Astros vs. Rays ALDS Game 4 Chat

6:45
Ben Clemens: Hey guys, and welcome to our Game 4 chat. There’s only one show in town today, quite a change from yesterday’s circus.

6:45
Ben Clemens: If you’d like to read what we wrote about this series before it started, here’s Brendan Gawlowski’s preview:https://blogs.fangraphs.com/postseason-preview-houston-astros-vs-tampa…

6:46
Ben Clemens: Or if you’d like to read what Rachael McDaniel had to say about a cathartic game three for the Rays:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/faith-hope-etcetera-in-st-petersburg/

6:46
Ben Clemens: ZiPS likes the Astros in this game by roughly a 58/42 margin:
https://www.fangraphs.com/standings/playoff-odds/post-season-zips?seas…

6:47
Ben Clemens: And while ZiPS takes into account rest, here’s Craig Edwards on the possible effects of short rest on Justin Verlander, particularly as it relates to his fastball:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/considering-justin-verlander-o…

6:49
Ben Clemens: Lastly, if for whatever reason you’re not really into the Astros/Rays game, don’t fret. We had all kinds of nonsense on the site today, from Devan writing about Jesus Luzardo:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jesus-luzardo-should-make-as-fans-excited-…
To me doing some math on intentional walks:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/to-walk-or-not-to-walk/
Or if you’re looking for the good stuff, Jay Jaffe on starters turning back the clock:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/starting-pitching-is-making-a-postseason-c…

6:49
Ben Clemens: So kick back and enjoy. Meg and I will let the queue fill up a little bit, and we’ll be here with you for the whole game.

6:59
Billy: There’s been a lot of talk about how the ball’s reduced drag has been conducive to more home runs.  Wouldn’t it stand to reason that it would also allow pitchers to throw their fastball harder (and velo seems to continue trending upwards)?  Has anyone looked into this?

7:01
Ben Clemens: What the heck, let’s kick it off with a physics question. I can’t link you to any articles on this offhand, but think of it this way. Drag imparts a constant acceleration, which means that how far something travels due to a change in drag scales with the square of time in the air. The longer it’s in the air, the more time it has to decelerate, and so balls hit a long way start decelerating immediately, which matters more the longer the ball is in the air.

7:01
Ben Clemens: In other words: lower drag does affect thrown pitches, but not that much, and wayyyyyy less than it affects fly balls.

7:02
Ben Clemens: Now, I’m not remotely a scientist, so real scientists, feel free to chime in.

7:02
Ben Clemens: But that’s the way I understand it.

7:03
Billy: Makes sense, Ben.  Thanks for answering my question.

7:03
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s a really good question I think, b/c it’s unintuitive.

7:03
Lunar verLander: Over/Under number of pitchers Rays use tonight?

7:04
Ben Clemens: I’ll set it at 5.5. They’ve used 5, 6, 5 so far, and I’d hedge higher tonight.

7:05
Ben Clemens: But setting it at six seems wrong, seven isn’t particularly likely

7:05
Michael: What do you think of starting Verlander on short rest? Obviously they want Cole for game 1 of ALCS but the history of short rest starters isn’t good.

7:06
Ben Clemens: Going to link to Craig’s article again, because I think it’s a great angle on it:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/considering-justin-verlander-o…

7:07
Ben Clemens: I think I would not do it. That said, I like Jose Urquidy and I’d be risk-loving early in the playoffs. Try to let your fourth starter knock off the Rays, get some knock-on effects later in the playoffs. I think it’s close though.

7:07
Meg Rowley: Grabbing some water, then away I’ll go…

7:08
Ben Clemens: And I’d want to do more math to be certain one way or the other. For example, it helps that Game 2 of the ALCS isn’t until Sunday, which means that Verlander would be on normal rest for that if they win tonight.

7:09
Dodger fan: Not related to this game, but please just set me on fire, playoff baseball is the worst.

7:09
Ben Clemens: It’s also the best!

7:09
Ben Clemens: Joy wouldn’t feel so good if it weren’t for pain, etc.

7:10
Derek: Obvious no single game is a sure thing, but does having Cole on full rest ready to go for Game 5 make the risk of starting Verlander tonight any more palatable?

7:10
Ben Clemens: I’m actually not sure which would be the risk, going with Verlander or going with Urquidy.

