Thursday, September 3, 2015

Series Win over Tribe likely a Social Engineering play - courtesy of Jays Front Office

Indians at Jays September 2, 2015 - 7:07p

R A Dickey / Josh Thole batteried win tonight likely a brilliantly engineered, physiological management win - courtesy of the Blue Jays front office.

In keeping Thole on the roster for Dickey starts - by any-means-necessary (by optioning him first to AAA Buffalo in the last rotation which included 3 off days, and then to A Ball Lansing Lugnuts this week (which shortened his option because the league season ended - and that meant that - by MLB rules - his necessary stint there ended; which allowed the Jays to recall him to the 40-man roster early ... as in - for Dickey's next start) - allowed this feel-good start by the veteran knuckle-baller who goes to 10 Wins and 10 losses with a 4.09 ERA over 28 starts with a 7 win and no loses run starting after a July 18th loss to Tampa Bay that had the veteran at 3 and 10.

The importance of the 'Battery' when it comes to knuckle ballers was front and centre tonight. Through-out the game I recorded moments when Thole pulled into the strike zone, pitches that were called strikes - but which were in fact, balls.

The pitches that were fooling the Tribe, I thought, were also in the coarse of events, fooling Umpire Andy Fletcher. In one such instance - in the 3rd - the erratic-ness of the knuckle ball/fastball/change-up combination resulted in a 13-pitch inning - and that - the inning after Dickey fooled the opponents in a 3-up 3-down, 6 pitch inning in the 2nd - together which undoubtedly helped shut down the Indians over all but for 1 run in the 4th - their only run.

Image: BrooksBaseball | R. A. Dickey against Indians, September 2, 2015 - Inside/Outside pitch zone with number in at-bat |

Also of note in this game was the running play by Josh Donaldson in the 2nd with the bases loaded - that intuited the fact that the Jays weren't scoring a lot of runs against this hot Indians team* - Donaldson at third decided to make a try for a run with 2-out (after the hit-ball-out) with a 4-0 lead - to steal home on a high pop to shallow right-centre which Kipnis was peddling backward on when he made the catch - and beat the throw just up the third base line by jumping over the catchers' arm-swinging tag and landing with his left hand on the plate!

MLB Video:

On the defensive side of the equation - of note was the play by Goins in the 7th in which he tracked the ball hit to the deep hole at second (in shallow right-centre), made the catch of the ground ball and then planted and turned 270 degrees with his next step and panted a throw to the outside corner of the 1B bag - which Smoak scooped nicely for the out.

MLB Video:

* By "a lot" I refer back to my previous "Tweet-post" (see embed below) about the jays' scoring 'slump' following the Yankess series loss at the end of their 11 game winning streak - which meant they weren't scoring more than 5 runs per game; which matches their god-like scoring performance through that streak and in fact through the entire season (5.49 Runs/Gm).


1 comment:

  1. On the Donaldson steal of Home - if the atcher had been on the line - which MLB says don't do (to protect the limited number of great catchers in the leagues) - Donaldson was out bad. So good for Donaldson - maybe this stupid safe-all-the-time fascist idea will go away.