made on the field of play. In other words, the original decision of the Umpire shall stand unchanged unless the evidence obtained by the Replay Official leads him to definitively conclude that the call on the field was incorrect.

But I was technically rooting for the Nationals so I might be reasoning my way into that argument.
   47. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5553148)
I agree that the Lobaton play wasn't "indisputable". I would have felt robbed if it happened to my team, and we all hate the "the guy's foot bounced off for a tenth of a second" anyways.
   48. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:19 PM (#5553150)
Next time slide head first. I also think fielders have to stop taking their glove off the runner. Baez did that in a previous game and it cost the cubs a run as the same thing there as here. Keep the glove on the runner until either the runner calls time or the ump tells you to move on!
   49. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5553151)
But I was technically rooting for the Nationals so I might be reasoning my way into that argument.


To be honest, I think my Cubs' fandom helped me convince myself that the side-by-side camera angles rose to the level of "clear and convincing evidence". But as #47 says, it's a terrible application of replay even if it is correct. And I'm not familiar enough with the technology to know how much confidence we should place in synchronized video anyway (if they're off by, what, 0.1 second, there's no way that's "clear and convincing").

If Lobaton had been called safe upon further review and the Nats went on to score two runs that inning and win the game, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be arguing today that the Cubs should have won, because Lobaton should have been called out on that play.
   50. Lassus Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5553154)
I agree that Rizzo tagged his leg while his foot was off the base. I disagree that what the replay showed amounted to "indisputable video evidence," which google tells me is the standard for overturning a call.

Yeah, that was very odd.


And the last two of these led directly to three runs.

I'd have to review, but didn't various hitting or other things take place following?
   51. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:30 PM (#5553155)
The dropped third strike was probably wrongly called but was the correct game result. The pick off at first may have been rightly called but was clearly the wrong game result. No way he should have been called out in a video overturn.
   52. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5553157)
One thing that occurs to me - this is me, as a Cubs fan, trying to rationalize the Cubs win, despite basically being gifted with at least two runs and a free out. If Baez is correctly called out on his strikeout in the top of the fifth, then La Stella doesn't pinch hit for Hendricks there, and Hendricks comes out and pitches at least the fifth inning - and possibly longer (leading off the inning isn't as obvious a PH situation as two runners in scoring position with two out). Which changes the entire complexion of the rest of the game if you now only need 2 or 3 innings out of the Cubs bullpen.
   53. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:38 PM (#5553159)
I'd have to review, but didn't various hitting or other things take place following?


Jay broke up a double play with one out and a runner on third base. If that's ruled a double play, the run doesn't count, inning over.

Javy struck out with two out and a runner on second. The runner scored on Wieters' bad throw to 1B and Javy eventually scored having been incorrectly awarded first base. [EDIT: Actually, I think there were runners on first and second, and the runner on first (Heyward) scored the run that wouldn't have scored if the inning had ended.]

That's three runs directly resulting from those plays that would not (could not) have happened otherwise.

Granted, future innings would have seen different batters batting at various times. And, per my #52, different pitchers might have pitched different innings. So, the Cubs and Nationals might have scored different numbers of runs based on those things.
   54. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:44 PM (#5553162)
There was one angle that clearly showed Lobaton's foot off the base. There was a second angle that clearly showed Rizzo's glove on Lobaton's leg. When they returned from commercial, TBS showed the two angles side-by-side and, they said, synched up, such that you could see Lobaton's foot off the bag on the left and Rizzo's tag on Lobaton's leg on the right. I was rooting for the Cubs, but I am very much not a fan of the use of replay for a call of that nature, even if I do agree that it was technically correct.


I detest the fact that taggers now hold their glove on a guy's leg and kinda sorta nudge and block and act completely differently than they did pre-replay, so they can get a call that didn't even exist before replay. Replay isn't reviewing an organic baseball situation; it's *causing* inorganic ones.

And now those inorganic plays are helping decide playoff games.

Yuck, yuck, yuck.
   55. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:47 PM (#5553165)
we all hate the "the guy's foot bounced off for a tenth of a second" anyways.