7:10
Ben Clemens: Probably risk is the wrong way to think about it, though I literally just used that word now in describing it.

7:11
Ben Clemens: I think the way to think about it is that the Astros are making a tradeoff. Playing Verlander in this game, I think, increases their EV in this series, but it lowers it in future series.

7:11
Meg Rowley: Have fetched necessary supplies — hi alL!

7:11
Meg Rowley: All, even.

7:12
Ben Clemens: Now, is that a good thing to do when there are two future series and you have to run well-ish to win the World Series? They have the PhD’s, I’m just a simple blogger.

7:13
Matt: No disrespect to the game on right now, but the Strasburg-Buehler matchup for a game 5 in LA has me drooling!

7:13
Meg Rowley: and with Kershaw and Scherzer potentially in relief!

7:14
Ben Clemens: Tomorrow has three of the four pitchers I’m most excited to watch in these playoffs going. And the most exciting reliever, for better or worse (Carlos Martinez).

7:15
nat: Is the TB camera angle always this off-center or is this a Fox thing?

7:15
Meg Rowley: It’s a Fox thing, and it’s VERY annoying because Tampa’s home broadcast cam is normally very well centered.

7:15
Matt: Playoff baseball is the greatest thing ever!!  Go screw NFL!

7:15
Ben Clemens: Tampa has the best camera in baseball.

7:15
Ben Clemens: So sad they have this one for the playoffs.

7:16
Obvious Alias: How do you see this playing out?

7:16
Ben Clemens: This is quite interesting, and I love that there are Statcast questions like this now.

7:16
Meg Rowley: We can like multiple things, but yeah, even as a Seahawks season ticket holder, it feels very strange for there to football going on this month.

7:16
Ben Clemens: Rather than link to Craig a third time, I’m going to just say under.

7:16
5 Run Homer: Wasn’t the camera in CF for the first game in TB?

7:16
Derek: Re camera angle: MLB Network’s camera angle in Tampa was the best I’ve seen this playoffs

7:16
Meg Rowley: Different broadcast.

7:16
Ben Clemens: Yeah I believe they used the Tampa camera wells or whatever.

7:17
Hm: NL teams look exceptionally weak.  Err, even.  I could see any of the 4 making the World Series…and losing handidly to HOU or NY

7:17
Meg Rowley: I think Houston just plows through everything and everyone in their way.

7:18
Ben Clemens: I picked the Nats to win the World Series, because I felt like being take-y

7:18
Ben Clemens: But uh, the Astros are really good.

7:18
Meg Rowley: I picked the Nats to beat the Dodgers so ya know, not so far off

7:19
5 Run Homer: Why is it that Fox uses a different camera angle than the regular broadcast anyway?

7:19
Matt: I think the Yankees lineup looks deeper than Houston at full strength. If only those two average righty’s atop Houston’s rotation should handle them

7:19
Ben Clemens: A lot of national broadcasts do this, to standardize their viewing experience. For example, the home Cardinals broadcasts have arguably the worst angle in baseball, but the national broadcasts are totally fine.

7:20
5 Run Homer: that was one hell of a pitch

7:20
Ben Clemens: Diego Castillo has really pretty pitches. Objectively speaking, his sinker might be the most fun to watch in baseball.

7:20
Ben Clemens: And his slider vanishes off the face of the earth.

7:21
Meg Rowley: gooooodness

7:21
Magic Kingdome: Any plans for an offseason series on interviewing Fangraphs alumni who now work for teams or are doing other interesting things?

7:21
Ben Clemens: Wow Bregman wanted to hit about five home runs there.

7:22
Meg Rowley: FO types are unsurprisingly cagey about their work, at least publicly.

7:22
Meg Rowley: We’d certainly run it, but I think it’s sadly not super likely.

7:22
Ben Clemens: Can we interview Paul Swydan about running a book store?

7:22
Meg Rowley: YES

7:22
Ben Clemens: I’d read that.

7:22
Nathan: Why have we not seen helmet cameras on either catchers or umpires yet? I know other sports (i.e. cricket) have been doing this for awhile, and hasn’t had a negative impact on players. It would be a great addition to the broadcast for viewers to experience baseball in this way. Thoughts?

