Mariners at Angels, 9/22

DMZ · September 22, 2004 at 7:08 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Go Ichiro!

Multi-ball! Multi-ball! Multi-ball! (whack whack whack whack)

4 hits tonight. He’s going to do it.


27 Responses to “Mariners at Angels, 9/22”

  1. Cap on September 22nd, 2004 7:32 pm

    Rico (hehe) just said on the radio that with the hit in the 1st inning, Ichiro is 8 for his last 8, plus an IBB thrown in there somewhere on Monday.

  2. DMZ on September 22nd, 2004 8:01 pm

    I’ve been thinking about how cool it could be at the end of the season to have something to really get excited about at home games. People complain that Seattle fans are too casual, but in my experience faced with history, in the form of playoffs or great performances, home crowds here go nuts. It’d be a lot of fun.

  3. Jeff Sullivan on September 22nd, 2004 8:07 pm

    Hopefully, if Edgar is able to muster the strength to come back from this toe deal, the fans won’t need anybody else to get them pumped up.

  4. David on September 22nd, 2004 8:37 pm

    How ridiculous is it that Bob Melvin has Santiago bunt in that situation? Does he really think Winn is intimidating enough that the Angels won’t walk Ichiro? I cannnot believe this happened; it’s reason number 2000 why he should be fired.

  5. DMZ on September 22nd, 2004 8:57 pm

    No kidding, that’s ridiculous. Every time Santiago squared around I stared at the TV thinking “whaaat?”

    It’s a good argument to fire Melvin now — this cost Ichiro a shot at another hit against a weak pitcher where a single may score a run. If Santiago’s so weak he can’t be trusted to not ground out, pinch hit for him!

  6. Dan on September 22nd, 2004 9:22 pm

    Maybe santiago could just stand up there and not swing, hoping for a strikeout. That would improve ichiro’s odds, right?

    Nevermind the fact that you have a .161 hitter at the plate with 1st and 2nd, go ahead, risk the DP, have him hack away.

  7. Dan on September 22nd, 2004 9:35 pm

    I dont understand why bunting is in such disfavor with you folks; i realize that if you assume the hitter is league average, then bunting is less likely to produce a run. But we are talking about santiago here. The odds of him actually making decent enough contact to avoid a DP are minimal. And if he strikes out, you still have 1st/2nd. How is accepting the most likely result (him getting out) and taking the one potentially positive aspects of that (moving the runners forward) bad?

    On the ichiro part. I realize you want him to have a chance to hit. I also realize it’s obvious that scoscia will IBB him if it’s 2nd/3rd with 1 out. Melvin probably realizes it too. The thing is, by playing this way, it only takes a single to plate two runs. And what do the mariners do best (besides losing)? Hit singles.

    I dont think this is a bad call. Sure, it hurts ichiro’s chances of getting the record. Melvins job should not be to make ichiro look awesome. It should be to win games. Which is why he should have santiago bunt in that situation, and watch ichiro get IBB’d.

    It is also why he should play ichiro in center. But apparently, on that point, he is confused on his job.

  8. Dave S. on September 22nd, 2004 9:46 pm

    If Santiago can’t be trusted to not ground into a double play, he shouldn’t be playing.

  9. Dave S. on September 22nd, 2004 9:47 pm

    Oh, btw, the Mariners were up by 6 runs, so playing small ball there was incredibly unnecessary.

  10. Dan on September 22nd, 2004 9:54 pm

    Right, right, the mariners shouldn’t play below replacement level players. That’s like half their roster though.

    And had he hit into a double play the inning would have ended before they put a 6 on the board.

  11. tede on September 22nd, 2004 10:23 pm

    #9: Nope. That’s how the M’s got up by 6 years by that bizarre bunt and IBB. This time it paid off with the big inning. However he’s done it a couple times this month in the late innings that looked even worse. Anyway, Ichiro will get to bat 7 times tonight even with the IBB.

    On the flip side, Phil Garner with two outs in the first inning, runner on second and first base open, elected to pitch to Barry Bonds. Barry rewarded Phil by hitting a triple.

  12. Dan on September 22nd, 2004 10:26 pm

    Phil then rewarded barry with 4 more walks (3 IBB)

  13. Cap on September 22nd, 2004 11:10 pm

    According to the radio broadcast, Pineiro and Guardado were playing long toss today and looking good, whatever that means.

    Melvin keeps Meche out there 2 batters too long yet again. He was done after the leadoff guy got aboard.

    Ibanez’s (or is it Ibanez’?) 6 hits deserves recognition. Reed is really impressing me. The kid is starting off right, hitting singles and getting himself adjusted to ML pitching. I hope he continues to progress as a ML hitter.

