2:57 pm September 17, 2009, by David O'Brien
September 18th, 200912:46 am
Per Chip Carey….9:10 start time
September 18th, 200912:47 am
Tarp’s off the field, 9:10 estimated start.
We saw another example last night of how the Braves win in spite of, not because of, the manager.
With 2 on and 0 outs in the bottom of the 9th, Cox has Escobar bunt, which he executed beautifully. The question is, was that the best strategy Cox could have employed in that situation?
He effectively took the bat out of the hands of arguably his two best hitters (they intentionally walked LaRoche, a pretty obvious move). You have to assume he knew that was coming (if he didn’t, things are much worse in the dugout than even I could imagine).
His two options:
1) Let Escobar and LaRoche hit with the tying runs on base and no outs.
2) Let Infante & Church hit with the bases loaded and 1 out.
How many of you think, like Cox, that the second option was better than the first? Infante flied out to tie the game and Church grounded out, with Murphy’s butchery at 1st base handing the Braves the victory.
Cox got lucky. He employed the least likely of his 2 options to achieve success, but thanks to the Mets’ ineptitude, his team won.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think he is capable of making decisions by weighing the pros and cons of differing options and selecting the one that makes the most sense.
His decisions are determined by what the “baseball book” says (1st and 2nd, no outs, 1 run behind: you bunt, unless your top power guy is at the plate), or very occasionally, by what his gut tells him. Little if any thought is ever used.
Cox may still be a terrific manager in terms of managing his players. But his strategic inadequacy, including his fading grasp on when to get starters out of the game and how to most effectively utilize his bullpen, have cost this team enough games this season to keep the Braves out of the playoffs, barring some extremely unlikely results the next 2 weeks or so.
Looking at a 9:10p start time.
September 18th, 200912:48 am
910 first pitch
September 18th, 200912:53 am
That’s weird because Joe Simpson said about 10 minutes ago it was still raining and no sign of an early start.
i have to say things to get the blog updated
September 18th, 200912:54 am
um 17 GT 3! McFann might be a little miffed!!!!
I don’t agree with you. Cox has been hammered here for not doing that also. Putting the tying run on third with less than 2 outs is smart. Even though you have to think they will walk LaRoche, Infante on the year is now 10 of 13 in driving in a runner from 3rd with less than 2 outs. You can not be mad at Cox for doing that. I totally agreed with him. Plus Escobar has hit into many double plays this year so why risk that happening against a good closer in K-Rod.
September 18th, 200912:55 am
Hey folks, in case you haven’t heard, 9:10 for first pitch!
Hey, did yall hear it’s a 9:10 start time? I dont think its been reported yet.
Steve from OH
September 18th, 200912:56 am
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think he is capable of making decisions by weighing the pros and cons of differing options and selecting the one that makes the most sense.
You and I both know that in general I hate bunting and stealing and that whole shebang, but I don’t know if you really can isolate a “right” move in that situation, and BOTH have their pros and cons, and even if one is found superior to the others, it won’t be by a significant margin. At home, I don’t have a problem with him playing for one run and forcing extras at the least. Even so, the percentages say you have a better RE with bases loaded, one out than runners on 1,2 with 0 out. Obviously, the people hitting in those spots aren’t the same, and therein lies the rub. Seems to me that the fact that you have two superior hitters hitting in the latter situation makes up for some of the difference in the RE, that the RE would essentially be the same, and therefore the choice is based on the preference of the manager, statistically.
P.S.–I know I’ve come at you before, but I do enjoy your posts greatly and I hope that you’ll respond with some good feedback to mine instead of going all Coach on me. FWIW
P.P.S.–I might not be around to respond right away.
P.P.P.S.–I did NOT actually watch the inning in question (sleep!), so I’m going on what you say.
high five, BravesGrrrl
September 18th, 200912:58 am
Anyone hear what time first pitch is supposed to be??
September 18th, 200912:59 am
Scoreboard watching…what else can I do?
Bottom of the 5th…
DOB, what do you predict happens this offseason… does Javy get traded?
I’m almost positive LaRoche comes back and I really don’t see a way Javy doesn’t get traded for a bat and as Carroll Rogers pointed out, his trade value is sky high. Shame to because he fits so perfectly with this team and I can’t imagine he’d take any step back next year.
Baseball > Rain
September 18th, 20091:00 am
Thanks for the Steve Earle video clip DOB. Great song.
DOB Tarp’s off the field, 9:10 estimated start.
