ALCS 2018 - Houston Astros

joyofsox

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Occam's Razor says there is no consistently on-the-screen strike zone box because MLB does not want every single fan tuning in to see a steady 3.5 hours of evidence that its umpires can't call pitches for shit.
 

Al Zarilla

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Occam's Razor says there is no consistently on-the-screen strike zone box because MLB does not want every single fan tuning in to see a steady 3.5 hours of evidence that its umpires can't call pitches for shit.
Sometimes they show an aerial view of the pitch, and on Benintendi’s screw job, I think it was, the ball was close to the edge of the right hand batters box.
 

Saints Rest

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Honestly, the weird thing is that we enjoy a game or a series at all. With two excellent, evenly-matched teams like this, we are essentially watching a battle of 7 coin-flips, within which there are 9 near coin flips, and then—within that—a series of random events that are defined in part by talent, effort, and luck, which are interesting, impressive, or enjoyable to observe. Watching the ball travel along the ledge in left field the other night was easily as engaging as an amazing jump and diving catch by JBJ, or Christian Vazquez hitting a ball over the fence that he has no business getting to.

It is fundamentally an attribution error to enjoy a game of baseball or have any interest at all in the outcome of a series like this. And yet, I will watch an entire game as if the outcome has meaning and I will root for my team to win a series as if it were something more than rooting for “tails” at the beginning of a football game, not knowing who’s calling the flip.
Or a series of dice rolls even.
 

Wallball Tingle

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It's all true about the huge element chance plays to go along with the player talent level, but I can't think of Ortiz's final AB in Game 5 of ALCS '04 and not think that his character and his will were also revealed in that roll of the dice. There's humanity in and among the flipping coins. (Of course he went 0-fer in Game 6. Where was his will then?!)
 

Max Power

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(Consider this an educated guess.)

Brand X is what we see on NESN, with the information presented in rectangle inelegantly displayed on the side of the live video. Brand Y is what TBS is using, with the four little corners floating over the plate and the pitches presented as dots instead of baseball-sized hollow circles. I don't know if there is a Brand Z.
I very much prefer the off to the side presentation. The box right in the middle of the part I'm trying to watch distracts from the movement of the pitch and action of the catcher. Given the choice of ESPN's solid box and TBS's light corners, give me the TBS version.
 

dhappy42

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I very much prefer the off to the side presentation. The box right in the middle of the part I'm trying to watch distracts from the movement of the pitch and action of the catcher. Given the choice of ESPN's solid box and TBS's light corners, give me the TBS version.
I forget who does this but the overhead, rotatable, 3-D box with the ball/strike tracers is terrific. Not on every pitch, obviously, but it’s great to see after close calls and bad calls, especially because sometimes it’ll show that a pitch that looked like a ball had so much movement that it clipped an edge of the 3-D strike zone.
 

joe dokes

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Some of my Houston friends are 100% convinced that Barnes was cheating and using pine tar.
Since arguing is futile, you should egg them on. Point out the rumors that have dogged Barnes since UConn or his mysterious trip to Eastern Europe where it was rumored that he had his fingertips replaced with a space age alloy to save his career.
 

normstalls

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I forget who does this but the overhead, rotatable, 3-D box with the ball/strike tracers is terrific. Not on every pitch, obviously, but it’s great to see after close calls and bad calls, especially because sometimes it’ll show that a pitch that looked like a ball had so much movement that it clipped an edge of the 3-D strike zone.
I think I saw this on the ESPN Statcast broadcast, and I agree, it was great.
 

EllisTheRimMan

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I very much prefer the off to the side presentation. The box right in the middle of the part I'm trying to watch distracts from the movement of the pitch and action of the catcher. Given the choice of ESPN's solid box and TBS's light corners, give me the TBS version.
Agreed. Give me the Amicer pitch zone any day of the week and twice for day/night doubleheaders.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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(Consider this an educated guess.)

Brand X is what we see on NESN, with the information presented in rectangle inelegantly displayed on the side of the live video. Brand Y is what TBS is using, with the four little corners floating over the plate and the pitches presented as dots instead of baseball-sized hollow circles. I don't know if there is a Brand Z.
I prefer Brand X to Brand Y. I find it hard to see the dots (and the posted speed) on the TBS telecast in relation to the framed corners - hard to pick up with the catcher and glow, and they don't leave it up very long, so easy to miss it.

Just one more irritating thing about having these games on TBS.
 

joe dokes

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Or just get new friends.
I tried that once. I ended up here.
:cool:


I very much prefer the off to the side presentation. The box right in the middle of the part I'm trying to watch distracts from the movement of the pitch and action of the catcher. Given the choice of ESPN's solid box and TBS's light corners, give me the TBS version.
This is my preference as well.
 