7:22
Meg Rowley: They do it on occasion. It’s a lot of fun in the College World Series.

7:23
Meg Rowley: They had a Go-Pro on the home plate ump.

7:23
Meg Rowley: I think fans would be nicer about framing if we did it more often.

7:23
Jason: I want a chest cam on the catchers chest protector.  Sadly, I doubt any of them would go for it.

7:23
Ben Clemens: Just surreptitiously stick it on Yadi’s chest protector. We know it’s got some sticky stuff on it.

7:24
Meg Rowley: did we ever get a good explanation for that?

7:24
Ben Clemens: Negative

7:24
Ben Clemens: At least, I never saw one

7:24
Jason: Or, since MLB’s messing around with the ball anyway, how about a ball cam?

7:24
Meg Rowley: Sounds like a good way to get sick to your stomach.

7:25
Thom: Thoughts on Girardi in the booth?

7:26
Meg Rowley: Thought he and AJ for the Saturday game (that was them, right?) were great.

7:26
5 Run Homer: wasn’t it pine tar on Molina’s chest protector?

7:26
Ben Clemens: This would make sense- I didn’t see it confirmed anywhere but that’s what I assumed.

7:27
That Guy: Are we sure the Astros are appreciably better than the Yankees? Or even better at all?

7:27
Ben Clemens: Sure? Most certainly not.

7:27
Ben Clemens: It seems likely, based on both underlying statistics and pedigree, but it’s not close to be certain and won’t be settled by a seven-game series in any case.

7:28
5 Run Homer: Pham!!

7:28
Meg Rowley: I think the rotations are where the difference is the most stark.

7:28
Ben Clemens: In Play, Disappointed Verlander(s)

7:28
Meg Rowley: Man, I think if I were a Rays fan I’d have a weird affection for the Trop

7:28
Ben Clemens: Verlander didn’t throw Pham a single fastball

7:29
Ben Clemens: Middle-middle changeup to RHB cannot be the way you draw it up

7:29
Ben Clemens: Then, of course, he comes back with two 94.9mph four-seamers

7:31
slammer: That change up didn’t change! Just seemed to hang there…

7:31
Cal: speaking of the Trop, why are we not calling this matchup the “Orange Juice Series”?

7:31
Meg Rowley: We are dopes, is why.

7:31
Ben Clemens: Yeah, he spun it there. You could see the rotation on it but it just didn’t break at all.

7:32
Derek: Having Ji-Man Choi and Jose Altuve on the same field is just fantastic

7:32
Meg Rowley: the democracy at play in baseball is never so obvious than its bodies, nor as beautiful imo

7:33
slammer: If TB scores again it might spell the end of the short rest experiment

7:33
Meg Rowley: Yeah, would think he is on a verrrry short leash

7:33
Ben Clemens: Yeah agree. You can’t leave him in there to figure it out when you get to face the Rays’ bullpen.

7:33
Ben Clemens: This is probably the game where you project to score the most runs.

7:34
Ben Clemens: If Verlander doesn’t have it, just hook him and send in the clowns

7:34
Ben Clemens: Er, Urquidy and the bullpen.

7:34
5 Run Homer: Girardi just referenced to Avi as a former “White Sox”; what is the correct term for a member of a Sox club?

7:34
Meg Rowley: darn if I know

7:34
Meg Rowley: (this is a knitting joke)

7:34
Matt: Michael Brantley always looks sad.

7:35
Meg Rowley: He is one of my favorite hitters to watch.

7:35
Lunar verLander: Really threading the needle with that joke

7:36
Dodger fan: the man still has 4 swinging strikes in 16 pitches, its not really clear he ‘doesnt have it’.

7:36
Matt: As a Yankee fan, I want to see this series go to 5 games, with extra innings in each game and have ___________ emerge victorious.

7:36
Meg Rowley: Rays — definitely the Rays.

7:36
Ben Clemens: Yeah- he could easily just bear down and be fine, but he’s had some uncompetitive pitches, both un-spinning changes and sliders and fastballs a million feet high.

7:37
Meg Rowley: the magnitude of the misses is concerning

7:37
Ben Clemens: It’d be very interesting to do some pitch-level research on short rest starts.

7:37
Meg Rowley: (meg nods)

7:37
Ben Clemens: To see if your worse-ness is every pitch a little or more mis-executed pitches.