I actually don't mind that. Well, I don't like taking 3 minutes to figure it out, but if there is a replay that can show within 30 seconds or so that the guy was fully off the bag while a tag was being applied, sure, overturn it. If it takes 2 camera angles synched and a minute to find clear evidence he was off the bag while a tag was applied, that's not so bad either (assuming the cameras are indeed synched). Didn't seem that clear last night, though.
   56. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5553168)
For those arguing the Cubs didn't deserve to win, while I can relate to that on some level, but I have to ask, what is the alternative? The team who's catcher heaved a wild throw into RF when he had absolutely 0 chance to get the runner? The team who's backup catcher clearly came off the base on a pickoff throw when he had no business being that far off the base in the first place?

The Cubs win was ugly, no doubt, and aided by some dicey umpire judgements. But had those calls both gone the other way, and the nationals eked out a win, their win would have been just as ugly. Since you can't have the result that no one wins, I think a Cubs win is most just. barely, but it has to be someone. I agree with sam that the baez call was the most just outcome, and the Loboton call was unjust.

As for those claiming the PO review was an abuse of replay, I tend to agree but I'll ask the question I asked last night in the chatter. What amount of distance off the base and/or time off the base is acceptable to review and overturn? Right now the standard appears to be anything greater than 0. If you increase that to say anything greater than 1 in and .5 sec, then there will still be controversy as replay tries to determine if he was off for .97 inches or 1.03.
   57. DL from MN Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:57 PM (#5553170)
That fifth inning was brutal to watch. And I'm a Cubs fan.


As a disinterested party I thought the whole game was brutal to watch from then on. The lowlight was the two mound conferences before throwing a pitch by the Cubs. Those teams spent more time in a huddle than a football team. Boring, boring, boring.
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: October 13, 2017 at 12:58 PM (#5553171)
we all hate the "the guy's foot bounced off for a tenth of a second" anyways.
What amount of distance off the base and/or time off the base is acceptable to review and overturn? Right now the standard appears to be anything greater than 0. If you increase that to say anything greater than 1 in and .5 sec, then there will still be controversy as replay tries to determine if he was off for .97 inches or 1.03.
I have a rule change solution. It probably needs some tweaking, but the basic idea would be that if a runner in motion makes contact with a base, loses contact with the base, and then re-gains contact, he cannot be tagged out during the time he loses contact as long as he remains above the base during that period.
   59. DL from MN Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5553174)
I detest the fact that taggers now hold their glove on a guy's leg and kinda sorta nudge and block and act completely differently than they did pre-replay, so they can get a call that didn't even exist before replay.


Kent Hrbek
   60. kthejoker Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5553175)
Well, a couple of famous counter-examples are Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and Randy Johnson in 2001.


And don't forget this gem in 1999. It wasn't the World Series or a Championship Series, but it may be the best "starter as a reliever" performance in playoff history.


I call your bet and raise you this.
   61. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5553176)
The lowlight was the two mound conferences before throwing a pitch by the Cubs. Those teams spent more time in a huddle than a football team. Boring, boring, boring.


As an interested party, there was far too much time within an inherently exciting, suspenseful game that was "boring, boring, boring". That exact game, played in one hour less time, would have been vastly better. I love Willson Contreras's energy and batting and throwing arm. But holy hell, man, stop walking out to the goddamned mound every third pitch. Easiest solution: the "only two mound visits per inning without changing a pitcher" be expanded to include anybody other than the pitcher. Problem solved.
   62. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5553177)
I have a rule change solution. It probably needs some tweaking, but the basic idea would be that if a runner in motion makes contact with a base, loses contact with the base, and then re-gains contact, he cannot be tagged out during the time he loses contact as long as he remains above the base during that period.


That's a common sense rule, but there will still be situations then to detrermine whether he was above the base, or half a degree off the footprint of the base. In fact, it's not clear that lobaton's foot, once it came off, was above the base. And that might also have unintended and unforeseen consequences, like a new slide technique may delvelop that allows one to get to the base a fraction of a second faster, but isn't used much because of the risk of losing contact with the base. But if you eliminate the risk, it becomes feasible.
   63. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5553179)
Dusty Baker, post-season:

2002 WS, up 3-2, ahead 5-0 after 6.5 innings in game 6. lost series in 7 games.
2003 NLCS, up 3-2, ahead 3-0 after 7 innings in games 6. rather famously (or infamously), lost game 6 and then the series in game 7.
2010 NLDS, Reds get swept, though, they were heavy underdogs to the Phillies anyway.
2012 NLDS, Reds up 2-0, lose 3 in a row and the series
2013 NLWC, Cueto famously drops the ball during jeering from Pittsburgh crowd and seemed rattled the whole time he was in, probably not Dusty's fault they lost...
2016 NLCS, Nats up 2-1, lose last 2 games (both very close)
2017 NLCS, Nats behind 2-1, tie it at 2-2, then lose a crazy game 9-8.