Reverend

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I tried that once. I ended up here.
:cool:

This is my preference as well.
I oddly have a timing problem I've noticed. Like, I wish there was an extra half second or so before they updated the box on the side so I could digest what I saw in the mitt before my eyes are pulled to the right.

Basically, I get caught between the two which is sorta the worst of both worlds.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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Since arguing is futile, you should egg them on. Point out the rumors that have dogged Barnes since UConn or his mysterious trip to Eastern Europe where it was rumored that he had his fingertips replaced with a space age alloy to save his career.
Surely George Springer has some dirt on Barnes from his UConn days. I'm sure Bregman would be happy to share any such stories on social media.
 

[icon]

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We all know about the media's love for obscure story lines.

This Houston squad, almost top to bottom, generally come off as pompous dickholes. I'm really hoping Bregman's taunting Instagram post will be the second data point in a "Don't taunt Boston or you'll awaken a sleeping giant" storyline.

Sadly, that happening isn't all that believable in my mind's eye, but a boy can dream... right?
 

phenweigh

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We all know about the media's love for obscure story lines.

This Houston squad, almost top to bottom, generally come off as pompous dickholes. I'm really hoping Bregman's taunting Instagram post will be the second data point in a "Don't taunt Boston or you'll awaken a sleeping giant" storyline.

Sadly, that happening isn't all that believable in my mind's eye, but a boy can dream... right?
It sounds like a way too lengthy version of "Don't mess with Texas."
 

Mighty Joe Young

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The thing is , I find the TBS version (at least, back when it was working on our telecasts) - or the ESPN version for that matter - very obtrusive. It just clutters up the screen with generally hard-to-see useless information. If you put it on the side (NESN) you only have to look at it when you want to. I like knowing the speed of the pitch as it informs as to the pitch type (which isn't always obvious from the visible queues) - slider vs. curveball or cutter vs 4 seamer. for example.

The pitch location is really only useful as it lets the viewer evaluate the ump's calls. I tend to not miss that too much as it seems to only increase the viewer's aggravation level.

Put the gun speed in the main on-screen scoreboard - and leave the PitchFx box to the side - where I can look at it if I want to - otherwise ignore it.
 

dhappy42

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The thing is , I find the TBS version (at least, back when it was working on our telecasts) - or the ESPN version for that matter - very obtrusive. It just clutters up the screen with generally hard-to-see useless information. If you put it on the side (NESN) you only have to look at it when you want to. I like knowing the speed of the pitch as it informs as to the pitch type (which isn't always obvious from the visible queues) - slider vs. curveball or cutter vs 4 seamer. for example.

The pitch location is really only useful as it lets the viewer evaluate the ump's calls. I tend to not miss that too much as it seems to only increase the viewer's aggravation level.

Put the gun speed in the main on-screen scoreboard - and leave the PitchFx box to the side - where I can look at it if I want to - otherwise ignore it.
With the “SEVEN GAME SERIES” graphic in the on-screen scoreboard there no room. So, sorry.
 

santadevil

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This is what is Canadians get from SportsNet1. I had to crop my shot of the TV to make the 1MB size restriction, but this was Martinez's at bat in the third.

IMG_20181016_180447.jpg
 

DeadlySplitter

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JBYay with the huge carry

the top of our lineup got two early runs and let us lead almost all of this game, but did nothing afterwards. hopefully we can get a complete game out of two or three of them in the next two days.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Only Hanley has more career at bats against Osuna in his career than JBJ. The familiarity from his time in Toronto definitely was a factor in that inning.
 

brandonchristensen

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Sox have been winning with some pretty anemic performances with the bats.

10D: .428 OPS
JDM: .413 OPS
Bogey: .658 OPS
Nunez: .533 OPS (Though Devers is rocking a 1.583)
Kinsler: .000 OPS (Though Brock is only rocking a 0.200)
Vazquez: .000 OPS

Our offense was our strength so it's all been timely hits thus far and pitching that has been good enough to hold the game together.

If we've been winning without our big bats going, imagine what it'll be like when they do come alive. JDM isn't going to end up with a sub .500 OPS. I don't buy that.
 

Lowrielicious

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100 off the bat and 386ft equals a 46% chance of a hit?

Man the lifeboat, the BS meter is overflowing again.
I know nothing about how the hit probability is calculated, but only reason for such a low percentage on that hit has to be due to the high launch angle. 36 is pretty high, although obviously the velocity helps negate that. Was it carrying particularly well ? I imagine with any sort of wind blowing in, or a cold night, then that launch angle is going to be a fly ball no matter how hard it’s hit (within reason obviously).
 

jon abbey

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Sorry if this has been brought up and I know this isn’t Sons Of Jim Wynn, but shouldn’t HOU move Bregman up for more protection, maybe a top 3 of Altuve/Bregman/Springer?
 