7:37
Meg Rowley: Yes, yes it would Ben

7:37
Derek: Lol Ben just volunteered for a homework assignment

7:38
Ben Clemens: Ah, the pitfalls of chatting with your editor.

7:38
Meg Rowley: Good offseason topic imo

7:39
Meg Rowley: I would have a fella warming imo

7:39
5 Run Homer: Hmm

7:39
5 Run Homer: Maybe

7:39
5 Run Homer: just maybe

7:39
5 Run Homer: This short rest thing wasn’t a great idea

7:40
Ben Clemens: I mean, it’s hard to know. But this has certainly *worked out* in the worst way possible.

7:40
Ben Clemens: There was no way they could know how he’d react to short rest unless they had him throw some max-effort short rest start earlier in the year or something.

7:41
Ben Clemens: But uh, yeah. This is bad.

7:41
psweeting: I assume the ability to recover quickly and go on short rest is one of the first things to go with age, right?

7:41
Meg Rowley: (thinks about how I feel after drinking two IPAs with a meal) who could possibly say?

7:41
Ben Clemens: No Meg’s pseudonym, I have no idea how I’d even research this one.

7:42
Meg Rowley: lol

7:42
Derek: Girardi with the observation that more runs are better than fewer runs

7:42
Ben Clemens: Which is surprisingly not a given in a baseball broadcast!

7:42
Ben Clemens: A-Rod asserted confidently that you’d always rather lead by an even number than an odd number.

7:43
kevinthecomic: Thanks for chatting!!  Since you’re explaining the maths, can you opine on why you shouldn’t pull out all the stops in an elimination game if that will just get you to another elimination game? — so like the Rays today, Baseball *wisdom* says they should do whatever they have to do (empty the bullpen, use your starters in relief, etc.) because if they don’t win today, there is no tomorrow.  BUT, my understanding is that this is wrong again, according to the maths.

7:43
Ben Clemens: I’ve been saving this one because I think it’s interesting.

7:43
Ben Clemens: It really depends what it costs you and what you get.

7:43
Ben Clemens: For example, let’s say the Rays could burn Glasnow and Snell and work Nick Anderson beyond his logical breaking point.

7:44
Ben Clemens: In exchange for being 100% to win now.

7:44
Ben Clemens: But with no pitching left they’d be, eh, 20% to win Thursday.

7:45
Ben Clemens: Then they’re 20% to advance. Whereas you figure they’re 74% to win via our win expectancy, 34.6% to win per ZiPS, about 26% to win the series.

7:45
Ben Clemens: So going all out today would cost them a 6% shot at winning the series.

7:45
Ben Clemens: No awards for losing in 5 rather than in 4

7:45
Stavi: Is the math maximizing P(win today) * P(win game 5)?

7:46
Ben Clemens: Yeah exactly.

7:46
Ben Clemens: Now you can’t know the tradeoffs of extending today.

7:46
Ben Clemens: But it’s worth taking into account.

7:47
Dodger fan: That same logic can apply series to series, as potentially overworking Verlander, or what the Nationals have done with the Dodgers: the Nats may advance tomorrow (and given their BP its probably the better option), but they won’t be at full strength for the LCS after depleting their starters out of the bullpen, especially if Corbin is used again tonight to follow on Strasburg.

7:47
Meg Rowley: While Ben does impressive math, I have to say that Yarborough’s name reminds me of Jarlsberg cheese and now I want a snack

7:47
Ben Clemens: Yeah this is why I wouldn’t have run Verlander today. Not because of a short rest issue, but because I’d rather gamble on Urquidy winning.

7:47
Ben Clemens: And having maximum strength JV against the Yankees.

7:48
Mike: What did we do as fans to deserve to listen to some of the people were forced to listen to, even in playoff games?

7:48
Meg Rowley: Think this booth is pretty good! Think Smoltz with Joe Davis is ok. Think that I just really miss the park audio option.

7:48
Derek: Wow I missed that A-Rod comment. Just watched the clip of it and… What.

7:49
Ben Clemens: Have you seen the Shaq gasoline thing?

7:49
Ben Clemens: When I heard A-Rod explaining this one my mind went there immediately.

