Friday, April 29, 2011

The Genius Maker #17

CC now has an ERA of 2.25! This game started poorly with a bullet hit to SS that Nunez couldn’t handle. It was a harder play than it looked because it was an in between hop but because it was hit so hard the quick decision to try and charge was a tough one to make. Many times when a ball is crushed taking a step back is a better option if you can’t get it on the short hop by charging. Either way you have to make that decision in a split second and he didn’t make the play.

The situation got worse when the next batter drilled one down the left field line that Gardner cut off and threw to 3rd base to try and get the leadoff guy. He was safe at 3rd and the batter went to 2nd base on the throw. The announcers missed the important part of the play. They commented how you need to make sure you can get the guy because you allowed the batter to get to 2nd. While the statement isn’t wrong, what they missed was that if ARod would have done his part at 3rd base, the runner would have been out. I watched this a few times and there is no question in my mind. ARod, who is as heads up as they come, is not good at tagging runners; I have documented this numerous times. This was an example of the fielder taking the throw behind the bag (ARod was on the home plate side of the bag) instead of on or in front to make the quick tag and get the ball quicker. Let me ask you this, if the ball goes in front of the runner (as if the player is sliding and the ball is in between the base and the runner) doesn’t that mean the ball beat him? If ARod is either straddling the bag but a little more in fair territory or closer to LF he makes a quick tag and the guy is easily out; I am 100% positive about this. I am not sure if ARod thought he had no play on the guy or he expected Gardner to throw to 2nd base, but it was a very poor play. I know I am harping on this, but it could have been very costly and it is the same an infielder taking a throw from the catcher on the CF’r side of 2nd base; you don’t do it.

CC actually got out of it as the next ball was hit to ARod who made a good decision and threw home to nail the runner.

BTW, Nunez showed the one good part of Jeter’s defense that I brought up the other day and that is how steady his glove is…and that does have value.

Swisher ended up with a good day, but twice he swung at 2-0 pitches that were not even close. The pitcher walked 3 guys and Swisher was still hacking. I wrote this about him last year that he is a guy who is a mistake hitter and loves the fastball, but he struggles against the better pitchers who don’t give in. I believe this is why he isn’t as good in the postseason (not because he is a choker as some people would think). He is a mistake hitter and in the postseason you don’t get as many poor pitchers.

So the Yankees found themselves in an odd spot where after 4 innings they had more errors than hits but were leading 2-0. Obviously the Yanks broke open the game as Gardner hit his 3rd homer of the year and others got involved. Unfortunately, Posada is really struggling. He did hit a bullet to the CF'r, but he is struggling adjusting to his new role. As an ex catcher I do think it is the tougher adjustment because no defender is more involved with the game, but you get the added benefit of not having so many nicks and bruises which I had hoped would offset the rest.

Boston and won and TB blew out Minnesota twice. I have the standings on the web page updated most of the time.

Toronto tonight!

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