Out of left field…

Out of left field is an occasional post that covers items that don’t necessarily require 600 words of detail, but should be addressed anyway. In no particular order of importance, regarding yesterday’s game…

I’ve covered it at length before, so no need to completely rehash, but just a gentle reminder: If you’re the road team in the 9th inning or later of a tie game and you play for one run by sacrifice bunting, you’re making a colossal mistake. If you bunt with two strikes you should be admitted to the local ER for a tox screen and a psych eval. To follow up on my post from earlier today, Toronto manager Charlie Montoya had a very bad day yesterday.

Why batting average is a dumb statistic, part 26: Yesterday Gary Sanchez got a hit on a ball that was hit 107 mph, traveled 407 feet and led to two runs. He got another base hit on a ball that was hit 93 mph, traveled 74 feet and led to no runs. Here’s the problem with batting average as an evaluative statistic: Both of those hits are given the same weight, which needless to say is ridiculous.

From the department of “I know it’s only one game, but…” If you were concerned about Gleyber Torres’ ability to play shortstop and Jay Bruce’s ability to hit, yesterday’s performances should make you nervous. Gleyber played two balls that could/should have been outs into generous singles and Bruce put two balls in play with an average exit velocity of 84 mph. And actually, it’s not just one game – it was Gleyber’s 139th at SS and Bruce has been a league average hitter for seven years.

I’m as low on the YES Network as anyone, but yesterday was a solid game call. Michael Kay didn’t regress into the interview talk show with game in the background format, and there was only a passing mention of Paul O’Neill’s eating habits (as opposed to the usual three inning discussion). And David Cone’s typical lack of tolerance for BS was on display, noting the silliness of MLB conflating the issues of the universal DH and expanded playoffs, as if they had anything to do with each other.

In my earlier post I noted Montoya’s inclination to go to mediocre pitchers in a tie game while leaving his best in the bullpen. It should be noted that when his best did come in, it was impressive. A lot of Yankee fans were not familiar with Julian Merryweather prior to yesterday but they are now. Merryweather threw 11 pitches, 10 of them were strikes and four of them topped 98 mph on the gun.

If you think the Yankees loss was a tough one yesterday, it could have been worse. Minnesota led 5-2 in the 9th with one out and nobody on base. The smart kids in class tell us that’s a 98% win probability. The Twins lost.

Did I miss something? Let me know.


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