7:49
Matt: Meg, Yarborough’s name reminds me of the Yardbirds…which makes me want to listen to Clapton and eat some chicken. Same destination. Different route.

7:49
Meg Rowley: we should all eat snacks

7:49
An option: Turn on espn radio i like their broadcast teams & mute your TV

7:50
Meg Rowley: I just like the park sound

7:50
Matt: Please inform us of said A-Rod comment and “Shaq gasoline thing”

7:50
Ben Clemens: Okay so A-Rod:

Alex Rodriguez gets paid millions by ESPN to say stuff like this. He gets paid millions to make. Him giving his input is bad for the sport if he’s going to be saying stuff like this.
2 Sep 2019
7:50
Ben Clemens: Shaq gasoline:

7:51
Meg Rowley: I hate these Siri ads — they set off my Homepod.

7:51
Ben Clemens: I say “Okay Ruby” to our dog a lot and Google Home is like “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean by “Sit””

7:52
Ben Clemens: Because I haven’t figured out how to turn the command phrase away from “Okay (thing that sounds vaguely like google)”

7:52
An option: Verlander — 4 batted balls over 100mph in 1st inning, the first time in his career with that many (in statcast era)

7:52
Ben Clemens: Yeesh

7:53
5 Run Homer: Let’s get a snack update from the chat

7:53
Ben Clemens: I made a cauliflower pizza for lunch, so the half I didn’t eat then is my early dinner/snack.

7:54
An option: in any inning that was meant to say

7:54
Ben Clemens: A useful clarification, and still- scary!!!

7:54
Billy: Yarborough sounds like a nautical term to me.

7:54
Meg Rowley: Also defensible

7:54
Ben Clemens: I think of Scarborough fair

7:54
Meg Rowley: so many former Mariners

7:54
Ben Clemens: Which then gets me back to herbs and spices and I’m hungry too.

7:54
Ben Clemens: All roads lead to snacks.

7:55
Ben Clemens: Ji-Man!

7:55
Meg Rowley: JI-MAN

7:56
Lunar verLander: Most athletic defensive player in this Astros/Rays series: Ji Man Choi, just like we all predicted

7:56
Ben Clemens: This came up peripherally yesterday in chat.

7:56
Ben Clemens: I think Choi is sneaky athletic.

7:56
Ben Clemens: Not NFL linebacker athletic, just, he’d crush you in a game of basketball athletic.

7:58
Meg Rowley: I think that soft-bodied athleticism is more common at catcher, and even there we are perhaps too skeptical of it

7:58
5 Run Homer: I know we just had the dunk conversation the other night, but how many major leaguers wouldn’t crush you in a game of basketball?

7:58
Ben Clemens: Oh, I have it near 0

7:59
Robot Ump: I am a robot ump and I am here to automate some jobs into oblivion. But, the umpires have a union. What to do?

7:59
Meg Rowley: We might unplug you for a bit

7:59
psweeting: What’s the best way to quantify a player’s contribution in a single playoff series? Does WAR work on that short a timeframe?

7:59
Ben Clemens: Use WPA.

7:59
Ben Clemens: It doesn’t have defense, which is a shortcoming.

7:59
Meg Rowley: Yeah, agreed

7:59
Meg Rowley: but

7:59
Meg Rowley: for this

7:59
Ben Clemens: But the great part of WAR is that it works via accumulation over time.

7:59
Ben Clemens: Because on average over the long run it’ll work.

7:59
Ben Clemens: But in a series? WPA

7:59
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: I’m trying to think of players that wouldn’t dominate in basketball, all I can think of is CC around the time when he complained about people bunting on him.

8:00
Ben Clemens: Yeah but if it’s make it take it you’d never get the ball. He’d just back you down in the paint.

8:01
5 Run Homer: CC would absolutely ruin any of us in a pickup game. It wouldn’t even be fun

8:01
Lunar verLander: What age’d-basketball player do you think could beat an MLB player at basketball? At some point, basketball skill has to overcome a disparity of athleticism…high school?

8:01
Ben Clemens: I think one-on-one is pretty different from basketball.

8:02
Ben Clemens: None of these dudes can necessarily switch a screen or help intelligently off the ball.

8:02
Matt: Why do I feel like this game is going to come down to a walk-off catwalk ball?

