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Friday, May 17, 2019

Will there be a worse MLB play this season than this Orioles blunder?

It doesn’t get much more O’s than this.

The American League’s worst team put on a clinic in defensive incompetence Thursday in a 14-7 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Trailing 9-7 in the seventh inning, Baltimore Orioles reliever Richard Bleier took the mound with the bases loaded and one out.

He induced a ground ball from Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis that bounced directly to Orioles second baseman Hanser Alberto, a perfect situation for an inning-ending double play.

I’m trying to remember- headlines that seem designed to get you to say no are an exception to Betteridge’s Law, aren’t they?

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:32 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: errors, orioles

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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5843033)
Someone mentioned the need for team errors in that other thread.

Yeah.
   2. bunyon Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5843040)
I don't know. I'd give the second baseman an error for failing to get the out at first and Davis an error for failing to get the out at second. Or the second baseman an error for failing to get the out at home. The infield was in and they had a force at home. That's why you're in, dude.

My point is, I guess, if we're doling out team errors, there were at least two here.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5843042)
For both the 1B and 2B, it would have been a mistake had they both simply waited to long to make their respective throws, but they each compounded their blunders by actually making the throws after it was too late. So there was about 4 mental failures on the defense there. Good baserunning by the other team though.
   4. bfan Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5843047)
Well, the Orioles have about 120 games left, so I do not want to call this too early.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5843048)
Someone mentioned the need for team errors in that other thread.

I don't know, to me this is virtually 100% on the 2B. He apparently had zero idea what to do if the ball was hit to him. He only has two choices: 1) throw home for the force, 2) throw to 2B and try for the DP.

A little leaguer knows not to start a run down in that situation. I'm sure the 1B was absolutely shocked.

Given his career wRC+ of 26, I think I'd just cut him.
   6. Itchy Row Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5843056)
That play happens all the time when you get a new video game and you're getting used to which buttons to push.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5843058)
He only has two choices: 1) throw home for the force, 2) throw to 2B and try for the DP.
I don't think they had enough time for a 4-6-3 DP. If I am right, his second option instead is to get the 4-3-6 DP and concede the run.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5843059)
I don't think they had enough time for a 4-6-3 DP.

Then you throw home. Having the IF in means you're not willing to concede the run.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: May 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5843060)
Then you throw home. Having the IF in means you're not willing to concede the run.
You are correct. So I think that makes it 3 mental errors for him.
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 17, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5843065)
You've gotta be pretty dumb to be playing 2B, with the bases loaded, and have a grounder come straight to you, and get fooled by a runner coming from 1B acting like he's in a rundown.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 17, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5843069)
Once Alberto decided to chase after the runner who was on first base, it wouldn't have been so bad if he had just chased him all the way back to first. At least you get one out that way. Instead, he gave up at the last moment and flipped the ball to first, too late to get the hitter.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5843070)
You've gotta be pretty dumb to be playing 2B, with the bases loaded, and have a grounder come straight to you, and get fooled by a runner coming from 1B acting like he's in a rundown.

Or just completely out of it. In a situation like this you should have decided what to do before the pitch. He should have been thinking: 1) grounder - throw home, 2) line drive - throw to 2nd. You can't wait until the ball's in play to try and figure it out.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5843075)
I don't know. I'd give the second baseman an error for failing to get the out at first and Davis an error for failing to get the out at second. Or the second baseman an error for failing to get the out at home. The infield was in and they had a force at home. That's why you're in, dude.


But no errors were given. It went down as a fielder's choice (Alberto choosing to be a dumbass). The Team Error could also work with "Good Lord, you've got to get at least one out from that situation, and you got none" type plays like this.

   14. SandyRiver Posted: May 17, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5843118)
But no errors were given. It went down as a fielder's choice (Alberto choosing to be a dumbass).

And it's hard to understand why not, unless the scoring rules state that only errors of commission can be assigned, not omission. What if Alberto had simply held the ball while the runners advanced, doing nothing? Getting even more absurd, hypothetically, what if the 1st baseman cleanly fields a grounder and stands 10 feet off the bag watching the batter cross it? Hit? Fielder's choice? (or non-choice?) Should be a way to "award" an E3, or in the real case, E4.
(I have to cut Davis a bit of slack, as he must've been dumfounded at what was happening in front of him, and at least tried to get the most important runner.)
   15. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5843126)
That play happens all the time
...on my 7-y.o. son's little league team.
   16. Eddo Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5843127)
And it's hard to understand why not, unless the scoring rules state that only errors of commission can be assigned, not omission. What if Alberto had simply held the ball while the runners advanced, doing nothing? Getting even more absurd, hypothetically, what if the 1st baseman cleanly fields a grounder and stands 10 feet off the bag watching the batter cross it? Hit? Fielder's choice? (or non-choice?) Should be a way to "award" an E3, or in the real case, E4.