  14. Coach on September 23rd, 2004 12:02 am

    Dan, in reply to your question as to why bunting is in disfavor here… I will try not to speak for everyone, but I will offer my perspective.

    Watching so many games on the tube, it’s easy to fall prey to the perspective of the TV camera – focus only where the ball is. From the dugout, you see your entire defense as a unit and they really do function that way.

    In the fourth inning situation, Santiago is up with runners at first and second but there are NO OUTS. Your pitcher has already given up 7 hits and a walk to that point. In that situation, your defense is in danger of having the wheels come off, and the thing you need most of all to stop the bleeding is TO GET AN OUT. Mike Soscia is in doubly deep yogurt since he has his “horse” on the mound and he is seeing his season slip away. I assure you, he wants an out however he can get one. Once you get an out there, it totally changes the complexion of the inning. The pitcher can now choose and locate pitches differently, the rest of the defense can change its alignment, and the entire unit gets a lift from knowing that the offense now only has one other out to “spend”. If you don’t believe this, then don’t read any further.

    In that situation, if the third baseman is playing short left, or if the pitcher falls off the mound in poor fielding position, a weak hitter with some speed could probably try a well-placed bunt for a hit without many folks here getting upset. To SACRIFICE bunt with the same individual gives Soscia exactly what he needs most! That’s what drives me crazy and I’m guessing a lot of the others.

    If you are in a NL game and you have a pitcher who can’t run or might hurt himself if he takes a big cut, maybe a David Wells, then a SACRIFICE bunt makes more sense.

    The other source of frustration comes from the offensive side. A Manager only has 27 outs to work with. That’s the main thing a Manager needs to do once the line-up card is filled out – he needs to manage his outs. I think Bob Melvin does as poor a job of managing his outs as any MLB manger I’ve seen (and I go all the way back to Fred Hutchinson). I think that also drives some of the other guys up the wall.

    It’s true that I really want to see Ichiro have the best chance to achieve this amazing goal. But for crying out loud, he is the best hitter in Baseball since the break. WHY, WHY, WHY would you INVITE the other team to walk him?

    So I don’t think its bunting per se. And to evaluate a Field decision, you don’t get to factor in whether it worked out well or not this time. You have to judge it at the time it is made, and given the fact that I know, In Mike Soscia’s shoes, I’ve got to have an out in that situation – I think its absolutely the wrong call to sacrifice Santiago and open a base.

  15. Dan on September 23rd, 2004 12:30 am

    Ok, i understand the idea of only having 27 outs to work with, and how one approach to the game is that you are “spending” these outs, so if you can make something happen without “spending” one, then you should do it.

    The problem is you have a sub-.200 hitter at the plate. Offensively he has the same level of ability as a NL pitcher; maybe a bit more. If you look at his splits from 2003 (where there is a larger sample size, he has:

    178 GBs
    100 FBs
    100 hits
    66 Ks
    33 walks

    So, with him at the plate, you have a 37% chance he is going to get a groundball out, which, best case, is a fielders choice and gives you first and third with 1 out. There is a 14% chance he strikes out, giving you first and second with 1 out. There is a 21% chance he flies out, giving you one of the above situations (depending if its deep enough for the runner on second to tag up).

    So, just based on santiago’s history, there is a 72% chance you end up in a worse situation than second and third with 1 out after his at bat. I am not a gambling man, but if i were, i would take the near 100% chance that the sacrafice will work, vs the 28% chance that he will either walk or get a base hit. I will take the sacrafice every time given those odds.

    The next part is the base situation for ichiro. I understand what you are getting at here – the goal should be to force them to pitch to ichiro, because he stands the best chance of anyone on the team of getting a hit. But i dont see a graceful way to get there with santiago hitting before him. I guess the difference is that the 37% chance of a groundball out is seen as ok, on the assumption that he wont hit into a DP, and that 1st/3rd with 1 out is best for ichiro to hit in?

    Sorry, this is probably a bit much; i didn’t mean to get all statheady about it, but it helps me to understand a bit i think.

  16. Barry on September 23rd, 2004 2:42 am

    Ichiro’s on a pace to hit 70 blerns!

  17. don on September 23rd, 2004 6:33 am

    in reply to “Coach”, i think Ichiro has been the best hitter in the American League since the All-Star break, but the best hitter in baseball continues to be Bonds.

  18. Troy Sowden on September 23rd, 2004 8:14 am

    A few comments for Dan here. First of all, Santiago shouldn’t be hitting in front of Ichiro if you have to bunt him in that situation. Yes, Melvin should be trying to win games, but at this point in the season, Ichiro’s chase HAS to be a priority. It gives the fans something to care about, it helps team morale, and it rewards the one outstanding player you’ve had all year. It’s kind of how, when Edgar and Bucky were healthy, Edgar still had to get his AB’s, even if you though Bucky had a better chance of making something happen at the plate. Some things supercede W’s and L’s when you’re 100 games out of first.