Or do you mean 1:10? I mean, according to the Blog…
Yeah, Tech’s not doin’ so hot…Haha, I’m not even watching it right now.
god of the arts and entertainment
September 18th, 20091:01 am
I listen to that song too when it rains… Awesome!
September 18th, 20091:03 am
There is a good program named “The Alaska Experiment” on Planet Green Channel #286 Directv at 9:00pm. It is about lower 48 people trying to live off the land in Alaska. Very interesting.
September 18th, 20091:06 am
Jair is here! Let’s do this.
September 18th, 20091:07 am
Wow, “malleable”. Those night classes must really be paying off for Joe Simpson.
September 18th, 20091:09 am
lol McFann, they just showed Mac jumping on Marteen from yesterday. I don’t know if you caught it.
September 18th, 20091:10 am
Yes, I guess I should’ve said 1:10 a.m. estimated start, blog time.
I’ve always said, some of the denizens here in our corner of the blogulace follow a different drummer. Only appropriate we should have our own time zone.
September 18th, 20091:11 am
DOB @ 1:10–
September 18th, 20091:12 am
“The next time anyone tells you division titles or playoff berths aren’t won in April or May, tell them, yeah, but they can sure be lost then.” DOB
I realize that this isn’t the norm, and that that particular phrase seems like it has some truth to it. But in 1982, the Braves started the season 13-0, and proceeded to go 76-73 the rest of the way, needing a Joe Morgan HR against the Dodgers (yeah – THAT Joe Morgan, then in a SF uniform – for that reason alone, morgan should be LOVED by Braves fans), to win the division.
So, even if it was only that one time, the 1982 Atlanta Braves won that division in the first two weeks of the season.
But, I’ve always felt that way. Too many people like the phrase “it’s still early” when talking about early season bugs in the lineup/roster. To me, that’s what spring training is for. Those who start the season ready to play, are one step ahead of the rest. Hopefully some season soon, the Braves will start the first two months of the season ready to play.
September 18th, 20091:14 am
Perhaps with the differnt “time zone” as DOB put it, the blog should be referred to as the MIB/Braves/Langoliers blog.
Anybody else’s food have not taste to it?
September 18th, 20091:15 am
Been absent for a little while from the blog … did you get a chance to listen to any of that American Aquarium i’m always bugging you about?
September 18th, 20091:16 am
Hey, if we’re lucky, all the late night/over night bloggers will come on and think it’s much later and just go to bed. Oh… wait. I’m one of those late night bloggers.
September 18th, 20091:17 am
… and they say David Wright hasn’t hit for power this season. hah!
September 18th, 20091:19 am
MZ: nope, didn’t see it at yet another CD store I went to. sorry, but I don’t think to go online looking for stuff. just never seem to have time to do that. i like to devote free time to perusing for long periods in CD stores, buy several of them, then go back in another couple weeks or so. The old dinosaur way of music listening/purchasing. I love it.
Wow…that was almost bad…
September 18th, 20091:20 am
Dangit! I missed it.
Good job, JJ.
September 18th, 20091:21 am
Someone (Steve OH?) recently cited a source of statistics on bunting success in various situations. I was wondering about this last night, and here’s an interesting source I found (maybe the same as one posted a few days ago):
Anyway, this article is incredibly detailed, and statistically over my head, but here a few things that were interesting:
“In large part because of these expected runs tables, most baseball analysts have concluded that except in very rare instances, the sacrifice bunt is a poor strategic decision, and that managers use the bunt much more often than optimal. In fact, overuse of the bunt is one of the main criticisms baseball analysts level at the conventional baseball wisdom.
Of course there are many caveats that apply to conclusions based on an ERT. Most important, the table reflects an overall average; in many situations the actual run expectation may differ significantly than that identified by the table. For example, with a pitcher coming up, the expected runs are almost surely less than reflected in the table. On the other hand, with the heart of the order due up, the run expectation may materially exceed that indicated by the table.
Furthermore, late in games teams may be playing for one run, and increasing the overall run expectation may be secondary to simply scoring one run. To examine this topic, one really needs run probability tables to evaluate the probability of scoring at least one run in the various base-out situations. In this essay, I will use run probability tables as well as the ERT to evaluate bunting.
Recently several baseball researchers have further dug into the advisability of the sacrifice bunt by evaluating run potential based on a detailed probabilistic model of a specific sequence of batters and all possible outcomes. This research is valuable and suggests that bunting may not always be such a flawed strategy. But like the original expected runs tables, they are based on modeling outcomes, not on the outcomes themselves. With the availability of the Retrosheet files which include play-by-play data from games, one can begin to evaluate bunting strategies, not only from probabilistic models but from the results themselves.