8:02
Ben Clemens: But if it’s just like, hey there are two of us and I get paid millions of dollars a year to be athletic?

8:02
Meg Rowley: please dear god

8:02
Mike: I remember TNT having an all sports contest type thing with their NBA announcers one all star weekend. Ernie Johnson destroyed all of them because none of them had any coordination outside of basketball.

8:02
Meg Rowley: Yeah CC’s knee is pretty messed up but that’s about all that would save you

8:02
Ben Clemens: I’m going to try to dig this up. I would have taken Kenny for sure.

8:04
stever20: What does advanced metrics say about a starter going up vs a team a 2nd time in a series, like Verlander tonight, or the 4 guys starting tomorrow….  Are there any predictive things out there?

8:04
Ben Clemens: I honestly haven’t seen any. I believe Ben Lindbergh wrote about this either at Grantland or the Ringer at some point and didn’t find anything, but I could be mistaken.

8:05
Meg Rowley: that sounds familiar to me too

8:05
Ben Clemens: I know there’s little if any effect from seeing a reliever twice in the same series

8:05
Ben Clemens: Pham just killing Verlander tonight.

8:06
Ben Clemens: He’d love to not have had to throw more pitches there.

8:06
Dodger fan: Leaving Verlander in this game seems like a huge mistake: after 30 pitches it was reasonable to think he could still be ready for Saturday (3 days rest after an extra-long bullpen), now he’s just gonna be unavailable.

8:07
Ben Clemens: So, eh. Marginal, I think, because Cole could still go G3/G7 ALDS, and Verlander G2/G6

8:07
Ben Clemens: With Grienke G1/G5

8:07
Ben Clemens: That’d all be normal rest.

8:08
Ben Clemens: You give up some edge b/c Verlander is marginally less likely to pitch twice going 2/6 than 1/5

8:08
Ben Clemens: But mehhhhhhh.

8:08
Ben Clemens: It’s thin.

8:08
An option: I think we may have underestimated the Rays a bit…

8:10
Meg Rowley: their offense is appreciably worse than the Astros’ but they’re a good ball club

8:10
Dodger fan: yeah but whatever risk-taking you were talking about with Urquidy is easily realized by sending home out there for the 2nd inning, and if he pitches well you just have a 3 run deficit to make up against a bullpen

8:10
Ben Clemens: Yeah- if Verlander doesn’t have it, get him out of there. I think you and I would agree he doesn’t look great. It seems that AJ Hinch doesn’t agree.

8:12
Ben Clemens: When Verlander isn’t hanging his breaking balls, they look every bit as sharp as normal.

8:12
Ben Clemens: That’s a big “when,” though.

8:14
5 Run Homer: Girardi and Pierzynski make a good combo

8:14
Connor: Why does Girardi address all of his comments to AJ — it feels like he’s passive aggressively angry at the other guy

8:15
Ben Clemens: Honestly I hadn’t noticed that but they’re growing on me.

8:15
Ben Clemens: I’ve liked Girardi’s insights a lot and aside from maybe talking too much about catching (which is understandable!) AJ has had some good points.

8:16
Savi: How much are the Yankees loving this DS round? They sweep easily, Dodgers may get bounced and Houston has to really work for it.

8:17
Ben Clemens: I’d note that Dan and ZiPS like the Nats a lot and I think would have had them favored over the Dodgers if they had home field? But yes, the more games the better.

8:19
Matt: Maybe the answer is that the ZiPS simulations are time consuming, but I think a cool addition to the ZiPS series projection would be to show the odds for the potential series in the future.

8:20
Meg Rowley: sort of sorts itself out with just the odds of a team advancing in insolation

8:23
Ben Clemens: And I think it would definitely be a bit of a slog to work in some rest assumptions for the LCS’s. Easier when you’re looking at one round in isolation.

8:23
Meg Rowley: yeah

8:23
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Wait we suddenly switched to the good camera angle?

8:23
jiman_choi_fan: Center field camera angle is back!

8:23
Meg Rowley: we are very magical

8:24
5 Run Homer: Brandon Lao!