   64. DL from MN Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5553187)
inherently exciting, suspenseful game


It was suspenseful but not exciting. Which team was going to be the first to run out of bullets shooting itself in the foot? Not exactly what you hope for from playoff baseball.
   65. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5553188)
I don't know if this is being discussed at all: re the pickoff, does anyone think the possibility of a "bounce" is being calculated into the decision to make the throw in the first place? It gives a second chance at success, much as throwing into the corner of the end zone might yield a touchdown, or alternatively you might get the pass interfelrence call.
   66. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5553193)
I thought it was one of the worst baseball games I have ever watched which had some meaning to it.
   67. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5553194)
The team who's catcher heaved a wild throw into RF when he had absolutely 0 chance to get the runner?


Contreras probably had 0 chance to get Lobaton, either. But that worked out for him.
   68. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5553198)
As an interested party, there was far too much time within an inherently exciting, suspenseful game that was "boring, boring, boring". That exact game, played in one hour less time, would have been vastly better.


As a fan without a rooting interest here, I agree. I was trying to watch the game for entertainment last night, I knew it was important and I knew that exciting thing were occasionally happening and the outcome was often in doubt, but I couldn't quite make it. It's just hard for me to commit 4:37 for a game that starts at 8 PM EST, especially in a daily succession of games that are 3:30+. Even close, exciting Super Bowls are only in the 3:40 range (when they don't have stadium power outages), and they start earlier.
   69. dog poop god Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5553206)
I love me some dusty failing

You're going to die one day.

See you soon.
   70. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5553213)
It was suspenseful but not exciting.
Suspense IS excitement.

Also, as a manager, Dusty is now 0-10 in clinching games.
   71. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5553215)
I thought it was one of the worst baseball games I have ever watched which had some meaning to it.

Totally agree. For anyone who might be old enough to remember it, the nearest sporting counterpart that comes to mind was the 1971 Comedy of Errors Bowl between the Colts and the Cowboys that featured 11 turnovers.
   72. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:49 PM (#5553218)
Totally agree. For anyone who might be old enough to remember it, the nearest sporting counterpart that comes to mind was the 1971 Comedy of Errors Bowl between the Colts and the Cowboys that featured 11 turnovers.


Which, if you ported it onto last night's game, and even taking into account the overtime (*) ... would have ended in around the 7th inning.

(*) EDIT: My mistake -- the winning field goal was at the very end of regulation. But still.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5553224)
Suspense IS excitement.

Nah, a 4:37 minute, sloppy baseball game is like having to pee really badly, but being unable to get to a toilet. It's stressful, not exciting.
   74. Lassus Posted: October 13, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5553226)
The game was too long, but still great fun.
   75. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5553227)
It was a fun and tense game. It didn't need to last 4.5 hours but I had no problem with all of the plays by themselves. But a 17 run 9 inning game was going to take some time regardless of any kind of shenanigans.


As for the proposed rule I don't see how that works. I don't see how you can simply let someone touch the base and then come completely off of it and not call them out. So a runner can theoretically flop to the base as quickly as possible and then have his arm bounce a foot in the air above the base and still be safe? That makes no sense.


For decades runners have taken advantage of the fallibility of the umps to make the correct call. They taken lead offs and made them bigger and bigger. They've run faster and faster into the bag knowing the umps can't possibly see the smallest details of the play. That's changing and that's fine. Neighborhood plays shouldn't exist, they never should have and now that MLB has clear rules about slides it should be strictly enforced and reviewable. If you don't touch the bag it isn't an out and if you don't want to get hit by the runner then you shouldn't be trying to turn the double play.
   76. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5553228)
It's stressful, not exciting.
We already know that you'e not really able to see things from another POV, but whatever works for you — or doesn't. As far as I'm concerned, a baseball game with real stakes and real emotion has real excitement. Even if there are mistakes, they're real mistakes — there's little in baseball that can hold a candle to the excitement created by the groundball through Buckner's legs, for example. I'd much rather see a close, high-stakes sloppy game than an artistic blowout.
   77. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5553232)
Also, as a manager, Dusty is now 0-10 in clinching games.

