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Saturday, October 23, 2021

How Dusty Baker, Brent Strom and Martín Maldonado Seized the ALCS From the Red Sox

It was during that game that Strom, the chief navigator of pitching, decided to tack to the starboard side. The change Cora referenced was a decision by Strom to have his pitchers attack the Red Sox with fastballs.

“Yeah, very much so,” Strom said. “Basically, the Red Sox were spitting on so many non-competitive breaking balls in the first couple of games. We were falling behind [counts]. I basically told the group, ‘If you’re going to get beat, throw your best stuff over the plate, then you can sleep at night. Rather than dancing around the strike zone.’ Young pitchers start dancing, and you can’t do that.”...

Baker has evolved and adapted, which is why this time he quickly yanked Garcia, who is notoriously shaky the third time around, for Phil Maton.

“It’s a combination of observing other games, knowing yourself and trying to stay modern on how the game is played and how the players expect the game to be played,” Baker said before ALCS Game 6 when explaining how he has evolved with pitcher use. “You know, when I took Russ Ortiz out in that game, today that would have been the move to make. But then it was, ‘Why’d you take him out so early?’ So who knows? Maybe I was ahead of my time.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 23, 2021 at 03:00 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, dusty baker

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 23, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6048586)
I'm not a big Dusty fan but you can't deny that the guy keeps winning. And I laughed at the last line of the blurb. Good for him.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2021 at 06:14 PM (#6048589)
Is there any way back to a world where less than, say, 2/3 of the discussion about the postseason is about how managers have used, are using or will use pitchers?
   3. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 23, 2021 at 06:25 PM (#6048593)
I'm not a big Dusty fan but you can't deny that the guy keeps winning.


. . . does he? Mostly what he does is crap out in the playoffs, which is when managers might actually matter.
   4. McCoy Posted: October 23, 2021 at 06:38 PM (#6048599)
Dusty was given good teams and they occasionally did well. He generally runs a good clubhouse it seems but that hasn't actually translated to anything meaningful.
   5. The Duke Posted: October 23, 2021 at 07:54 PM (#6048611)
It’s interesting that almost every innovation (or return to previous tactic) in the last ten years has ruined the look and feel of baseball. Replays, shifts, launch angle, exit velocity, four seam fastballs, expanded pitching rosters, death of the starter, openers, Three true outcomes, three times through the order, bullpen games, and collapse of running game have all conspired to make baseball far less watchable.

All one has to do is go to a minor league game to see how true this is.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: October 23, 2021 at 11:43 PM (#6048666)
Is there any way back to a world where less than, say, 2/3 of the discussion about the postseason is about how managers have used, are using or will use pitchers?

Sure, we can shift to a world where 2/3 of the discussion about the postseason is about how different AI algorithms have used, are using or will use pitchers.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: October 23, 2021 at 11:59 PM (#6048679)
More seriously though ... what else is there to discuss? There's little in the way of tactical decisions when it comes to batting. It's not like there's any chance that David Bote is a better hitter even though it's Kris Bryant's 4th PA of the game. If Bryant has, say, K'd 15 times in 25 PA to that point they can mention what a tough series he's having so the color guy can chime in "but he can turn it all around with one swing of the bat here." When announcers get a chance to discuss the tactical decision of whether to attempt a steal or bunt they ramble on quite a bit about that, it just doesn't come up very much.

I don't recall what they discussed back in the day. There was more platooning back then but I don't recall announcers agonizing over whether Weaver should PH Roenicke for Lowenstein here or leave Lowenstein in to flail against the LHP in hopes he'd face a righty in another couple of innings. They gushed about whichever batter was having a big series, gushed about any starter pitching well that day and I assume called Dick Williams a genius for using 1971 CYA/MVP Vida Blue almost entirely in relief in the 1972 postseason (genius because it worked out very well).
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 24, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6048680)
More seriously though ... what else is there to discuss?
The players doing the playing?
   9. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2021 at 08:23 AM (#6048691)
He sure did catch that flyball well.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 24, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6048703)
Is there any way back to a world where less than, say, 2/3 of the discussion about the postseason is about how managers have used, are using or will use pitchers?


We could always talk about how long the games are.
   11. John DiFool2 Posted: October 24, 2021 at 03:45 PM (#6048731)
I was going to mention platooning in the other thread. Is there an inefficiency there that can be taken advantage of, esp. given the 3 batter minimum? Get 2 bench bats whose sole job is to hit their opposite-handed numbers when called upon? Or does a new pitcher have a big edge over a new hitter (ye olde pinch hitting penalty)?
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 24, 2021 at 05:10 PM (#6048741)
Get 2 bench bats whose sole job is to hit their opposite-handed numbers when called upon?
But…but then that’s two fewer relievers. That simply cannot be.

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