Al Zarilla

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Sorry if this has been brought up and I know this isn’t Sons Of Jim Wynn, but shouldn’t HOU move Bregman up for more protection, maybe a top 3 of Altuve/Bregman/Springer?
Shhh. Quiet. But, wouldn’t they end up with as bad a problem: who protects Springer, who has been extremely hot too? Anxious to see if AJ Hinch does change anything in the lineup tomorrow.
 

Adrian's Dome

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I know nothing about how the hit probability is calculated, but only reason for such a low percentage on that hit has to be due to the high launch angle. 36 is pretty high, although obviously the velocity helps negate that. Was it carrying particularly well ? I imagine with any sort of wind blowing in, or a cold night, then that launch angle is going to be a fly ball no matter how hard it’s hit (within reason obviously).
No, it's because it's a bullshit "stat". It's basically saying that a 386ft fly to center at that angle would be a flyout, but if he'd hit the ball to center, the timing of his swing would've been different and he very likely would've hit it off a different part of the bat, changing literally all the variables (angle, velocity, distance, etc) of the equation.

Long story short, if you saw that slam (and it was a no-doubter) and immediately thought to yourself, meh, 60% chance that's an out under different circumstances like it was some sort of 295ft first row cheapie to right in the Toilet, you'd be a fool. Luckily, nobody actually did.
 

Lowrielicious

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No, it's because it's a bullshit "stat". It's basically saying that a 386ft fly to center at that angle would be a flyout, but if he'd hit the ball to center, the timing of his swing would've been different and he very likely would've hit it off a different part of the bat, changing literally all the variables (angle, velocity, distance, etc) of the equation.

Long story short, if you saw that slam (and it was a no-doubter) and immediately thought to yourself, meh, 60% chance that's an out under different circumstances like it was some sort of 295ft first row cheapie to right in the Toilet, you'd be a fool. Luckily, nobody actually did.
If it doesn’t take into account direction, then it is definitely pretty much useless.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Sorry if this has been brought up and I know this isn’t Sons Of Jim Wynn, but shouldn’t HOU move Bregman up for more protection, maybe a top 3 of Altuve/Bregman/Springer?
Do they call themselves "Sons of Jim Wynn" because they're old or because there aren't enough real Astros fans to have a message board.

"Sons of Jimmy Wynn" 4ever!
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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The bullpen was mentioned upthread so I'm updating the ALCS numbers through game 3. Overall numbers for the pen: 12.1 IP, 7 H, 8 BB (1.22 WHIP), 12K, 6 R with 5 earned. Take out anyone named Workman and the numbers are 12 IP, 4 H, 6 BB (.83 WHIP), 11K, 2 R with 1 earned.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Barnes and Braiser have been unbelievable. The creative usage of Porcello and Sale have been spectacular. Cora is really pulling the right strings and putting these guys in the best position.
 

BaseballJones

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Barnes and Braiser have been unbelievable. The creative usage of Porcello and Sale have been spectacular. Cora is really pulling the right strings and putting these guys in the best position.
Brasier: 5.1 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 er, 4 bb, 6 k
Barnes: 5.1 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 4 bb, 4 k
TOTAL: 10.2 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 er, 8 bb, 10 k, 0.00 era, 0.94 whip, 8.4 k/9

The Sox' plan is to clearly allow walks in order to avoid hits. When they say "a walk is as good as a hit", that's not really true. Yes, leading off an inning, a walk is equal to a single. But if there's a runner at second, obviously a walk is far more preferable than a hit. And a walk is FAR FAR more preferable than a homer. And for these two, it's clearly working. Sub-1.00 whip is fantastic, and by walking guys rather than allowing hits, it's really minimizing the damage that can be done.
 

BaseballJones

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Since their 6-2 loss in game 2 to NY, the Sox have gone 4-1 and have outscored the 100-win Yankees and 103-win Astros by a combined score of 37-18.
 

joe dokes

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Brasier: 5.1 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 er, 4 bb, 6 k
Barnes: 5.1 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 4 bb, 4 k
TOTAL: 10.2 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 er, 8 bb, 10 k, 0.00 era, 0.94 whip, 8.4 k/9

The Sox' plan is to clearly allow walks in order to avoid hits. When they say "a walk is as good as a hit", that's not really true. Yes, leading off an inning, a walk is equal to a single. But if there's a runner at second, obviously a walk is far more preferable than a hit. And a walk is FAR FAR more preferable than a homer. And for these two, it's clearly working. Sub-1.00 whip is fantastic, and by walking guys rather than allowing hits, it's really minimizing the damage that can be done.
Right. I have become quite zen about the walks. I think I have internally assumed that they are intentional. And (psychobabble alert), I wonder if "walks are OK" is sort of a different way of saying "don't give in to the hitter" and if it helps the pitcher to throw quality pitches to the next guy. Its not going to work every time, but it only has to work 4 times before it fails 3 times.
I'd love to see a detailed interview with Cora and Levangie about this stuff, because it pretty obviously a strategy. And its especially interesting to me because walks make people go insane. Guy pitches a 6-hit, no walk shutout and he's a hero. Guy gives up 1 hit and 5 walks he's "lucky."
 