8:24
Meg Rowley: just think how tricky it’ll be for folks with the Loa and two Lows are all on the roster

8:25
Meg Rowley: should probably do some consolidation trades just for that reason

8:25
jiman_choi_fan: Camera is actually a little more to the right than it normally is – the pitcher’s head is normally covering home plate but this is still a lot better

8:25
Meg Rowley: so much better

8:25
jiman_choi_fan: Rays also have Nate Lowe’s younger brother Josh in the minors, so having all three Lowes playing next season is a possibility

8:26
Meg Rowley: Right — Lao, and the two Lows

8:26
Ben Clemens: Add Brandon Morrow in the bullpen and Art Howe as manager, have some fun with it.

8:26
Ben Clemens: All the Oh/Ow confusion you can ask for.

8:26
Ben Clemens: Luplow for the outfield.

8:27
Meg Rowley: B. Lowe will get down ballot ROY consideration I expect so that’ll help… maybe?

8:27
Derek: Is Derek Lowe a pitching coach or something? Get him on staff too

8:27
Matt: Sign Oh for the bullpen

8:27
5 Run Homer: I just can never reconcile Brandon Morrow with Brenden Morrow, former Dallas Stars captain. It’s all too much

8:27
Thom: Jed Lowrie

8:27
Ben Clemens: When I wrote Brandon Morrow I had to look him up to make sure he wasn’t Brendan or Brenden

8:28
Cory: Arrange a sponsorship from Lowe’s while they’re at it.

8:28
Ben Clemens: Lowe’s but then also 877-CASH-NOW

8:28
Meg Rowley: I mumble through that on podcasts

8:28
Andrew: Jeff Luhnow for further O vowel shenanigans.

8:28
Meg Rowley: not the JG Wentworth jingle, Brendan vs. Brandon

8:29
Ben Clemens: There’s no jingle that’s more stuck in my head without any chance of me using the product.

8:29
Ben Clemens: Like I don’t have a car to donate, but if I did, then at least I’d consider Kars for Kids

8:31
Meg Rowley: snack update: am going to get some chips and salsa brb

8:31
5 Run Homer: The hell is Kars for Kids anyway

8:31
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure, to be honest, I only know they advertise a lot and ‘the kids’ seems like a thing worth donating to?

8:31
Ben Clemens: Generic but worthy.

8:32
Derek: But cars? Or kars? I’m not sure kids should be trusted with those…

8:32
Ben Clemens: Haha my assumption is that they sell them to raise money for the kids?

8:32
Ben Clemens: To the research library!

8:32
Ben Clemens: (aka google)

8:33
Lunar verLander: I always thought it was a 1-for-1 trade; 1 car for 1 kid

8:33
Ben Clemens: Kars4Kids is a nonprofit car donation organization based in Lakewood, New Jersey. Kars4Kids is a United States-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to fund educational, developmental and recreational programs for Jewish youth and their families.

8:33
Ben Clemens: If you’re curious, they accept yachts too.

8:34
Ben Clemens: But it’s not all sunshine and lollipops:

8:34
Ben Clemens: In 2017, the Minnesota Attorney General conducted a compliance review and submitted a 300-page report to the Internal Revenue Service. The report found that only 44% of funds raised by Kars4Kids went to good works, and most of that money had gone to its sister organization Oorah, whose near-exclusive focus on New York and New Jersey meant only one Minnesota child was believed to have benefited from one of its programs in the years 2012–2014. The report also revealed the charity had invested in a Ponzi scheme, in addition to losing $9.27 million from real estate projects controlled by the second cousin of the Kars4Kids chief executive officer.

8:34
Matt: Weird that Kars for Kids is a religious focused org but never mentioned it in its commercials.

8:35
Ben Clemens: They have been sued for this apparently!

8:35
Cory: snack update follow-up: what kind of salsa?

8:35
Meg Rowley: double fire-roasted from the co-op round these parts

8:35
Ben Clemens: Wow fancy.

8:35
Meg Rowley: Ben, your guy is warming!

8:35
Dystopian Future: Nick Anderson is always warming up in the bullpen, isn’t he?

8:35
Ben Clemens: Is that roasted over two fires at the same time, or roasted in one fire, then it takes a break, then a second?

8:35
Meg Rowley: Ben has been on the Anderson beat for a minute

8:35
Meg Rowley: I think the second?

8:35
Meg Rowley: but either way, it is tasty

8:36
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: What kind of chips? Been searching for a good brand lately.