… one can now uncover an instance where a successful bunt actually increases the expected runs using the Expected Runs Tables. The run potential with runners on first and second with no outs and the pitcher hitting is 1.238. A successful sacrifice bunt brings up the leadoff hitter with runners on second and third and one out; a state with a run expectation of 1.336. Again, this needs caveats: not all bunts are successful, but clearly given that this is based on overall averages, one can imagine circumstances in which a bunt is the correct strategy.” [end of quoted stuff]
According to the tables cited, last night’s situation was a statistical deadheat for TOTAL expected run production (which is different than the PROBABILITY of scoring ONE run; I don’t know the answer for that): The expected run production with the #5 hitter up, no outs and runners on 1st and 2nd is identical (1.336 runs) with having the #6 hitter up with one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd.
Me? I’d have Escobar hit, especially given the position players’ poor record of getting bunts down this year.
TW and Steve, Ohio:
If Cox put as much thought into his decisions as you guys did into your posts, I would not have as much problem with him. Both of you have good points.
Escobar going 6-4-3 was a legit concern. Not sure Cox thought about that, or Yunel’s near-.400 average with RISP. Or Infante’s success at scoring runners from 3rd with less than 2 outs. If he did, I’m off base here.
Steve: Good point as well. Braves may have been as well off with Infante up with the bases loaded & 1 out as they were without the bunt. I just can’t endorse a strategy in which you deprive 2 major offensive threats the chance to hit in favor of 2 clearly lesser offensive players.
TW: I understand that folks on here criticize Cox for not bunting enough, but why take seriously the thoughts of those who think baseball should be played the way it was when Eisenhower was president? I don’t.
After that atypically civil exchange, I think it’s safe to say that none of us are veterans of health care town hall meetings.
September 18th, 20091:24 am
I hear ya; I guess you could say I’m sort of a hybrid – I like to troll both online and in cozy, out-of-the-way record stores for many hours.
BTW, just picked up the new Legacy Edition of The Stone Roses’ debut album … superb, I must say.
Still haven’t brought myself to getting DBTs’ “Fine Print.” Need to.
As far as American Aquarium, keep looking. It’ll be well worth it once you finally locate a place that carries them.
Speaking of new bands, you guys who like Americana/straight-ahead rock have got to give a listen to this band called the Rural Albert Advantage. Their CD is “Hometowns,” and it’s solid. You can play a few of their songs here: http://www.myspace.com/theraa
September 18th, 20091:26 am
Loafy be hittin’.
September 18th, 20091:28 am
HIS NAME IS BRIAN McCANN!!!!
September 18th, 20091:29 am
September 18th, 20091:31 am
MZ: That Stone Roses debut album was tremendous, beginning with that 1-2 punch of “I Wanna Be Adored” and “She Bangs The Drums.” Too bad they never made another one even remotely as good, although their next couple of CDs had a great song or two, like “Elephant Stone.”
September 18th, 20091:32 am
Hey, is anybody else having problems with the “Enter your comments here” not going away when you click inside the box? *Whinny voice* I mean, nyuh…now I have to do all that work to delete it myself…
September 18th, 20091:36 am
Go Braves!!! Our future looks bright with our young pitching studs..
September 18th, 20091:37 am
yeah, they (Stone Roses) fizzled, to say the least … Ian Brown went on to do some pretty good solo work, but couldn’t duplicate the magic from that debut record
along the same lines as the Roses, but on this side of the pond, have you ever heard any of The Pink Spiders? pretty good stuff, in my humble estimation
September 18th, 20091:38 am
mr baseball –
I see your points but I certainly would not discount that Cox thought about Escobar grounding into a double play — he has hit into 20 of them this year. His 20 GiDP ranks 13th in all of MLB this season. His GO/AO ratio is 8th in MLB among hitters who qualify for the batting title. Cox played for the tie hoping that Infante (who has been hot the last couple of games) could score the runner from 3rd (if Laroche was walked). On the flip side, F-Rod isn’t really a ground ball pitcher.
One peculiar thing about F-Rod is that, despite being RH, he has better stats against LH hitters (.259 OBA against LH vs. .343 OBA against RH). This stat would say let Escobar hit or, if you have Escobar bunt, then be willing to accept the intentional walk to Laroche and take your chances with Infante.
While I agree that bunting is probably overused in general, I don’t think Cox would be out of the mainstream of MLB managers in making the decision that he made.
September 18th, 20091:40 am
Jurjjens is quite the defensive player too!! he nearly caught that one. Madduxish !
