Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat -- 10/7/16
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KIRK
9:25
Jeff, I figured out who to root for in this god awful Rangers/Jays series. The away team. That way all the fans are sad and the Rangers lose
Jeff Sullivan
9:25
Probably the ideal approach to any series where you don't like any of the participants
Anthony
9:26
Last night, Darling said something to the effect of "the two hardest things for a baseball player are coming into a game as a pinch runner or as a defensive replacement." I'd counter that those are the two easiest (at least that involve actually entering the game). Think we'll here a dumber statement from a broadcaster the rest of the playoffs?
Jeff Sullivan
9:26
I don't want to be too critical because broadcasting is hard and I don't know whether that quote is totally accurate, but that does seem like a silly statement to me, yes
9:27
Like, what about pinch-hitting! What is harder than pinch-hitting!
Ron Darling is fantastic with Mets games. One of the top booths in the sport. I can't tell whether he's just out of his element doing league-wide stuff, or if there's some directive for him to talk more and talk stupider when he's on a national game
zurzles
9:28
is a front office/manager ever gonna come up with a real counter to the "lean on elite middle relievers as much as possible" playoff strategy?
Jeff Sullivan
9:29
I don't know what the counter would be. My sense is that teams are building better and deeper bullpens than ever. And starting assignments are getting shorter and shorter. Hitting in the playoffs is so damned hard
Erik
9:30
Are there some pitchers for whom the idea of limiting pitchers to about 100 pitches just doesn't apply? Bumgarner in particular looks like he could throw 150 every other day, like an old fashioned pitcher. Is it possible that there are still pitchers out there who could be abused liked pitchers were in the early 1900s?
Jeff Sullivan
9:31
I think there are definitely pitchers who are just more structurally resilient than other pitchers. They're just born that way, more durable, less likely to break down over time. Pitchers like Randy Johnson. The trouble is successfully identifying those pitchers. You might develop a sense, but how much do you trust it? Because the only way to know for sure how durable someone's arm tissue is is to kill that person and then test the tissue directly
That would be extreme and counterproductive
CamdenWarehouse
9:32
What's your take on the Silverman regime in TB? Looking back at their trade history, it seems like a lot fewer wins and a lot more mehs than what used to be the case for the Rays.
Jeff Sullivan
9:32
More teams than ever are thinking in ways similar to the Rays. So there are fewer teams of whom to take advantage. It's only going to get harder and harder for the Rays to contend
KIRK
9:32
What should the good ol 'ners do with Ketel Marte? Should they shoot him in to the sun?
Jeff Sullivan
9:33
Put him in Tacoma until he at least hits a ball to the warning track
Zonk
9:36
Hi Jeff! I will be at Wrigley Field tonight. What should I look for from Cueto?
Jeff Sullivan
9:36
I don't think there's anything in specific to look for. He's just a lot of fun. Try to appreciate in person all the different ways in which he goes through his wind-up.
Zach
9:36
I have never seen a more divisive trade in my time as a Pirates fan than the Francisco Liriano trade. It’s been almost three months and it is still a contentious topic among fans. Now that time has passed, how do you view the trade? Do you think it was a poor move by Neal Huntington or do you sense it was pressure from ownership to trim payroll?
Jeff Sullivan
9:38
I'll never love that move from the Pirates' perspective, especially given that Liriano could apparently be fixed somehow, post-haste. But both the prospects involved were on a downward trajectory, making them less valuable than the perception, and Hutchison could and should be an affordable big-league starter. I don't have a good sense yet of whether he has two or three years of control left, but I do like him, and it wouldn't shock me if he's better than Liriano in 2017
Erik
9:38
Could today's Kershaw-Scherzer matchup be as good as Bumgarner-Syndergaard was on Wednesday? Or is Scherzer not quite at the same tier?
Jeff Sullivan
9:38
Scherzer is fantastic but if you're asking for something to top Wednesday, well, that's about as good as a pitchers' duel can possibly be. That is the ceiling, more or less
9:39
Well I guess you said "as good". That's my fault
Jordan
9:39
Yesterdays games felt like they were missing something without the FG chats!
Jeff Sullivan
9:40
Here's the truth of the matter: we used to do a lot more playoff live chats, but chats for early series games haven't driven huge traffic, and chatting makes it a lot more difficult to pay the kind of close attention you like as a writer to know what to analyze after the fact.
9:41
So even though marathon chats can be fun, they're draining, and they're not always in the site's best interests. When you chat, you're paying most of your attention to the chat window, and less to the game itself. So while we'll have more chats in the playoffs for crucial games, several weeks of thought went into this decision
kevinthecomic
9:43
Should Tito have pinch-hit for LH batter Chisenhall in the 5th with the bases loaded and two outs against LHP Pomeranz? How much of a difference in run expectancy would, say, Guyer or Davis have been? On the face of it, it looked like a missed opportunity to blow the game wide open.
Jeff Sullivan
9:43
I thought so, yeah. Isn't that why you get a guy like Guyer in the first place?
9:44
At that point I was writing so I wasn't paying close attention and maybe something has just gone over my head. But on paper that situation called for someone else. Chisenhall struggles against lefties an awful lot, and if you're bringing Andrew Miller into the game so early, you clearly understand that big moments can happen at any point, even if it's just in the fifth
Ultimately pinch-hitting wouldn't have swung the win expectancy too much, but that still called for it
KIRK
9:44
Who would be more productive, Hisashi Iwakuma or a squirrel second basemen? The squirrel would probably walk a lot.
Jeff Sullivan
9:44
Bad question. The squirrel wouldn't be a pitcher
And you'd never turn a double play
Shane
9:45
Should Price have pitched Game 1 yesterday? Does it matter?
Jeff Sullivan
9:46
Don't think it really matters. At this point it's unclear who their actual best starter is
Scott
9:47
Searage ever officially re-up with Pittsburgh? I've never wanted a positional coach so hard. I'm a Braves fan and want him to make Folty amazing.
Jeff Sullivan
9:47
I can't find an update on his contract status but I can't imagine he's going to leave, or that they would allow him to leave
iron wolf
9:47
Jeff: loved your piece about Showalter's terrible decision Tues. night. We saw Tito Francona do it the right way last night. I admire Buck greatly for turning around the O's franchise, but I'm worried he might repeat the same mistake next year. Am I underestimating his capacity to learn from his blunder? He does seem like a sensible man.
Jeff Sullivan
9:48
The last five years, all under Showalter, the Orioles have absolutely obliterated their preseason projections. I wrote about that the other day, and while you can't just give all the credit there to the manager, you have to figure he deserves a chunk of it. What evidence we have suggests that Buck Showalter is fantastic, overall. You can't be too let down about one decision in one game that altered the Orioles' win expectancy by *maybe* a few percentage points
9:49
Sometimes Mike Trout strikes out. Sometimes he does it looking horrible on three pitches. You still couldn't possibly be happier to have him
ringo
9:50
I always thought of a change-up as something you mixed in occasionally to keep hitters off balance, kind of like a trick or a surprise. I'm not sure I understand how Estrada can throw a straight change 35% of the time over the course of a game, or throw it 3 times in a row to the same batter, and not see it get thumped. Can't you sit on it?
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