Friday, June 26, 2015

Bad Pitching in the era of the Nuclear Ball

Another double digit shellacking of an opponent by the Jays.

A few years back Bill Lee was quoted as saying that the explosion of home runs during the Barry Bonds Mark McGwire era was the result of bad pitching. His take I think, was a function of a great pitchers' attitude (or understanding) that good pitchers have many, many more tools to get outs against any batter; that with discipline and right thinking, any era of baseball can be dominated by good pitching. He was talking about the steroid era coupled with MLB's latest Juiced Ball (or Nuclear Ball era - still ongoing).

He may have been wrong.

The Jays have scored double digits in 11 games this year when they win; and the opponents only 3 times against the Jays when they win. (Those are analog stats by the way - scrolled through the schedule and counted.  :) 

Jays pitching doesn't have to be as good as Buehrle's performance tonight - but there is the added pressure that effects the other bats when they're down by 5 runs or more, a situation that makes even good starting pitching better that it might be in a close game otherwise.

It's been all about the Jay's line up so far this year - with surprise replacements coming up all over the place - getting, and keeping, their spots in the line up with timely batting - s o while I hate to admit it John Gibbons has done a great job creating team - but what about the pitching (which he abuses mentally - regularly)?

More on that next time.

ESPN Box Score (the accessible box score*) | Rangers at Jays - June 26 2015 |

* (Boxscore at MLB is up quick tonight - but I can't copy and paste names and stats from it ... off to espn's box score once again).

Bill Lee quote: can't find it - Google Search Engine is fouled up with real time results and branded marketing by Big Media. (but I think you can find the quote here: - will check it later when I can listen, and I'll point you to it.)


Monday, June 22, 2015

The process of writing baseball - Jays at Rays game 1, June 22, 2015

What's the game about?

Jays score 1 in the 8th to counter the Ray's 2 in the 7th.

In the 8th, it's the Bull pen.

In the 9th the Rays mow down top of the order with authority.

The nut at this point in the season is: Do the Jays have a closer?

Osuna does it with a two inning Save, and a 1, 2, 3 against the Rays' 8, 9 and 1 hitters in the 9th.

Jays win 8-5

But it doesn't mean anything, yet. In fact, understanding their latest performance, this is an anomaly.

(I'd  link the with the MLB Box Score - but 10 minutes after I published - the box score at espn was the first to publish; another lose for MLB advanced media.)

Jays at Rays game 1 Box Score, June 22, 2015 |


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Boston Red Sox Outfield

It has come to be my understanding through the years of watching MLB, that winning Boston Red Sox teams need to have 2 centre fielders on the field in order to cover Fenway's centre and right field with it's massive depth and vicious jog in right-centre.

Fenway Park Ballpark Diagram & Dimensions - via Baseball Almanac |
This is especially true in this era of the 'super-juiced' ball (the nuclear ball) where balls come off the bat at a much higher rate of speed compared with the pre-super-juiced era (pre-1994).

The idea is that in the nuclear ball era, fast outfielders are essential because they can limit runs by reducing their opponents Total Bases totals - the fast and quick outfielder can cut off hot-shot ground balls to the gaps and hot-shot line-drives to the walls better.

In Fenway speed a quick reaction to balls off the bat was necessary in centre and right during the regular juiced ball era (1921-1993); now in the nuclear ball era this is even more important.

From my watching of three games against the hard hitting Jays this weekend, this year's Boston team doesn't have that outfield.

Jays at Red Sox Game 3 - June 14, 2015
(Jays win 13-5 and extend their winning streak to 11 games; sitting 1 game back of the Yankees and the Rays for the division lead at the end of the day.)

Boston Outfield:
Hanley Ramirez LF
Rusney Castillo CF
Alejandro De Aza RF

Boston 25-man Roster (Outfielders) - June 14, 2015
#  NAME             POS BAT THW AGE HT  WT 
50 Mookie Betts     CF  R   R   22  5-9 155
38 Rusney Castillo  RF  R   R   27  5-8 186
31 Alejandro De Aza LF  L   L   31  6-0 195
26 Brock Holt       RF  L   R   27  5-10 185
13 Hanley Ramirez   LF  R   R   31  6-2 225

To contrast, the 2007 World Series Champion Red Sox Outfield

#   Name               Height Weight Throws Bats   Date Of Birth
10  Coco Crisp         5-10   185    Right  Both   1979-11-01
7   J.D. Drew          6-01   195    Right  Left   1975-11-20
46  Jacoby Ellsbury    6-01   195    Left   Left   1983-09-11
32  Bobby Kielty       6-01   215    Right  Both   1976-08-05
44  Brandon Moss       6-00   210    Right  Left   1983-09-16
44  David Murphy       6-04   210    Left   Left   1981-10-18
22  Wily Mo Pena       6-03   215    Right  Right  1982-01-23
24  Manny Ramirez      6-00   225    Right  Right  1972-05-30

Coco Crisp CF

Yr Age Tm   G   SB CS TB  Pos
07 27  BOS  145 28 6  201 8

J.D. Drew RF

Yr Age Tm   G   SB CS TB  Pos
07 31  BOS  140 4  2  197 9/8D


Friday, June 12, 2015


blue jays come-back with 9R 7th takes them to 9 wins in last 10 in tumultuous game 1 in boston

Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Game 1: Friday, June 12 |

MLB Advanced Media | Blue Jays plate nine in 7th - 06/12/15 | 00:02:38