AB in DC

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If it doesn’t take into account direction, then it is definitely pretty much useless.
Not useless, just misnamed. It should be "Quality of Contact" or something. It's nice to have a metric that condenses launch angle/velocity into a single number, but it shouldn't mean anything more than that.
 

geoduck no quahog

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This is where I fault Bregman - he should be a little more Ortizian. Stop taking pitches just out of the zone and working walks. If you see a hittable ball, smash the frigging thing. His value to the team is doubles and home runs, not settling for OBP. The analogy is a player who hits into the shift but still gets enough meaningful extra base hits to make it worthwhile, even though he could bunt his way on every at bat. Bregman is actually being selfish by putting all the onus on Gurriel.

All good now as far as I'm concerned, but I certainly wouldn't want it if I were an Astor's fan.

Hinch should at least get smart and bat Springer behind Bregman.
 

selahsean

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Dec 22, 2005
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Right. I have become quite zen about the walks. I think I have internally assumed that they are intentional. And (psychobabble alert), I wonder if "walks are OK" is sort of a different way of saying "don't give in to the hitter" and if it helps the pitcher to throw quality pitches to the next guy. Its not going to work every time, but it only has to work 4 times before it fails 3 times.
I'd love to see a detailed interview with Cora and Levangie about this stuff, because it pretty obviously a strategy. And its especially interesting to me because walks make people go insane. Guy pitches a 6-hit, no walk shutout and he's a hero. Guy gives up 1 hit and 5 walks he's "lucky."
Seems reasonable to assume Cora emphasized this approach given the Astros really selective approach. As a team (and especially Bregman in particular) they seemed to be inclined only to swing at pitches they feel they can drive for extra bases. The approach seems to have neutralized the heart of their lineup for the most part and like you I've become fairly zen about it.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Brasier: 5.1 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 er, 4 bb, 6 k
Barnes: 5.1 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 er, 4 bb, 4 k
TOTAL: 10.2 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 er, 8 bb, 10 k, 0.00 era, 0.94 whip, 8.4 k/9

The Sox' plan is to clearly allow walks in order to avoid hits. When they say "a walk is as good as a hit", that's not really true. Yes, leading off an inning, a walk is equal to a single. But if there's a runner at second, obviously a walk is far more preferable than a hit. And a walk is FAR FAR more preferable than a homer. And for these two, it's clearly working. Sub-1.00 whip is fantastic, and by walking guys rather than allowing hits, it's really minimizing the damage that can be done.
This is kind of fascinating. Moneyball was largely about how valuable walks were and how people were ignoring OBP in favor of BA, so this approach is kind of pulling a Moneyball on Moneyball.
 

joe dokes

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This is kind of fascinating. Moneyball was largely about how valuable walks were and how people were ignoring OBP in favor of BA, so this approach is kind of pulling a Moneyball on Moneyball.

There's a real possibility that, from the pitching side, it wont hold up over the long haul. Simplistic, but 4 of 7 is only a 92-win pace.

This is where I fault Bregman - he should be a little more Ortizian. Stop taking pitches just out of the zone and working walks. If you see a hittable ball, smash the frigging thing. His value to the team is doubles and home runs, not settling for OBP. The analogy is a player who hits into the shift but still gets enough meaningful extra base hits to make it worthwhile, even though he could bunt his way on every at bat. Bregman is actually being selfish by putting all the onus on Gurriel.
All good now as far as I'm concerned, but I certainly wouldn't want it if I were an Astor's fan.
Sounds like the complaints about JD Drew. And like Drew, over the long haul, its not an approach to be criticized. Maybe in the short run he has to change. But walks are walks, whether or not the pitches are close. If he changes his approach, I suspect the Sox will give him the Bonds treatment. I think they think he's that much of a hole-less difference-maker in the lineup, especially if Altuve is compromised by injury. By contrast, I think they think they at least have a theoretical solution to the rest of the lineup.
 
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OurF'ingCity

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There's a real possibility that, from the pitching side, it wont hold up over the long haul. Simplistic, but 4 of 7 is a 92-win pace.
Yeah I didn't mean to be hyperbolic. As others have stated it's a strategy that can only be used against certain teams, and even then it's playing with fire. It's obviously something the Red Sox have identified in both pitching and hitting, however, because their hitting philosophy has been the exact opposite - don't always be patient and feel free to swing early if you get a good pitch.