I think, in practice, all those plays would go down as fielder's choices as well.
   17. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5843130)

And it's hard to understand why not, unless the scoring rules state that only errors of commission can be assigned, not omission.
Well, it's because only physical errors, not mental errors, are scored as errors.
   18. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5843132)
   19. Itchy Row Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5843133)
What if Alberto had simply held the ball while the runners advanced, doing nothing?
According to Wikipedia, Engelberg got an inside the park home run when Vic Morrow's son did that.
   20. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5843136)
Worst Play in MLB History? That's a bit much.

Maybe if more than one run had scored (throw to the catcher goes into the dugout) or there was a serious injury.
   21. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5843137)
Maybe if more than one run had scored (throw to the catcher goes into the dugout) or there was a serious injury.
Uh, more than one run did score. The Indians got two runs on a DP grounder.
   22. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5843139)
Wow, the second run scored so easily too.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:41 PM (#5843142)
Uh, more than one run did score. The Indians got two runs on a DP grounder.

Yeah. To be worse than this a DP grounder would have to result in 3 or 4 runs. Guess it could happen if the IF threw the ball all the way to the OF fence.
   24. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5843145)
A little leaguer knows not to start a run down in that situation.


You obviously haven't spent much time around little leaguers.
   25. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 17, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5843147)
That play happens all the time

...on my 7-y.o. son's little league team.


If this were a LL game, I'd want the 2B to run the runner all the way back to first if need be. get one out without throwing the ball. In LL, runs are cheap, outs are precious. In LL, it's 50/50 whether he throws the ball away or not, and if not, it's 50/50 whether the other guy catches it. Unless it's the winning run, you get the out without making a throw your first option.
   26. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5843150)
Alberto "made" a terrible play, but he's a plus defender who makes contact (albeit with little power and no patience). A marginal big leaguer, sure, but you don't release him because of this - it's not like he did this intentionally.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5843152)
Alberto "made" a terrible play, but he's a plus defender who makes contact (albeit with little power and no patience). A marginal big leaguer, sure, but you don't release him because of this - it's not like he did this intentionally.

Well, I'm questioning how someone can be a plus defender who has such horrible preparation and/or instincts.
   28. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5843155)
Plus range and avoids errors? (Both by stats and scouting reports.)

It's one play. Better players have spaced out / screwed up. Remember Larry Walker handing a ball to a fan when there was only one out in an inning, for example?
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5843163)
You obviously haven't spent much time around little leaguers.

I think 95% of Little Leaguers throw to a base, any base. Now they may very well air mail the throw and let 2 runs score anyway.
   30. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5843166)
As you watch the play, you have to have Yakety Sax playing in your head.
   31. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5843169)
I don't know, to me this is virtually 100% on the 2B.


Agreed. Davis, the 1B, did nothing to warrant an error.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5843173)
Agreed. Davis, the 1B, did nothing to warrant an error.
Well, he could have either gotten the (second) runner heading home, or the runner heading to 2B ... and he got neither.
   33. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 17, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5843174)
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
   34. Lindor Truffles Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5843181)
Agreed. Davis, the 1B, did nothing to warrant an error.

Given he was trying to chase down Lindor when there was a simple force at second, Davis apparently assumed the batter-runner was out (thus, Lindor would need to be tagged). That’s a mistake on his part, even before triple-clutching to throw home.

Alberto effectively conceded the run when he waited for the second hop. Even with a routine second hop, he has no momentum towards any base. The hop ate him up to the point he went airborne and landed with his body angled to 1B. From there, he held the ball way too long running Lindor back.

Get your butt onto the infield grass and field it before the second hop...all your momentum is heading towards home where a good throw saves a run.
   35. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5843182)
It's one play. Better players have spaced out / screwed up. Remember Larry Walker handing a ball to a fan when there was only one out in an inning, for example?
I also think that completely unforced errors like Walker's (or something like Nyjer Morgan turning a double into an inside-the-park home run when he threw his glove away and stopped playing) are worse mistakes than Alberto's. At least Alberto was taking action with the intention of helping his team win, even if that action was horribly misguided.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5843190)
As you watch the play, you have to have Yakety Sax playing in your head.
I always have Yakety Sax playing in my head. I thought about getting that checked out, but nah, it makes life much more amusing.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5843207)
I always have Yakety Sax playing in my head. I thought about getting that checked out, but nah, it makes life much more amusing.

Is that the same as the Benny Hill theme, or different?
   38. BillWallace Posted: May 17, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5843216)
The thing that's so amazing about this play is that there isn't even a bad throw. All of the most comically bad plays I can remember involve at least one and usually multiple bad/missed throws.

