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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NYT: Angels Tag Rivera and Granderson, Handing Yanks Third Straight Loss

“It’s the old Jeff Nelson move that never works!” (pops fistful of unopened Waldorf’s Sweet Relish packets)

But the result was just as shocking, as Bobby Abreu, the former Yankee who left as a free agent after the 2008 season, ripped his second home run of the night, a towering two-run shot to right field with two outs in the ninth, and the Los Angeles Angels won, 6-4, to send the Yankees to their third consecutive defeat.

The two home runs for Abreu, who also homered in the Angels four-run sixth, accounted for one third of his season total. With a .253 average and only 42 runs batted in, Abreu is not having a good season, and he came into the game in a 1-for-21 slump.

The Yankees had the tying run on base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but with Mark Teixeira, the team leader in home runs, at the plate as the potential winning run, Curtis Granderson was caught by reliever Jordan Walden in a rundown as he tried to steal second steal attempt to end the game in shocking fashion.

Walden stepped off the mound as Granderson broke, he threw to second base and Granderson got hung up in between first and second.

Repoz Posted: August 10, 2011 at 04:22 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, game recaps, yankees

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 10, 2011 at 05:00 AM (#3896903)
I was actually thinking if I'd ever seen the fake-throw-to-third, fake-throw-to-first play work right before Granderson got picked off. A rare awful moment in what's otherwise been superstar-caliber.

The Yankee announcers didn't pull any punches after the play, though. Or maybe I'm too used to sanitized Cub broadcasts where it takes Alfonso Soriano falling down in left field to draw blunt criticism from the announcers.
   2. Shredder Posted: August 10, 2011 at 05:03 AM (#3896904)
It's even funnier to see it happen in a road game. The home crowd, in pretty much every stadium, boos every time a pitcher uses that move. They're a little quieter when it works.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 10, 2011 at 05:11 AM (#3896906)
You would think Burnett's 83 throws over to first throughout his six innings of work would have conditioned the crowd to pick-off attempts.
   4. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 10, 2011 at 05:41 AM (#3896910)
I'm enjoying the win, especially since the Angels are going to run out some kid for his first start tomorrow then Chatwood after that. I'd be stunned if the Angels take another game in New York this year.
   5. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 10, 2011 at 06:22 AM (#3896916)
Yeah, I'm with you #4. I'm looking forward to both games though. Should be cool to see them throw in that environment. Both should be average to above average back of the rotation guys for the foreseeable future.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 10, 2011 at 10:08 AM (#3896930)
I'm enjoying the win, especially since the Angels are going to run out some kid for his first start tomorrow

If that makes you pessimistic about the Angels' chances, it's clear you don't follow the Yankees.
   7. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 10, 2011 at 11:39 AM (#3896939)
The Rays' comeback begins! Only 8.5 to go.
   8. John DiFool2 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM (#3896944)
I was actually thinking if I'd ever seen the fake-throw-to-third, fake-throw-to-first play work right before Granderson got picked off.


Tim Wakefield pulled it off just two weeks ago.
   9. catomi01 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 01:27 PM (#3896964)
It's even funnier to see it happen in a road game. The home crowd, in pretty much every stadium, boos every time a pitcher uses that move. They're a little quieter when it works.


Most of the boos are from the fact that no one in the crowd has any real idea what it means to balk, so they assume the guy is balking every time...same as the spin/no throw to second.
   10. catomi01 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3896965)
and the yankees baserunning was pretty terrible in the small portion of the game i saw...nunez makes it to second on the steal, but had no reason to be running there...and then the granderson fiasco.
   11. catomi01 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3896966)
edit - duplicate post
   12. AROM Posted: August 10, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3896967)
I was actually thinking if I'd ever seen the fake-throw-to-third, fake-throw-to-first play work right before Granderson got picked off.


Somebody else pulled it off recently. Can't remember who - I think it was in an Oriole game I was half watching. It works just enough to make pitchers keep trying it.

It's hard to understand how it works though, because the fake to third is not credible in that I've never seen a pitcher actually throw a pickoff to third. But it still catches the 1B runner off guard sometimes.
   13. BDC Posted: August 10, 2011 at 01:32 PM (#3896970)
Meanwhile the Rangers scramble back from a deficit to win on a Josh Hamilton walkoff hit to keep their lead in the West at a game and a half. Necessary, because the Angels seemingly intend never to lose a game ever again. This is somewhat exciting :)
   14. bunyon Posted: August 10, 2011 at 01:43 PM (#3896975)
The runner has to be going, or thinking of going or leaning heavily. It works on aggressive baserunners who take a couple of steps on first motion. It isn't as if they think "hey, he's throwing to third, I'll break", they're thinking "he moved, go". If a runner is thinking that, then the move works well. It's just that they don't think that very often. I've also thought that the move could be easily improved: a better fake to third, occasionally actually throwing to third to better set it up and, instead of turning to look at first, just wheeling and throwing over. You often see the runner on first "freeze" rather than return immediately to the bag. A quick throw would get some of those guys. But the pitcher usually slowly fakes to third, then slowly turns to look at first and only gets a runner who actually moves significantly toward second. Of course, all three "improvements" come with the significant risk of a mistake that lets the runner on third score. So you should, ideally, really, really need the out.

