Monday, October 18, 2010

Oswalt Brilliant - Sloppy, lackadaisical defence Giants Undoing in Game 2

"By all rights Oswalt should have been slaughtered on this play - not only for the impudence of the base hit and his ignotism on the sacrifice bunt - but for the audacity of running through a stop sign with his back to the play!"

Roy Oswalt pitched a shut out against all the San Francisco Giants except Cody Ross - who hit a solo home run in the fifth. Two other hits over Oswalt's eight innings - along with only 3 walks - were not enough to enable the Giants over the Phillies four run 7th in game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

The Phillies Innings Batting

From The Internet Baseball Scorecard

Errors were everywhere tonight, except in the thinking of the game's official scorer who seemed to prefer home town hits to E's. Sloppy, lackadaisical play at key moments in the game were the Giants undoing in this Sunday night adventure.

J Rollins hit a high pop in the forth inning that was arching on the third base side to just short of the mound. Third baseman Mike Fontenot was there but at the last moment looked to catcher Buster Posey to take it. (???) It landed in a Bermuda triangle between the catcher, first baseman Aubrey Huff and Frontenot. The official scorer had trouble accessing an error on a pop fly that was surrounded by Giants - yet not eaten.

The strangest base hit of this calendar year?

In the decisive 7th, the pitcher and the catcher combined for several miss-plays that aren't usually scored - errors or other wise - but which defined the character of the defence in that inning and in the game - and if they don't shape up, the series.

Roy Oswalt is on first base with a lead off base hit to centre, Shane Victorino lays down a good bunt that forced third baseman Fontenot to make the play - which he did, and Oswalt advanced to 2nd. On this play Buster Posey should have covered the vacated third base bag. A good base runner - one who was looking at the situation in front of him, instead of back at first base to watch the put-out of the player sacrificing to move said base runner up, and maybe over - would have seen that the whole left side of the infield was vacant, and that being the closest person on the field to the third base bag, he could have walked over there.

Bad Buster Posey, bad!

Now with one out, the Giants decide to intentionally walk Chase Utley to set up the double play and perhaps get out of the inning still only one run down. Placido Polanco, the Phillies third baseman is up - he's the ground into double play candidate. Polanco does not abide, instead he hits a fly ball to centre for a base hit, which moves Oswalt to third base, and here comes the throw from centre.

This throw from Andres Torres, and what the infield did with it could very well have reversed destiny in this game. With a good throw, on line to the plate, one that was low enough to be cut by the long cut-off at 2nd base, and one that landed just in front of the mound and one-bounded to Posey, and this upstart pitcher come base running phenom would have been out by a mile for the second out of the inning.

By all rights Oswalt should have been slaughtered on this play - not only for the impudence of the base hit and his ignotism on the sacrifice bunt - but for the audacity of running through a stop sign with his back to the play!

When I score a game I note what the official scorer says in my scorecard; but I also note my disagreement. The official scorer scored this play a base hit and a run batted in. In my opinion it should have been scored a sacrifice fly that advances the runners, and an error throwing on the centre fielder resulting in the run scored.

I note the official scoring (BH8 RBI) and then added my disagreement:

#9 2,3
#9 3,h / #2 1,2

#9 is Oswalt; I wrote, the base hit got him to 3rd base (#9 2,3). Next, the throw, scored "8-1-2" (centre fielder to pitcher to home), results in the run (#9 3,h). The last part, #2 1,2 is wrong, Utley got to 2nd base via the hit not the throw (Oopps).

Placido Polanco's BH got Oswalt to third (where the third base coach told him to stop!!), and moved the intentional walk from first to second. Then, the off line throw from CF resulted in the run. Aubrey Huff had positioned himself near the mound after the batter runner, Polanco rounded first (with Utley ahead of him stopped near second). Huff was acting as extra deep cut off and in doing so stopped the situation from getting worse - right away. Because the ball was too high to cut at the deep cut-off near second, Utley could have taken third if Huff hadn't been at the extra deep cut-off position. Huff then made a quick, hard throw home, slightly to Posey's right which pulled him to the first base side and allowed Oswalt to score, sliding with a hand sweep across the far side of the plate.

From there the decisive 7th went from bad to worse. Another intentional base on balls to load the bases - this time hoping for a fielders choice to any one of four stations - and the end of the innings, down by only two runs.

Then the Jimmy Rollins' three run double.

Three different pitchers combined for four runs on two measly fly balls that were by design, supposed to be ground balls. Two of the four runs plated were intentional walks.

Oh well. The best laid schemes of mice and men...


Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!


Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)


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