September 18th, 20091:42 am
Fix the time on this here blog!
I’m in a perpetual-buzz time-warp
By the way, Moylan last night became the first pitcher in franchise history to have two 80-appearance seasons (and he’s done it on both sides of a Tommy John surgery year — 2007 and 2009, with surgery in 2008. Very hard to do that, given that TJ surgery’s a 12-month recovery typically.)
Wow, Tech’s getting their doors blown off, huh? I didn’t expect that….
MZ, I just listened to a couple of American Aquarium cuts on their site. Sounds good. Didn’t realize they were from Raleigh. Lot of good bands coming out of N.C.
You ever hear Roman Candle’s (another N.C. band) debut CD? It was really good, and they’ve got their second one coming out now. Here’s a live cut I found of them, though it doesn’t really do their recorded sound justice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wysuwMdgnpc
Marc in FL
September 18th, 20091:43 am
I didn’t vote on the poll cause they all involve keeping Hudson. Unless some team is willing to take a large chunk of Lowe’s salary Hudson is not coming back after this season. And that’s fine with me, I like him and all, but let’s spend that 12mil on a bat instead.
nycbravesfan: You’re right. Jurrjens is just a damn fine all-around young pitcher.
September 18th, 20091:44 am
Geez, poor MattE. RHR – seriously, you need to add him to your bingo card.
September 18th, 20091:46 am
I haven’t heard of Roman Candle, but I’m bout to hit ‘em up … yeah AA is out of Raleigh … I interviewed the band when they came through Mississippi, really down-to-earth, fun guys … it looks like they’re coming through your neck of the woods in late October or thereabouts … you should check ‘em out live, definitely a different dynamic live than on their record …
September 18th, 20091:50 am
mr baseball: to me, the advantage of bunting Escobar in that situation is that you advance the tying run to third with less than two outs, and perhaps more importantly the winning run advances into scoring position with less than two outs. So you get two shots at getting the tying & winning runs in.
Granted you exchange Adam & Yunel’s opportunities to hit in that situation, but statistically having that runner at third with less than two outs is a pretty high percentage play in terms of getting that run home. (And you don’t need a hit to score a run.)
September 18th, 20091:53 am
We are set to sweep the phillies………..lets hope we get some good pitching
Huddy goes tomorrow………last time he faced the phillies……………..7.6 IP allowing just 1 ER.
September 18th, 20091:54 am
Marc in FL: Yeah, you’re right. I just realized that when you mentioned it. I should’ve had “Let Hudson walk as a free agent and pay the $1 million buyout” as an option for voters. Because if, for some reason they can’t agree to a reasonable multi-year deal, it’s not like $12 million is a puny salary. That’s actually pretty high for a 34-year-old coming off TJ surgery, with six or seven starts to judge him by — at least it’s high if you’ve already got as much invested in starting pitchers as the Braves do.
September 18th, 20091:56 am
Little Mac keeps on hittin’.
I don’t like it when football season and baseball season mesh…
September 18th, 20091:57 am
“”… one can now uncover an instance where a successful bunt actually increases the expected runs using the Expected Runs Tables.”"
Would a successful Butt-Smoking increase the Expected Glutting using the Expected Pork Table?
I can recall in april Mc hitting some doubles and singles to LF………..I have not seen him do that for the last 4.5 months……….. he is trying to pull everything and that affects his hitting and BA.
Way to hustle Nate.
September 18th, 20091:59 am
Great job, boys! Productive outs.
September 18th, 20092:00 am
Need to hurry up and get to 6, its storming here for about the last hour. Maybe they’ll get it in…just depends on how fast its moving thru, must be slow since its rained for about the last hour straight.
I love the A-B-C baseball from the middle of the line-up guys.
September 18th, 20092:01 am
Here’s hoping we get a chance to learn to win without Bobby in 2010
McCann’s up to 81 RBI, not bad considering all that happened earlier. If he gets nine more, that’ll be three seasons with at least 90 RBI out of four, and 87 RBI in the other one.
September 18th, 20092:02 am
He still hits some stuff to left, but no, not as much as he used to. He’s only got 15 opposite-field hits this year (57 up the middle, 51 pulled).
September 18th, 20092:03 am
Wow, Garrett playing with reckless abandon on that one….
After tonight…with two + weeks to go…and as far as the loss column is concerned…which is all that matters!!!
Braves……4 back…(…I Hope and Pray…)
Cubs……..6 back….(…they are done…)
By the way…I think the Phillies went 15 – 3 against the National this year…which is how you take care on an inferior opponent…just like what Miami is doing to those ‘crotch crickets’ tonight!
