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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-5-2012

Toledo News-Bee, September 5, 1912:

“There is just one thing in baseball that I want to see before I die,” said Ted Easterly, now world’s champion pinch hitter. “That’s to have Walter Johnson, Joe Wood and Ed Walsh, with two first class catchers to work with them, play with a team of amateurs against a world’s championship team. I believe, from what I know of the value of good pitching, that the amateurs, led by these batteries, would win the series.

I think Ted forgot one very important thing: The world’s championship team is bound to have some great pitchers too.

If they did this in 1912, the Johnson/Wood/Walsh/nothing else team would be facing a team with Eddie Collins, Home Run Baker, Eddie Plank, Chief Bender, Jack Coombs, and a bunch of other actual big leaguers. Watching amateurs try to hit Bender and Plank would be comical.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:18 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, ed walsh, history, joe wood, ted easterly, walter johnson

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4226874)
Today's Birthday Team features an incredibly awkward second base battle between two Hall of Famers and a guy with a long career and a lifetime OBP of .423.

If this was a real team, Bishop would probably play either 3B or SS, but he only started one game on the left side of the infield in real life and moving Mazeroski seems insane. So the Camera Eye sits the bench.

Feel free to play Bishop and bench Maz if you'd like. That's probably the right move anyway.

C: Rod Barajas
1B/Manager: Nap Lajoie
2B: Bill Mazeroski
3B: Jimmy Knowles
SS: Jumbo Davis
LF: Buddy Hassett
CF: Chris Young
RF: Candy Maldonado

SP: Al Orth
SP: Lefty Leifield
SP: Ed Stein
SP: Bill Carrick
SP: Gene Bearden
RP: Jeff Brantley

Umpire: Tom Hallion
Born on the wrong day: Max Bishop
Fun names: Gene Vadeboncoeur, Jul Kustus
   2. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4226875)
Also, I think it'd be a heck of a lot of fun to watch one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the sport try to turn double plays with a guy named Jumbo at shortstop.
   3. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4226880)
Other than possibly the first class catchers, Wood, Johnson, and Walsh would be the best hitters on the team.

That was quite a slam on Louisville and Indianapolis in the Random Shots column of The Toledo News-Bee.
   4. Guapo Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4226930)
Kind of raises an interesting question, which is if Mazeroski was so good at 2B, why didn't they ever try him at SS?
   5. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 05, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4227701)
Game of the day (yesterday): D'Backs 8, Giants 6. Ian Kennedy gave up the game's first run in the bottom of the first, when San Francisco's Marco Scutaro tripled and Pablo Sandoval drove him in on a groundout. Kennedy helped himself back into a tie in the second, however; Ryan Wheeler doubled with one out, and after the second, Kennedy singled against Ryan Vogelsong to bring Wheeler home.

After Kennedy worked a perfect second, Arizona piled on a few runs in the third. Aaron Hill and Justin Upton started the inning with singles, and one out later, Paul Goldschmidt doubled to give his team the lead. Miguel Montero was intentionally walked, Wheeler popped up, and John McDonald singled in a pair of runs, although Montero was thrown out on the bases. The Giants picked up one in the bottom of the inning, as Brandon Crawford singled, moved up a base on each of a pair of outs, and scored on Scutaro's double, but in the top of the fourth, Adam Eaton (no, not that one; he's an outfielder, and this was his MLB debut) doubled with one out and Hill homered to extend the lead to four and chase Vogelsong from the hill.

Kennedy was spotless in the fourth and fifth, and reliever Dan Otero contained Arizona's hitters for a pair of innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Sandoval led off with a double, Hunter Pence doubled him home with one out, and Brandon Belt followed with a two-run homer to bring the Giants back within one. Crawford's two-out double drove Kennedy from the mound; his replacement was Brad Bergesen, who I did not know was now a Diamondback. Bergesen ended the sixth without further excitement, but after Jose Mijares worked around a walk and a single in the seventh, Bergesen allowed a double to Angel Pagan and a game-tying RBI hit to Sandoval.

With the score now even, the eighth inning became the march of the bullpens. San Francisco's Jean Machi walked McDonald, and recorded a popup on a bunt attempt for the first out. Jeremy Affeldt then allowed an infield hit to Eaton and compounded it with a throwing error that put runners on second and third. After an intentional walk to Hill, Affeldt was replaced by Santiago Casilla, who retired Justin Upton and Jason Kubel to preserve the tie. Matt Albers entered for the Diamondbacks, walked Pence, and gave up a single to Belt; Mike Zagurski then replaced him, struck out Joaquin Arias, walked Xavier Nady, and coaxed a double play from Hector Sanchez, meaning that neither team cashed in the loaded bases they set up in the inning.

Sergio Romo worked a 1-2-3 ninth, and so did Matt Lindstrom. Romo did it again in the tenth; Josh Collmenter replaced Lindstrom and allowed only a two-out single. Facing George Kontos, Hill led off the eleventh with a single. Upton flied out, and the Giants put Javier Lopez on the mound to face Kubel. On a 2-2 count, Kubel tripled to put Arizona in the lead, and after an intentional walk to Goldschmidt, Montero singled in an extra run. Collmenter allowed a pair of hits to Nady and Emmanuel Burriss, but retired the next three Giants to nail down the win.

Eleven innings, a pair of bases-loaded, one-out situations in a tie game in the eighth, and one good-sized rally in the early innings. Plus, the debut of Adam Eaton (not that one), who, given Adam Eaton (that one)'s career total of 0.8 WAR, stands a decent chance of someday becoming the best Adam Eaton in baseball history.
   6. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4227723)
Game of the day (last year): Marlins 5, Phillies 4 (14). In the top of the first, Michael Martinez walked and Ryan Howard singled, putting runners on the corners with two outs against Florida's Anibal Sanchez. Hunter Pence grounded out to leave both runners on. This was what is commonly referred to as "foreshadowing."