This is missing some sort of qualifier. He won the NLDS and NLCS with the Giants in 2002, and the NLDS with the Cubs in 2003.
   78. Nasty Nate Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:18 PM (#5553235)
As for the proposed rule I don't see how that works. So a runner can theoretically flop to the base as quickly as possible and then have his arm bounce a foot in the air above the base and still be safe?
I don't know if it is physically possible for such a move to be the quickest possible way to a base.
   79. DL from MN Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:18 PM (#5553236)
The reason I watch MLB is I get to see top athletes do things nobody else can do. I can see crappy baseball down the road at the little league diamonds all summer long and it doesn't have interminable replay reviews or endless mound visits.
   80. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5553237)
It's just hard for me to commit 4:37 for a game that starts at 8 PM EST, especially in a daily succession of games that are 3:30+. Even close, exciting Super Bowls are only in the 3:40 range (when they don't have stadium power outages), and they start earlier.

Some of these postseason game times are getting to the point of absurdity. At one point there was an afternoon game that came within a few minutes of ending AFTER the early evening game.

Here's the average game time for the 6 series to date, including the WC play-in games:

3:54 Diamondbacks-Rockies
3:51 Yankees-Twins
3:34 Cubs-Nats
3:40 Dodgers-Diamondbacks
3:48 Astros-Red Sox
3:51 Yankees-Indians

But a 17 run 9 inning game was going to take some time regardless of any kind of shenanigans.

That infamous 1993 Blue Jays-Phillies World Series game 4 featured 29 runs and took 4:14 to complete. So far we've had 2 games longer than that and 2 more that came within minutes of it. That Cubs-Nats game last night took 23 minutes longer than that 1993 game and featured 10 fewer runs.
   81. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5553241)
As for the proposed rule I don't see how that works. I don't see how you can simply let someone touch the base and then come completely off of it and not call them out. So a runner can theoretically flop to the base as quickly as possible and then have his arm bounce a foot in the air above the base and still be safe? That makes no sense.


Last night, somebody proposed that the initial tag be reviewable but any follow-up off-the-bag/hold-the-tag play not be reviewable (but still be an "out" if caught in real time). Conceptually, that feels right to me, but I'm not sure how you phrase it and implement it in real life.
   82. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5553243)
Also, as a manager, Dusty is now 0-10 in clinching games.

This is missing some sort of qualifier. He won the NLDS and NLCS with the Giants in 2002, and the NLDS with the Cubs in 2003.


Baker is 0-10 in his last 10 potentially clinching games. The last 3 losses to the Marlins in 2003, 3 losses for the Reds after going up 2-0 in 2012, the WC game in 2013, 2 losses for the Nationals up 2-1 last year, and last night.
   83. Rally Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5553244)
Nah, a 4:37 minute, sloppy baseball game is like having to pee really badly, but being unable to get to a toilet. It's stressful, not exciting.


I concur. Lines were pretty long at the men's rooms so I got to experience both events last night.
   84. Rally Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5553245)
Baker is 0-10 in his last 10 potentially clinching games. The last 3 losses to the Marlins in 2003, 3 losses for the Reds after going up 2-0 in 2012, the WC game in 2013, 2 losses for the Nationals up 2-1 last year, and last night.


Don't forget Dusty's final two games managed in 2002. I never will.
   85. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5553247)
I don't know if it is physically possible for such a move to be the quickest possible way to a base.


I can't even picture what he means. What I do know is that pre-replay, there was zero constituency for the proposal that players slide differently into bases and taggers tag runners coming into bases differently than the way it had been going on for decades. That's all happened solely because of replay. It's pointless. (And eventually, someone is going to get hurt with the new sliding techniques, since it's unnatural to try to hug the bag for literally every millisecond.)
   86. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5553248)
Meh - the first 4 games in the series were remarkably sharp (yes, yes - there were some E's - but they all felt like they got countermanded by sterling plays)... and fairly quick - good pitching will do that. The floodgates just opened for game 5.

The tension I felt - with rooting interests - was just different from other playoff tension in that it felt like in such a sloppy game, whoever batted last was going to win. I'm still rather amazed the Cubs held on. It's fascinating to look at the game's win probability chart -- after the 5th, the Cubs WP stayed above 75%, then into ~90% for the last couple innings - beyond a few momentary circumstances where it slid into the 60s here and there.

