Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fooled in AZ

The Giants managed to win a game last night they probably should have lost, and then found a way to lose a game tonight they probably should have won. Wade Miley gave up four runs in the first, the big blow another home run from Brandon Belt, but followed that up with six scoreless, retiring at one point 16 of 17. Matt Cain, staked to an early lead, never looked sharp, missing spots, working long counts, and generally laboring. He left after five and 99 pitches, clinging to a 4-3 advantage. JC Gutierrez unfortunately gave the lead back in a shaky stretch in the 6th with the D-Backs 7-8-9 hitters delivering consecutive hits. The tying run came in on a sacrifice fly by leadoff man Gerardo Parra despite a nice throw from Juan Perez in left.

A.J. Pollock had three hits, an RBI, and scored two huge runs a night after going 0-6 with four whiffs. He was the center of the Giants first use of the new video challenge system. With one out in the 4th he singled off Cain and Miley followed with a pop out. Pollock appeared to have been picked off with Parra batting but the the first base umpire ruled him safe. Bochy challenged the call and after what seemed like much too long of a delay the ruling was upheld. The TV replays did not show it conclusively and that's the idea--they have to have clear evidence to overturn the call. It was a weird time to use the challenge as the Giants were up by two. An out would have ended the inning, though, and Boch knew he'd get another challenge after the 7th. It turned out to have a big impact on the game as Parra doubled off Cain's next pitch. (Matty was inactive for too long--that process has to be speeded up.) Hunter Pence got a clean carom and held Pollock at third. Matty then crossed up Buster Posey with a ball that broke outside with Aaron Hill batting and the pitch bounced to the backstop (it was ruled a passed ball). They played it perfectly, though, and appeared to tag out the runner coming home on a flashy, well-executed sequence. The home plate umpire ruled "safe" however, and a call that had a real shot to be overturned was left to stand. TV replays showed, in my view, that Pollock was out. So we were left to rue a missed chance! It's going to be interesting to see how managers employ the new challenge--unfortunately Boch got it wrong on his first try.

The Giants have only themselves to blame. Cain was not at his best, his final line of 5 IP and 2 ER looks better on paper than it really was. He just did not throw enough strikes and gave up hits when he did. Gutierrez could not get the pitcher out in that fateful 6th and that set up the go-ahead run. The Giants had a chance to tie it in the 7th when Belt and Brandon Crawford stood at 2nd and 3rd with one out after a single and a double. Miley got Juan Perez looking in a situation where he absolutely needed to swing the bat and put a ball in play and then Angel Pagan popped out. (Perez was also caught looking to end the game.) The D-Backs got the big outs when they needed them from their 'pen--both Posey and Gregor Blanco struck out looking after a Pablo Sandoval walk in the 8th. Santiago Casilla looked solid in his inning of work, the only real positive on the mound for the Giants tonight.

It was not our beloved ballclub's best effort. Let's hope they put it together a little better tomorrow.




Zo said...

Two games into the season, and the flaws in MLB's replay system are evident. 1st - Pollock was out both and first and clearly at home. But apparently, a request for a replay puts the umpire into a criminal trial, where the burden of proof needs to be beyond the shadow of doubt, not just the preponderance of evidence. So if the umpire is not found guilty, the manager loses a further appeal. I get the reason, so that one manager doesn't clog the system with appeals, but the result is that the game was lost on a clearly bad call. So if, as everyone keeps saying, the intent is to "get it right" then they have made the situation worse. Not only does the Giants manager not have an appeal, but there is no ability to go to replay by the umpires until the 7th inning - and we weren't there yet. So even if another umpire disagrees, we stand pat on a blatantly bad call.

Consider, though, if Pollock would have been called out and Gibson appealed. Then the call would have been (correctly this time) upheld, Bochy would have gotten a call for the play at home (leaving aside the fact that it wouldn't have occurred) and would have had yet another appeal at his disposal because he was right. So by the fact that the umpires refused to correct the call and get it right based on a preponderance of evidence, then they compounded the error by making another much more directly harmful bad call right after without a way to correct it. Either take away the penalty for bad judgement on your first replay, or, as Flem suggested, have some automatic reviews built in, like for all plays at the plate. If not, I'm ready to throw the whole system out. Second game of the season, and it made a farce of the whole replay concept.

Zo said...

Here: http://deadspin.com/mlb-replay-had-its-first-major-fuck-up-1556969950
Look how clearly the glove is between the foot and home base.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Eh, the Giants earned that first game win and that second gave loss.

I think the ump got the call at first right: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/sf/barry-m-bloom?ymd=20140402&content_id=70683054&vkey=news_sf

And I can forgive the ump for the second call, some, the runner did hop up, but his eyes should have been right on the glove and the glove clearly gave on the slide, but it was so quick, I can give him that.

Bochy had it right in the first place, he wanted automatic reviews on plays at the plate, and this is exhibit 1A for why it should have been done. Not sure why they decided to make plays after the 7th umpire reviewable at their discretion. Umpires don't want to make obvious errors either, he should have had that option available to him.

And I don't blame Bochy. His pitcher was already at 80 pitches, he was hoping to get out of the inning. And 99 out of a 100 times, that don't lead to an extra base hit that results in a play at the plate. But as fate likes to do sometimes, when there is a flaw to the rules, the Giants suffer the negative results of that flaw, like 3 game playoff series, and such.

If anyone is to blame, it is Dunston for recommending to Bochy that he challenge the play, he had the views, I saw them and they were not conclusive and, worse, some of them looked like he was safe.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Oh, and I was going to add, runs scoring at the plate is just as big before the 7th as after the 7th start, who was the brainiac who decided this one, someone who never played baseball ever?

Just look at how many 1-run games a team faces in a season, and some teams have up to 25% of their games 1-run games.

Zo said...

I still think he was out at first, and the call was incorrect. But you point up another problem. Not that I blame Dunston, but now it is already umpires vs. tv slo-mo replays. Dunston is watching the feed relaying advice as to whether or not to appeal to Bochy. So Dunston gets the advantage of slo-mo and viewing the play about 5 times while the umps stand there with their thumbs up their ass. So the umpires are at a disadvantage, except for the "beyond a shadow of a doubt" problem. That means that almost every appeal is going to be correct and the umpires are going to be compelled, not to get it right, but to determine degree. Not that he was out, but was he out by enough of a margin to overturn the call. What utter bullshit.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Sorry Zo, what I meant is that the review umpire got it right: the play was not clearly conclusive from the replays. I don't share your conviction, but my thought is that he was out at 1B, but just that there was some reasonable doubt, and thus why the review umpire had to agree.

Dunston gets the dunce cap for going for challenging that play.