The Orioles turned a home to first double play into 0 outs and 2 runs without a single missed throw. I'm not sure something like that has ever happened before.
   39. Sunday silence Posted: May 17, 2019 at 06:17 PM (#5843237)
This reminds me once again to emphasize that GB errors occur much more frequently with men on base, in particular when ever there's less than two outs and at least one man at first (the DP situation). part of that info is here, the base out situation; about half way down:


https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/6/24/4456142/when-is-an-error-more-likely-to-occur-in-a-game

but that doesnt cover all of it, cause FB error rates dont really change with men on base (the remain at 0.5%), its Gb error rates that do, in some cases a lot (like the situation here, bases loaded one out) from about 2.5 w/ no outs to a max of like 8% with bases loaded.

This has serious repercussions on the way we evaluate defensive metrics for infielders because these errors with men on base typically lead to a worse loss of weighted runs, versus an error with no one on. THe point being that GB errors dont occur at the same rate which even respected sabremetricians (Chris Dial) have missed, so you have to factor that when looking at error rates/failing to make the play.

Typically an infield error with men on base is worth about 1 weighted run. in the linked story, Im guessing its about 1.45 runs given how many runners moved up (a total of 4 bases) plus failure to get third out (o.25 or so).

Also note, most errors on GBs are throwing errors, the typical off balance pitcher trying to make the play at first throwing the ball away and runners running all over the place, kind of thing.

There's lots to be gleaned from this. For another example take pinch hitters. A mediocre contact hitter with say .300 OBP can easily be a .380 OBP guy with men on base, given the boost in error rates and slight bump (3%) in batting avg in such situations.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 17, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5843245)
Is that the same as the Benny Hill theme, or different?
That's the one.
   41. JAHV Posted: May 17, 2019 at 07:39 PM (#5843248)
I saw a play like this from the 9 - 10 year-old Little Leaguers I manage. It wasn't nearly this bad, but it had a similar look. So this gives me some good confidence-building material at practice.

"Look at this play, guys. You guys play better than a major league team."

"But coach, isn't that the Orioles?"
   42. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: May 18, 2019 at 03:48 AM (#5843344)
I am not sure about this, but I think Kevin Kiermaier cost the Rays a game tonight via mental mistake. With two outs in the inning and a man on third, he was way too shallow for the Gio Urshela drive that ended it.

Urshela struck the ball well, but it bounced just shy of the warning track. I think Kiermaier thought that there was one out, and that he had to throw out a runner at home.
   43. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 18, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5843375)

I didn't see the play, but that sounds like a coaching error; Alberto had to decide what to do on his own, but the coaches had plenty of time to tell Kiermaier to play farther back if necessary.
   44. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: May 18, 2019 at 07:27 PM (#5843444)
I think he was playing in on the assumption that a ball was more likely to drop in front of him than be hit over him. Doesn't matter in that situation whether they allow a squib single or a ball hit off the wall; any hit loses the game. I don't remember if there was a view showing whether the corner OFs were also playing in.
   45. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: May 18, 2019 at 07:40 PM (#5843446)
But here is my question. After Estrada scores on the wild pitch, it is a tie game and there are runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Shouldn't the Rays have then walked Maybin to set up the DP? What's the downside? I know Urshela is the best player in the league, but you're going to have to face him regardless.
   46. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 18, 2019 at 07:41 PM (#5843447)
But no errors were given. It went down as a fielder's choice (Alberto choosing to be a dumbass).

Back when I was doing Game of the Day writeups, I sometimes referred to plays like this as Fielder's (Poor) Choices.
   47. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:08 PM (#5843455)
What's the downside?


A walk?
   48. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:28 PM (#5843459)
Well, true.
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: May 19, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5843548)
But here is my question. After Estrada scores on the wild pitch, it is a tie game and there are runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Shouldn't the Rays have then walked Maybin to set up the DP? What's the downside?
Downsides include needing to get LeMahieu out instead of Maybin, and having a BB or HBP lose the game.
   50. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: August 21, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5873268)
Fast forward to late August and Alberto is second among Oriole position players in WAR (2.0, per b-ref), with a 104 OPS+ and general positive defensive metrics.
   51. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:43 PM (#5873284)
But here is my question. After Estrada scores on the wild pitch, it is a tie game and there are runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Shouldn't the Rays have then walked Maybin to set up the DP? What's the downside? I know Urshela is the best player in the league, but you're going to have to face him regardless.


I know Misirlou already answered this but every time this situation comes up I think of Bill James' essay on the 1985 NLCS and the decision to pitch to Clark rather than walking him and pitching to the on deck hitter (Van Slyke?). It's been a long time since I read it but if you can find it I suspect it holds up pretty well.
   52. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 22, 2019 at 01:02 AM (#5873361)
Fast forward to late August and the Orioles aren’t the worst team in the league any more.
   53. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 22, 2019 at 01:44 AM (#5873366)
I know Misirlou already answered this but every time this situation comes up I think of Bill James' essay on the 1985 NLCS and the decision to pitch to Clark rather than walking him and pitching to the on deck hitter (Van Slyke?).
Yes, it was Van Slyke.

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