    Secondly, your percentages may be right, i.e. “there’s a 72% chance we’re in a better spot if he bunts,” but I think that’s the wrong way of looking at it. With almost any hitter, you’re going to have at least a 60% chance you’re in a better spot if he bunts, so why not bunt ANYbody with runners on first and second? I’m sure you know this, but it’s because your chances of scoring runs beyond the two runs on base increase exponentially without sacrificing that out. If the 28% chance happens and Santiago gets a hit or walk, we’re likely to talk on quite a few more runs there. I like Coach’s point about defensive alignment too.

    Melvin is an awful manager who doesn’t really do anything well except give away outs. If he’s trying to win, he doesn’t know what pitchers to use when, if he’s trying to develop young players, he puts in the wrong ones, if he’s got a chance at a big inning he’d rather play it safe and make sure he gets one run than put a team away. But of course, he’s only getting fired for his placid demeanor and boring interviews.

  19. eponymous coward on September 23rd, 2004 8:38 am

    Uh, guys, the P-I reported Santisgo blew a hit-and-run sign and bunted instead. So while Melvin’s managerial decisions can sometimes be lame, this isn’t one of them.

  20. tyler on September 23rd, 2004 8:51 am

    Coach is right. As a coach I always want an out there, however i get it. And having the other team give me a free one is exactly what i would hope for.

    BoMel gave a freebie when the pitcher didn’t deserve one. And that is a place where stat-heads can’t factor in the given situation…

    yes, the odds are X… but the pitcher’s lack of control of the situation… don’t you think they skew the odds a little? Just like facing Randy Johnson would skew them the other way?

    Is there a stat for “hitter’s success facing a pitcher who is bleeding during a struggling year in a desperate pennant situation in which the pitcher and his manager can see their whole season slipping away?”

    I bet the hitter has a higher average there. just a hunch.

  21. Troy Sowden on September 23rd, 2004 9:07 am

    Thanks for setting us straight eponymous. Seems like this often happens when I get all pissy – something comes along to show me that I didn’t really know what I was talking about. Maybe I’ll be a little more reserved next time. Ahh well.

  22. JPWood on September 23rd, 2004 10:02 am

    Wit;h this .500 run against Booston, Anaheim and Oakland in the last weeks of the season, we’re strating to get some interesting quotes, tributes to Edgar and Ichiro. If anyone missed this gem from last night, this is Raul Ibanez commenting on a 16-6 win over Anaheim after going 6 for 6 on a night where Ichiro only went 4 for 6:
    “Ichiro changes your mind about what’s possible.”

  23. Eric on September 23rd, 2004 10:04 am

    On Santiago bunting, so far no one has brought up this, Santiago may be a lousy hitter but he is also fast, so if he swings away, unless he hits it right at someone the odds are he isn’t going to hit into the DP, factor in the infield playing in for the bunt and he has even more chance of a grounder getting through. The bunt there is a low % play, basically teh only thing it is better than is a strike out

  24. DMZ on September 23rd, 2004 10:20 am

    If Santiago blew a sign — am I not remembering this right, but didn’t he attempt to bunt on a couple of pitches? If he’s blown the sign, shouldn’t Myers or someone call time and yell at him until his head’s on straight?

  25. JPWood on September 23rd, 2004 10:51 am

    Myers job isn’t to pass signs, it’s to destroy knees.

  26. Evan on September 23rd, 2004 10:56 am

    Yep – two bunt attempts.

    I get the impression that it didn’t occur to Bob that Ichiro would get walked there, and he was just covering for it later. It’s the same mistake he made all through the first half of the season – his Pavlovian bunting has returned.

    Incidentally, Ichiro’s slump on the homestand and then insane performance in Anaheim have really exacerbated his home-road splits.

    Ichiro at home: .334/.383/.398
    Ichiro on road: .415/.450/.524

  27. Cap on September 23rd, 2004 11:51 am

    Bunt attempt the first pitch, hit and run the second pitch. That’s Melvin’s M.O. (he did the same thing with Wilson in this game). The defense plays in on the corners and closer to the bags up the middle after the first pitch, with a better chance to slap the ball past them on the second pitch. It wouldn’t surprise me that this was the case with Santiago, and he just missed the sign. Some young players who feel like they have a lot to prove get an idea into their head and run with it, even after a different sign is put on for the hitter/runners.

    And for me, personally, I never bunt guys over before the 7th inning, and only as early as the 7th inning if the game is tied or we’re up by 1 run with a dominant set-up man/closer warming up in the pen. Playing for a run or two in the 4th inning against the Angels on the road? No way. Play for the big inning early and often down there.