The Second Guesser's Club - The Brewers Come To Town - There Will Be Rings!

absintheofmalaise

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Game 1: April 4 2:05pm Estrada (RHP) vs. Peavy (RHP)
Game 2: April 5 7:10pm Peralta (RHP) vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Game 3: April 6 1:35pm Gallardo (RHP vs. Lester (LHP)
 
There isn't a lot of history between the Milwaukee starting pitchers and the Boston hitters. Estrada has faced Gomes, Ortiz, Pedroia and AJP before and Gallardo has faced Gomes, Herrera, Ortiz, Pedroia and Ross. 
 
The Brewers are a very free swinging team and never met a pitch they didn't like. In 2013, minus Braun for a good portion of the season, ranked  21st in OBP (.311), 18th in wOBA (.311), 30th in BB% (6.7%), 30th in BB (407), 18th in BABIP (.294) and 19th in Runs (640) in MLB. They also had the 2nd highest Swing% (48.6%).
 
All rankings courtesy of Fangraphs.
 

URI

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I liked the other thread starter better.
 

URI

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She was offensively ineffective, and impotent...like the Brewers!
 
The one thing I want to see out of this series is to see how Ryan Braun handles what could be a pretty hostile crowd this weekend, especially how terrible he looked against Atlanta.
 

absintheofmalaise

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Braun is the DH today, so he won't be hearing it from the fans in the OF today.
 
Brewers line up
 
CF Gomez
SS Segura
DH Braun
3B Ramirez
C Lucroy
RF Schafer
LF Davis
2B Gennett
1B Overbay
 
Sox line up
 
RF Nava
2B Pedroia
DH Ortiz
1B Napoli
LF Carp
CF Sizemore
SS Bogaerts
C AJP
3B WMB
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I'm not sure how much of a difference it has made in this game thus far, but Carp really looks like a butcher in left field. He really has no feel for getting the ball on one hop off the tin. 
 
It will be interesting to see how much this plays into Farrell's decisions until Vic is back. 
 
Edit: Carp's play in the top of the fifth on Gomez was pretty good. 
 

ookami7m

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Two questionable baserunning moves already (sending Grady home for the 3rd out and now Dustin out by a mile stealing with Papi up). I know the Sox have trended towards more aggression on the basepaths, but neither of these two looked exceptionally close at all. 
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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No one thinks Mujica was the wrong call there?
 
edit: ex-ante.  obviously, ex-post, he was a disaster, but Khris Davis has never made an out against him (one double, one ROE in two PAs), and Scooter Gennett was also 1-for-3 with a 2B against Mujica.  Not to mention that Gennett and Overbay were lefties - Andrew Miller's the only lefty in the pen right now, what are you saving him for?
 

MakMan44

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MentalDisabldLst said:
No one thinks Mujica was the wrong call there?
 
edit: ex-ante.  obviously, ex-post, he was a disaster, but Khris Davis has never made an out against him (one double, one ROE in two PAs), and Scooter Gennett was also 1-for-3 with a 2B against Mujica.  Not to mention that Gennett and Overbay were lefties - Andrew Miller's the only lefty in the pen right now, what are you saving him for?
That's some crazy SSS. I don't think it really matter all that much, you pull him and put in Miller and the Brewers would just PH Mark Reynolds instead. 
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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With Tazawa and Uehara essentially unavailable having pitched in each of the last two games, Mujica was presumably the designated closer for today.  And in the ninth inning of a tie game at home is where you typically use your "closer".  IMO going to Mujica in that spot is defensible.  The argument comes in whether the hook should have been quicker when he clearly didn't have it.
 

Plympton91

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Looked a lot like the Mujica of last September that the Cardinals didn't use in October.  There seemed to be a reasonable explanation for his struggles at the end of last year that made him seem like a bargain signing, but hopefully this is not indicative of yet another NL Central reliever who can't pitch in the AL East.   Of course, today he was pitching against an NL Central team, so that doesn't really even create one anecdote let alone a compelling data point. 
 