September 18th, 20092:04 am
Cincinnati just beat Florida 3-2.
Murphy had a rough night yesterday. K-Rod threw him under the bus too? Sucks for him.
September 18th, 20092:06 am
thanks for turning me onto the Rural Alberta Advantage… great stuff.!!
itunes genius app is an incredible tool!!!!
Yep! After April, if you told me he’d still finish the season with around 90 RBI, I might have wondered…
But I’m happy with it for sure! Still want that OBP to continue to climb (AVG, too, of course). But yeah, all things considered, his season totals aren’t horrid.
But I still wish he wasn’t batting cleanup.
Dammit. Stay cool, JJ.
What an idiot.
September 18th, 20092:07 am
Seems like Jair is getting knocked around a bit tonight. I can’t watch it, is he having a specific problem?
September 18th, 20092:08 am
Ah, boo-yah! I can’t stand that Thole…
Wish I could be watching this.
Nice play, JJ!
one run saved by jurjjens D!!!
September 18th, 20092:09 am
sorry jurrjens..im an idiot
GT 10 UM 33 3rd Q
September 18th, 20092:10 am
I hate Matt Diaz.
I just can’t see the Braves not keeping Hudson. Certainly paying the buyout has to be an option, but I have to believe there can be an extension reached at a lower figure. But it’s still going to be some serious money. At some level I think this comes down to Hudson vs. Vasquez (rightly or wrongly), unless somehow the Braves can offload salary via Lowe or KK, because when you have a budget, 6 starters, need offensive help, and a closer next year, there is only so much money to go around. And trading Lowe is going to be next to impossible and KK, while easier because he is cheaper and has shown something (despite his constant, sometimes vicious critics), will not bring the bat back Javy would in a trade. So if you don’t trade Javy for a bat you have to use the Huddy money to buy one on the free agent market. Tough decision.
September 18th, 20092:11 am
What’s with the blog tonight? The usual response I get from my always verbose posts is a snotty comeback from someone whose knowledge of baseball runs the gamus from A to B.
Tonight, I got 4 folks disagreeing with me (not unusual), all of whom make sufficient sense that it’s tough to argue against. Guess all the yahoos have already packed it in, and all that’s left are folks who actually like baseball and know something about it.
Or maybe they’re watching the Tech game, which explains a lot.
September 18th, 20092:13 am
I don’t blame you for not making that an option DOB, everyone here wants Hudson back… It just isn’t going to happen is all. I don’t know why they would even feel the need to bring him beck to be honest. Was there some glaring weakness with the pre-Huddy rotation this year? Were we not behind only the Giants in starter ERA before his return? Why spend the money on him when the obvious vulnerablility on this team all season has been the offense. It’s plain as day man, we need to spend money on another bat this off season.
Why weaken our ability to fill our biggest hole by signing someone we don’t need? And if you trade JJ or Javy to keep him then you’re just trading apples for apples. The only rational could be Huddy could be a mil or maybe even two mil cheaper than Javy next year (wouldn’t bank on it though with his resume), but then you lose Javy who, in my view anyway, has earned a chance at going to the post-season next year with this team. The dude’s been great and you kind of have to have a “what have you done for me lately” mentality in this game.
Just my opinion anyways; it’s up to Wren and I have faith in his ability. We’ll see.
ya know why the braves don’t score when JJ pitches? because every time they do….every SINGLE time…JJ can’t wait to give them right back. No matter the opponent, and no matter the amount of runs. When we score for him, every SINGLE time, he rushes out to give them right back.
September 18th, 20092:14 am
Give the Mets hitters credit…they’ve obviously got an approach of going the other way tonight. And that’s almost always a good strategy against a good pitcher. JJ needs to hang in there. The Braves will score more against Figueroa.
There is a committed New York Mets fan.
Good for her
September 18th, 20092:15 am
Both runs One run unearned in the fourth off Jurrjens.
September 18th, 20092:16 am
DOB- if Cox calls it quits after the year, who is your first choice to replace him?
September 18th, 20092:17 am
One of those runs should be earned. I don’t see how they can say both are unearned. Reconstruct the inning without the error. Double, fly ball out, groundout, single, single…
Diaz’s defensive weakness shows up glaringly again, unfortunately.
September 18th, 20092:18 am
Wes…If that comment were even close to true he would have 0 wins. Besides, those runs were unearned.
this time thing is the start of the apocalypse, The machines are getting back at us!
September 18th, 20092:19 am
On the ESPN box score, one of the runs is earned. That is the correct scoring.
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