If felt like exactly the opposite. It wasn't even post-curse stress disorder - illogical though it may be, I wouldn't have bet even money on the Cubs in the 7th/8th/9th. Maybe sloppy games just make the mind consider a near-limitless menu of "hows".
   87. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5553249)
I think tag reviews like last night are fine. But like we pretty much all advocate, for all reviews, have them initiated by an extra official (skip the manager's challenge delay), give them a time limit, and have a clear understanding about what "indisputable video evidence" means.
   88. stanmvp48 Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5553251)
The 10 to 9 game 7 of the 1960 World Series was 2:36. 5 walks and no strikeouts
   89. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5553252)
Last night, somebody proposed that the initial tag be reviewable but any follow-up off-the-bag/hold-the-tag play not be reviewable (but still be an "out" if caught in real time). Conceptually, that feels right to me, but I'm not sure how you phrase it and implement it in real life.


The only thing that should be reviewable is whether the fielder tagged the runner before or after the first body part of the runner hit the base. After that, it's pure naked eye.
   90. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5553253)
Meh - the first 4 games in the series were ... fairly quick


The shortest game in the series was Game 1, which had a final score of 3-0 and in which the two teams combined for 7 hits with zero mid-inning pitching changes. The game took 3:02 to play. Three hours should not be the floor for how long it takes to play a major-league baseball game.
   91. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5553254)
3:54 Diamondbacks-Rockies
3:51 Yankees-Twins
3:34 Cubs-Nats
3:40 Dodgers-Diamondbacks
3:48 Astros-Red Sox
3:51 Yankees-Indians


My 3:40 median prediction seems just about right. Dodgers-Cubs could easily average 4 hours. For that matter, so could Yankees-Astros.
   92. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5553257)
Dodgers-Cubs could easily average 4 hours.


Is Pedro Baez likely to make the Dodgers' roster and actually pitch in the series? If so, add twenty minutes to the average just for that.
   93. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5553258)
The shortest game in the series was Game 1, which had a final score of 3-0 and in which the two teams combined for 7 hits with zero mid-inning pitching changes. The game took 3:02 to play. Three hours should not be the floor for how long it takes to play a major-league baseball game.


I don't disagree - but with televised playoffs, is it really even possible to get under 3 hours? Everything's relative.
   94. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:35 PM (#5553260)
I don't know if it is physically possible for such a move to be the quickest possible way to a base.

So? The point is that the rule leaves the door open to someone being safe despite their hand or foot a foot or more away from the bag. That's silly.
   95. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:35 PM (#5553261)
I don't disagree - but with televised playoffs, is it really even possible to get under 3 hours? Everything's relative.


MLB playoff games have been televised for like 60 years so ... yeah?
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:35 PM (#5553262)
11 days ago the Washington Post's 4 main baseball writers laid out their predictions for the upcoming games. So far none of them have a perfect record, and Boswell's and Svrluga's only correct picks were the Astros over the Red Sox. All four of them picked the Indians to beat the Astros in the ALCS and then go on to win the World Series.

I wonder if any writer, anywhere, at this point still has a clean prediction slate in place.
   97. spycake Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:36 PM (#5553263)
Don't forget Dusty's final two games managed in 2002. I never will.


Sure, but Dusty had a "clinching game" victory earlier in 2003 (the final game of the NLDS). 1-1 in clinching games in that series.

He was 3-2 in "clinching games" in 2002 (came back from being down 2-1 in the NLDS, won the NLCS 4-1, and then of course lost games 6 and 7 in the WS).

Career record is 4-13 in "clinching games". But the streak is at 10 losses.

Personally, I think it pales in comparison to my Twins' 13 consecutive postseason losses overall, especially with Dusty's record spread across 3-4 franchises, but it's still pretty ignominious, I suppose.
   98. McCoy Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5553265)
Last night, somebody proposed that the initial tag be reviewable but any follow-up off-the-bag/hold-the-tag play not be reviewable (but still be an "out" if caught in real time). Conceptually, that feels right to me, but I'm not sure how you phrase it and implement it in real life.

Yes, the devil is in the details. That's why it should simply be safe/out. If the runner can't make and sustain contact with the bag then they shouldn't take a big lead or a lead at all.
   99. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5553266)
The only thing that should be reviewable is whether the fielder tagged the runner before or after the first body part of the runner hit the base. After that, it's pure naked eye.


That's remarkably sensible.
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5553267)
I don't disagree - but with televised playoffs, is it really even possible to get under 3 hours? Everything's relative.

Seriously?

1996 World Series G6 2:52, G5 2:54
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