And, for what it's worth, a friend of mine once fell victim to it twice in the same game. No, we don't still give him crap about that 25 years later. :)
   15. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 10, 2011 at 01:45 PM (#3896978)
It's hard to understand how it works though, because the fake to third is not credible in that I've never seen a pitcher actually throw a pickoff to third.

The runner isn't reacting to the fake to third, he's reacting to the lifting of the front foot and assuming the pitcher is going to the plate.
   16. flournoy Posted: August 10, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3897013)
Most of the boos are from the fact that no one in the crowd has any real idea what it means to balk, so they assume the guy is balking every time...same as the spin/no throw to second.


I think these are the same chuckleheads who yell, "BALK!" after a pitcher stumbles and fails to deliver the ball to the plate... with no one on base.
   17. Ellis Valentine's Bright Future Posted: August 10, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3897030)
I was actually thinking if I'd ever seen the fake-throw-to-third, fake-throw-to-first play work right before Granderson got picked off.


I vaguely recall Mitch Williams (perhaps as a Cub?) do this successfully against the Expos to effectively end their playoff chances some time in the late 80s. It was heartbreaking.
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 10, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3897031)
A Rivera blown save via a HR, and a game-ending pickoff with the tying run at the plate? Did John Sterling survive the night?
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: August 10, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3897034)
I vaguely recall Mitch Williams (perhaps as a Cub?) do this successfully against the Expos to effectively end their playoff chances some time in the late 80s. It was heartbreaking.


Without going to Retrosheet, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you've misremembered a detail or two here.

A Rivera blown save via a HR,


Just a loss.
   20. Mattbert Posted: August 10, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3897035)
The pickoff play at third with a RHP is a sorely underutilized move. Of course, it's understandable that guys don't take the time to develop a good move to third because fewer runners reach third than do first and the runner on third will score if you screw up the pickoff. That said, these are pros we're talking about and they should be able to execute the pickoff perfectly with a bit of practice. It's such a high leverage move if you get it right; would be great to see more teams try it in the right situation.
   21. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 10, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3897036)
and the yankees baserunning was pretty terrible in the small portion of the game i saw...nunez makes it to second on the steal, but had no reason to be running there...and then the granderson fiasco.
Base stealers were 10-for-10 against Walden going into the game, and 11-for-11 after Nunez's swipe. The Yankees needed 2 runs, so Granderson's thinking was obvious. Stealing isn't without risk, but the odds are pretty good against Walden/Mathis.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 10, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3897038)
I vaguely recall Mitch Williams (perhaps as a Cub?) do this successfully against the Expos to effectively end their playoff chances some time in the late 80s. It was heartbreaking.

Without going to Retrosheet, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you've misremembered a detail or two here.


maybe not
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3897047)
maybe not


Well, unless Mitch Williams decided to throw righthanded that day, however that pickoff happened it didn't go down as the standard fake to throw, throw to first move that happened in last night's game.
   24. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3897057)
I think losing via a walk-off HBP is somewhat worse. But that's an "Arsonic versus chlorine" kind of choice. Guns or knives?
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3897061)
The walk-off HBP is bad. The walk off balk is worse. The walk off whatever the hell you call K-Rod dropping the throw from the catcher a few years ago remains the all time champion.
   26. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3897064)
I vaguely recall Mitch Williams (perhaps as a Cub?) do this successfully against the Expos to effectively end their playoff chances some time in the late 80s. It was heartbreaking.

No surprise there. Mitch Williams played the game the way it is supposed to be played -- hard for three outs.
   27. Bad Doctor Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3897071)
I feel like I remember Turk Wendell successfully pulling off the "fake to third, throw to first" twice within a few weeks' time.

And B-Ref says ... possibly on May 16, 2000 and July 28, 2000? Runner picked off 1st with runners on 1st and 3rd on both ocassions.

Edit: Googling it, I found someone stating that the Turk actually pulled the trick twice in just the May 16, 2000 game alone. I missed it because the second pickoff in that game says it was at second base, but that's because the runner was caught off first and ran to second where he was ultimately tagged ... and that pickoff came with runners on 1st and 3rd as well.