URI

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MentalDisabldLst said:
No one thinks Mujica was the wrong call there?
 
edit: ex-ante.  obviously, ex-post, he was a disaster, but Khris Davis has never made an out against him (one double, one ROE in two PAs), and Scooter Gennett was also 1-for-3 with a 2B against Mujica.  Not to mention that Gennett and Overbay were lefties - Andrew Miller's the only lefty in the pen right now, what are you saving him for?
 
Lets flip this a bit.
 
Do you think Mujica was the wrong call there?  And if so, are you actually using a 5 PA sample over 2 hitters, and the fact that Lyle Overbay is a lefty as the evidence that he was the wrong call?
 

mabrowndog

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I had no issue with Farrell going to Mujica there. This is the sort of situation he was acquired for, with Uehara and Tazawa both deemed unavailable.
 
But let's talk about Middlebrooks on what was easily the most critical play of the game, Scooter Gennett's bunt. We can criticize Mujica all we want for eschewing the sure out at 1B and going to 3B instead, but the bottom line is that nearly proved to be the right decision. His throw wasn't perfect, but it was close enough and it was in time to get the runner had a few other things happened.
 
Which leads me to WMB. First, he failed to move back sufficiently to place his foot on the bag. Obviously it wasn't a force play, but we all know from Little League that you find the bag and use that as your home base to improve your chances of tagging the runner out. You also make it more difficult for the runner to tag (and remain on) the base. Will was stationed about 3 feet in front of the bag, so he had to sweep the tag well behind him. It also slowed the play, since if the thrown ball was allowed to travel those extra 3 feet, he'd have caught the ball closer to the play. Instead of wasting time having to sweep backwards (at a speed far slower than a thrown baseball travels), he'd have already had the ball right in front of the runner.
 
Second, because of his poor positioning he was also unable to keep the glove on the runner through the tag process. It was more of a touch tag because he had to reach behind him and to his left. On NESN's replay, it did appear that Will's glove was still on the runner with the right foot came off the bag (the left hadn't touched it yet). But if Middlebrooks executes the play properly, it's a non-issue and a virtually automatic out call.
 
Am I being too harsh on Middlebrooks? Am I not cutting him sufficient slack considering it was a bunt play? MLB doesn't have any clip posted, so I can't second-guess my first impressions. If anyone else can, have at it.
 

KillerBs

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No you are not being too harsh. Very clearly poorly played by WMB for reasons you state. But still looked like he was out. I thought the days of critical blown calls after the 6th were over?
 

Ed Hillel

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KillerBs said:
No you are not being too harsh. Very clearly poorly played by WMB for reasons you state. But still looked like he was out. I thought the days of critical blown calls after the 6th were over?
 
They should be, for the most part. No issues at all with choosing Mujica -- in fact, I think it was the right move --, but you have to challenge that play. You also can't assume as manager that every replay you've seen in the 30 seconds since the play is going to be the extent of what MLB can pull up from HQ. If you deem it inconclusive, the random person in HQ may well see it differently and side with you, as well. And it's a game-changing play; if you think the odds of reversal are 10% at that stage, I still say challenge. Since they were far better, I must be harsh: Farrell gets a grade of "Andy Reid" for his replay challenge decision-making today.
 

MakMan44

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Ed Hillel said:
 
They should be, for the most part. No issues at all with choosing Mujica -- in fact, I think it was the right move --, but you have to challenge that play. You also can't assume as manager that every replay you've seen in the 30 seconds since the play is going to be the extent of what MLB can pull up from HQ. If you deem it inconclusive, the random person in HQ may well see it differently and side with you, as well. And it's a game-changing play; if you think the odds of reversal are 10% at that stage, I still say challenge. Since they were far better, I must be harsh: Farrell gets a grade of "Andy Reid" for his replay challenge decision-making today.
Seriously. I know I already posted on it but I'd like to reiterate that it was the 9th inning. Odds were very low that something else would come up that late that was worth saving the challenge for. After that play, our WE% was at 19%, odds were pretty high we were losing that game. Can't say the same if that call gets overturned. 
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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URI said:
Do you think Mujica was the wrong call there?  And if so, are you actually using a 5 PA sample over 2 hitters, and the fact that Lyle Overbay is a lefty as the evidence that he was the wrong call?
 