Emilio Bonifacio led off the bottom of the inning with a triple against Roy Halladay, and Omar Infante singled him home to give the Marlins an early lead. The Phils responded in the second, as Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez singled with one out. Halladay then laid down an intended sac bunt, but third baseman Greg Dobbs threw the ball away, allowing Ruiz to score the tying run. And after Shane Victorino struck out, Martinez also singled, pushing across the inning's second unearned run.

Mike Cameron singled and Bryan Petersen walked in the bottom of the second, but Halladay stranded both of them. After a runner-free third from Sanchez, Gaby Sanchez doubled with two outs and scored the tying run when Logan Morrison reached on a Halladay error in the bottom of the inning. Both pitchers were spotless in the fourth, and both worked around singles in the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Howard drew a leadoff walk, and advanced to third on a one-out double by Raul Ibanez. After an intentional walk to Ruiz loaded the bases, Valdez hit into an inning-ending double play. Halladay quickly recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Petersen then singled, as did John Buck. The Marlins sent pinch hitter Jose Lopez to the plate, and he singled as well, bringing in the go-ahead run.

The use of the pinch hitter both put Florida ahead and necessitated the entrance of their bullpen. First to emerge was Burke Badenhop, who struck out pinch hitter John Bowker but then walked Victorino and Martinez. Lefty Michael Dunn replaced him and induced Chase Utley to ground out, advancing the runners to second and third. Howard followed that with a two-run single, putting the Phils in the lead for the second time in the game. Michael Schwimmer came on for the bottom of the inning, and promtply walked Infante and allowed a double to Dobbs. Gaby Sanchez then hit a grounder to short that turned into a rather unusual play - Infante scored to tie the game, but Dobbs was thrown out trying to take third. Cameron and Petersen would draw two-out walks to load the bases before Buck fanned to leave them that way.

Both teams left runners on second in the eighth, the Phils after a single and sac bunt against Edward Mujica, the Fish after a single and steal off of Brad Lidge. Leo Nunez (or so we thought at the time) pitched a perfect ninth, while Michael Stutes issued a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Jose Ceda walked Howard to start the tenth, but erased him on a double play; Stutes allowed a two-out infield hit to Bonifacio, then picked him off of first. Placido Polanco singled with two out in the eleventh against Steve Cishek, but Victorino whiffed to leave him on. And after that, the teams remembered how to get runners into scoring position.

David Herndon allowed a hit to Infante to start the bottom of the eleventh. Dobbs bunted him over to second, but a pair of outs sandwiched around an intentional pass failed to advance him further. Michael Martinez then led off the twelfth with a double; Cishek would intentionally pass Howard and retire the three Phillies around him to keep the go-ahead run from scoring. Petersen led off the bottom of the twelfth with an infield hit, and took second on a sac bunt. Javier Vazquez then pinch hit, which makes me wonder why the Marlins bunted with the previous hitter; Vazquez made them look like geniuses, reaching on an infield single that moved Petersen to third. An intentional walk to Bonifacio loaded the bases, and a foulout by Infante and flyout from Dobbs left them that way.

Clay Hensley came on to pitch the thirteenth, using only 10 pitches to produce 3 groundouts. Herndon was apparently the last man in the Philly pen, because they gave the Marlins another crack at him in the bottom of the inning. He hit Sanchez with a pitch, then allowed a single to Morrison, moving Sanchez to third. Cameron lined out, Petersen was intentionally walked, and Buck and Hensley (batting for himself; apparently the Marlins were out of either starting pitchers or relievers) made outs to leave three men on base yet again. After another perfect inning from Hensley, Herndon walked Bonifacio, allowed a sac bunt to Infante that moved him to second, intentionally walked Dobbs, got Sanchez to line out, intentionally walked Morrison (which was kind of a terrible idea, seeing as it moved the winning run to third), and then unintentionally walked Cameron to force in the winning run (told you so).

The system absolutely loves this game - it checks in at #7 for the 2011 season to date. My opinion of it is somewhat less enthusiastic, owing mostly to the fact that it featured so many sac bunts (5), which I'm not an enormous fan of, especially from position players (four of them), and even more intentional walks (7), which I actively dislike. It did feature one rather remarkable feat from David Herndon, however. In four innings (well, 3.2, since the last one never finished), he put 12 runners on base (4 hits, 7 walks, 1 HBP), and only one of them scored. Also, he issued what almost has to be a record number of on-purpose passes: five of them, to four different players. (Seriously, five IBBs from one pitcher! Can any of our intrepid PI users find a game that has more from one guy?)

All criticisms aside, the Marlins still loaded the bases in the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth innings; regardless of how exactly the bases became loaded, that's certainly not a boring game.
   7. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4227732)
Kind of raises an interesting question, which is if Mazeroski was so good at 2B, why didn't they ever try him at SS?


They didn't have any reason.

When Maz came up, Dick Groat was the shortstop. Groat was solid defensively and not an offensive zero - although he did win a batting title he didn't have much power and his OBP was just middling. By the time Groat was traded after 1962, Maz was clearly the best defensive 2B in the majors and the Pirates knew that they had Gene Alley coming in a year or two. Alley had, basically, Groat's skill set with a better glove.

Maz's skill set was far better suited to 2B than SS anyway. He didn't have amazing range, but what he did have was a quick release and the ability to take whatever punishment sliding baserunners could dish out on the DP pivot.

-- MWE

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