Also, found an article by Jack McDowell claiming that this is the most effective pickoff available for a RHP, but I don't feel like running through his game logs at this time to verify how successful he was with it.
   28. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3897077)
The walk-off HBP is bad. The walk off balk is worse. The walk off whatever the hell you call K-Rod dropping the throw from the catcher a few years ago remains the all time champion.

That was a Sulk Off win for the A's.
   29. Shredder Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3897083)
A Rivera blown save via a HR, and a game-ending pickoff with the tying run at the plate? Did John Sterling survive the night?
Tough to blow a save when you enter a tie game.
The walk off whatever the hell you call K-Rod dropping the throw from the catcher a few years ago remains the all time champion.
Oh man, I thought I had repressed that memory. Thanks a lot. Of course, I also remember the amazing play he and Bengie Molina combined on to help beat Cleveland in 2004, so it maybe they balance out.
With the Angels up, 2-1, two out and speedy Ronnie Belliard taking a healthy secondary lead from third base, Rodriguez tried to lure Travis Hafner into swinging at an 0-and-2 slider in the dirt.

The ball bounced off Molina and squirted about 12 feet up the third-base line in foul territory while Belliard sped home, but in a flash, Molina pounced on it, grabbed it, and, without looking at home plate at all, flipped it backward to Rodriguez, who had astutely charged to the plate.

Rodriguez slid into the plate and blocked the oncoming face of Belliard -- who was in the middle of a headfirst slide -- perfectly with his right leg, applying the tag as home-plate umpire Brian Gorman called Belliard out.


That was the first and last team you'll ever see "Molina" "Pounce" and "In a Flash" used in the same sentence without a reference to food.
   30. bads85 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3897085)
speedy Ronnie Belliard


There is zany Doug Miller with his subtle sarcasm again.
   31. aleskel Posted: August 10, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3897094)
Wasn't there a walk-off a year or two ago that came on a wild pitch during an intentional walk, where the pitcher just air-mailed one? That was fun.
   32. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 10, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3897099)
I think losing via a walk-off HBP is somewhat worse. But that's an "Arsonic versus chlorine" kind of choice. Guns or knives?


Made worse by the fact that it was a game that was deep into the night because of a lengthy rain delay and extra innings. And that the Tigers had finagled their way out of a bases-loaded situation the previous inning. And, of course, there was the added salt on the wound that the guy hit with the pitch had struck out four times in the game and was down two strikes in the count.
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 10, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3897112)
A Rivera blown save via a HR, and a game-ending pickoff with the tying run at the plate? Did John Sterling survive the night?

For some reason Sterling became fixated on the trivial fact that Abreu had two home runs for tne night after coming into the game with only four for the season. It would've been one thing to mention it once, with an accompanying "How about that?", but he must have repeated it three or four times over the course of the rest of the game, each time inflating this seemingly unprecedented event in his imagination, to the point where you might have thought he was commenting on the home run log of Hoyt Wilhelm, or Ozzie Smith's walkoff home run in the 1985 NLCS. It was just bizarre.
   34. Dave Spiwak Posted: August 10, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#3897116)
The ball bounced off Molina and squirted about 12 feet up the third-base line in foul territory while Belliard sped home, but in a flash, Molina pounced on it, grabbed it, and, without looking at home plate at all, flipped it backward to Rodriguez, who had astutely charged to the plate.

Rodriguez slid into the plate and blocked the oncoming face of Belliard -- who was in the middle of a headfirst slide -- perfectly with his right leg, applying the tag as home-plate umpire Brian Gorman called Belliard out.

That was the first and last team you'll ever see "Molina" "Pounce" and "In a Flash" used in the same sentence without a reference to food.


Also the first and last time you'll see "K-Rod" and "astute" in the same sentence.
   35. catomi01 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3897186)
Wasn't there a walk-off a year or two ago that came on a wild pitch during an intentional walk, where the pitcher just air-mailed one? That was fun.



not sure what its called, but I know there is a clip on you tube of an Atlantic League pitcher having a disastrous series of IBB's. If I remember right - it was a tie game, and runner on 3B...presumably no outs...so they wanted to walk two guys to set up the force all around....1st batter, he walked successfully, but was very erratic - couple of balls high, in the dirt etc...then on the next batter, he drilled the 1st or 2nd ball in the dirt for a wild pitch and the runner on third scored to win.
   36. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: August 10, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3897246)
Yes, the speedy Molina quickly pounced on a ball 12 feet away from him just in time to nab a guy trying to score from 80 feet away.
   37. BWV 1129 Posted: August 10, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3897352)
That Molina-K-Rod play was one of the greatest defensive plays I have ever seen.

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