It wasn't obviously and egregiously the wrong call, but I did think we had better options there (even with Tazawa and Uehara unavailable).  A small sample can be pretty suggestive when the results are so strongly tilted in favor of the hitter.  Having already used Badenhop, Farrell's choices were Mujica, Miller, Workman, and Capuano.  I think there's a stronger case for going with Miller (lefty, strong ST) or Workman (consistent recent history) over Mujica.  Surely there will be a lower-leverage opportunity to find out what we've really got in Mujica.
 
I'm not going to pillory Farrell over it, just logging it in the managerial-moves thread for future reference.
 

MakMan44

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Workman wasn't exactly lights out the night before and again, you bring in Miller they're bringing in Mark Reynolds thus completing negating the point of bringing in Miller. 
 
EDIT: Mujica has also held lefties to a sub .300 wOBA since 2009. Putting him in was the right move, it just didn't work out this time. 
 

TheYellowDart5

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
With Tazawa and Uehara essentially unavailable having pitched in each of the last two games, Mujica was presumably the designated closer for today.  And in the ninth inning of a tie game at home is where you typically use your "closer".  IMO going to Mujica in that spot is defensible.  The argument comes in whether the hook should have been quicker when he clearly didn't have it.
 
He gave up two runs in roughly 10 pitches. Unless Farrell had had someone warming alongside Mujica the inning prior, there was no way he'd have been able to pull him quick enough.
 

URI

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
It wasn't obviously and egregiously the wrong call, but I did think we had better options there (even with Tazawa and Uehara unavailable).  A small sample can be pretty suggestive when the results are so strongly tilted in favor of the hitter.  Having already used Badenhop, Farrell's choices were Mujica, Miller, Workman, and Capuano.  I think there's a stronger case for going with Miller (lefty, strong ST) or Workman (consistent recent history) over Mujica.  Surely there will be a lower-leverage opportunity to find out what we've really got in Mujica.
 
I'm not going to pillory Farrell over it, just logging it in the managerial-moves thread for future reference.
 
You can absolutely not judge anything from a 2PA sample (especially when one of them was a ROE...it's not like it's close to the same defense/park out there) and a 3PA sample.  It's not like it was 5PA and 5HR.
 
One guy was 1/3, the other was 1/2.  Not exactly Cesar Crespo against Roy Halladay.
 
But you've done a crappy job of showing your work here.
 
Why is Workman better in a high-leverage situation than Mujica?
Why is Miller against Reynolds better than Mujica vs. Scooter/Overbay?
Why did you forget Capuano is left-handed?
 
Stuff like that.  This is the type of second guessing that the thread titles ironically mock...it's picking a nit that's not there for a hot message board take.  Worse to me, it's blaming a managerial decision in what was clearly a player's failure.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Am I being too hard on Middlebrooks?
He butchered the obstruction play in the World Series in the same fashion - bad positioning, poor footwork, etc...  Its nice to see Middlebrooks' bat come alive in the last two days, but the FO cut bait on Salty because of his poor defense - how long before they start thinking the same thing about this guy?
 

absintheofmalaise

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Philip Jeff Frye said:
He butchered the obstruction play in the World Series in the same fashion - bad positioning, poor footwork, etc...  Its nice to see Middlebrooks' bat come alive in the last two days, but the FO cut bait on Salty because of his poor defense - how long before they start thinking the same thing about this guy?
I thought they let Salty go because they didn't feel he was worth offering a QO to and they felt like they just needed a catcher as a one year place holder. They were able to sign AJP for a little over half of what the QO for Salty would have been and they are getting a bit less in projected offense and still getting average defense from AJP with that lower cost.
 
They did offer a QO to Drew, but they also felt confident enough in both WMB and XB to not seriously pursue a multi-year deal for Drew. I could be wrong, but I don't think that they are going to give up on Middlebrooks just yet. Especially over plays like that which can be worked on and improved upon. He's only played about one full season at this level in two seasons. If you want to use defensive metrics, with very small sample sizes, DRS has him at 11 games below average for the two seasons and UZR has him at -3.1 for those two seasons.
 

lambolt

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
 A small sample can be pretty suggestive when the results are so strongly tilted in favor of the hitter.  
 
What the actual fuck are you talking about?
Do you have any evidence for this? (I will answer for you - no, no you don't - that's because a sample size consisting of 2/2 and 1/3, for an otherwordly 3 out of 5 PA is indicative and suggestive of exactly FUCK ALL under any circumstances, much less in deciding whether to bring in a pitcher in a specific situation).
 
It could be that your posts were just a joke though so my bad if that's the case.
 

URI

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The sample size is a 1/2 and 1/3, not 2/2.  A ROE is considered an out.
 

MoGator71

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Not sure if this really qualifies as a second-guess, but with WMB and Carp broken should Farrell have gone ahead and played Ortiz? Should it have been on Ortiz to step up and say "I'll play tonight"?
 

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Not sure if this really qualifies as a second-guess, but with WMB and Carp broken should Farrell have gone ahead and played Ortiz? Should it have been on Ortiz to step up and say "I'll play tonight"?
Night game before a day game, cool weather, early part of a very long season...you just can't play every game like it's the playoffs.  Even if Ortiz stepped up, Farrell should have kept him on the bench.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Plympton91 said:
Carp is hurt too?
 
Apparently you missed the part where he was in the starting lineup last night (at 1B with Nava in LF) and removed just before the game with back spasms?
 
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MentalDisabldLst

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Let me preface this by saying that URI's right, and I almost certainly overstated the case here.
 

URI said:
The sample size is a 1/2 and 1/3, not 2/2.  A ROE is considered an out.
 
Sorry, it wasn't an ROE, it was a HBP.  Your argument, however, stands.

 
lambolt said:
What the actual fuck are you talking about?
Do you have any evidence for this? (I will answer for you - no, no you don't - <snip>
 
I was thinking about two things: Russell Carleton's seminal article on sample size stability (hard to find online these days, but referenced everywhere; here's the update for pitchers), and something I recall reading that even tiny sample sizes for batter-pitcher matchups can be somewhat predictive when a batter has had great success against that pitcher (extreme results, like a 2.500 OPS) rather than something closer to an average level of results.  I may be imagining the latter (I emailed Derek Carty and he doesn't know either), so I'll offer that I might just be mis-remembering entirely.
 
Either way, consider this picked nit withdrawn.
 

Plympton91

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
Apparently you missed the part where he was in the starting lineup last night (at 1B with Nava in LF) and removed just before the game with back spasms?
Yes. Due to other commitments I finally sat down last night to watch the Red Sox just in time for the 8th inning rally snuffed out by AJ's hacking.

Edit: another great at bat for the bridge to Vazquez today ending the game. Fitting.

So we're going to see AJ hitting for Ross but not Ross hitting for AJ. Okedokee
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I know Farrell doesn't have a lot of options, and I guess I agree with Sizemore sitting, but today provided plenty of evidence that Nava is not well suited to RF in Fenway. He looked terrible out there, despite the nice play running into the stands. Pulled up on a ball a lot of RFers would have, and then didn't even get a throw off coming up, plus the misplay that got Lester in trouble. 
 
JBJ, however, continues to look great in the field. I think he has to play daily until Vic's back. 
 

JMDurron

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MyDaughterLovesTomGordon said:
I know Farrell doesn't have a lot of options, and I guess I agree with Sizemore sitting, but today provided plenty of evidence that Nava is not well suited to RF in Fenway. He looked terrible out there, despite the nice play running into the stands. Pulled up on a ball a lot of RFers would have, and then didn't even get a throw off coming up, plus the misplay that got Lester in trouble. 
 
JBJ, however, continues to look great in the field. I think he has to play daily until Vic's back. 
 
The defense as a whole, aside from Bradley and Pedroia, has looked pretty rough.  Nava in RF, Carp in LF, Middlebrooks at 3B, and (so far) Bogaerts at SS have all been making life especially hard on the pitchers.  Carp's likely a hopeless cause, but there's at least some hope that the others might settle in as the season moves along.  Throw in Ross' throws to 2B/CF and Gomes' arm, and it has been a total team weakness during this series.  
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I counted at least three bad throws by Ross - that seems odd. Bad day? Injury? Declining skills? 
 
You have to wonder if Farrell is satisfied with his options at catcher at this point.