8:36
Ben Clemens: This is peak coastal elite, but I have a great chip recommendation for you as long as you, too, live directly above the same Mexican restaurant that I do.

8:36
Meg Rowley: Late July Snacks is the brand — these are the sea salt multigrain

8:36
Ben Clemens: They hand-make them and sell them by the bag, a thing that I think more restaurants should do.

8:36
Meg Rowley: I am the worst version of a Seattleite

8:37
stever20: so know there was some talk yesterday about the ball being different now.  Kind of funny after talking it- had 14 homers just yesterday.   Went from 1.09 hr per team per game up to 1.25.  Down 10% from the regular sesason(1.39).  BUT- last year regular season was 1.15 down to 1.09 thru LDS.  a 5% drop.  So looks like now just a normal sized drop off.

8:37
Ben Clemens: I love the conversations we have in the postseason. Someone also said Yordan Alvarez was done for the postseason and bad now.

8:38
Derek: Hey AJ Pierzynski just called out the win for being a useless stat!

8:38
Ben Clemens: Yeah credit where credit is due.

8:38
Cory: maybe two of the ingredients are fire-roasted? so, like, not just the tomatoes but also the chiles (or onions or garlic or what have you)?

8:38
Meg Rowley: ohhhh

8:39
Matt: Ben…has Yordan Alvarez ever even gotten a hit on a Sunday in the post season? I thought not.

8:39
Ben Clemens: Just call him the mailman.

8:40
Ben Clemens: !!!!!!

8:40
Ben Clemens: Kiermaier cannon alert.

8:40
Meg Rowley: holllyyyy

8:41
Ben Clemens: I’m not actually sure whether Kiermaier’s or Adames’s throw was more impressive.

8:41
Ben Clemens: I think that was a totally find send.

8:41
Ben Clemens: Sometimes you just roll snake eyes

8:41
Ben Clemens: fine*** yikes

8:42
Meg Rowley: I agree — takes… takes that throw(s) to get him

8:42
Ben Clemens: That Kiermaier throw my goodness.

8:42
Ben Clemens: And then Adames somehow highpointed it and turned it into his throwing motion.

8:42
Matt: Maybe both throws were equally impressive. Both 11s.

8:43
Fire Ken Tremendous: That was a double roasted Altuve! In that statement the fires were Kiermaier and Adames

8:44
Ben Clemens: Also, spare some love for the tag.

8:44
Ben Clemens: Baezian

8:44
Meg Rowley: wow

8:44
Ben Clemens: I didn’t realize how little margin for error d’Arnaud had even after two perfect throws.

8:45
Meg Rowley: just.. wow

8:45
jiman_choi_fan: I don’t think Anderson always stands that close to first on the rubber, does he

8:46
Ben Clemens: Not always but often:

8:46
Ben Clemens: Nowwwwww we’re on the Ben Clemens beat, things that Nick Anderson does.

8:47
Ben Clemens: The Rays are all over this far-left positioning thing

8:47
jiman_choi_fan: Muncy’s a lefty though, and Gurriel’s a righty which is why it was weird to me. You’d want to be on the third base side for right on right, wouldn’t you?

8:47
Ben Clemens: Fair, but here’s another:

8:47
Ben Clemens: I wonder if this is a Jeff thing, to be honest.

8:47
Ben Clemens: Also, note that sweet sweet camera angle.

8:48
Ben Clemens: Okay just watched some Marlins-era Nick Anderson, and no, he does it a lot.

8:48
Ben Clemens: Not a new thing on the Rays.

8:49
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Can we see counterfactual win probabilities for if Altuve was safe there?

8:49
Ben Clemens: Let me run it for you really quickly.

8:50
Ben Clemens: So in a neutral scenario, 17.7% out vs. 29.8% safe

8:50
5 Run Homer: Adames having a fun inning

8:51
Ben Clemens: Home runs are reasonably fun. But that throw was enough fun for the whole game for me.

8:54
Stuafoo: How about the percentage for both the Astros and Dodgers getting knocked out in the division round?

8:54
Meg Rowley: that throw was way more fun to me

8:54
Ben Clemens: 14.5% lazily

8:54
Meg Rowley: because we see so many home runs

8:54
Ben Clemens: Using our odds at the beginning of the postseason

8:54
Ben Clemens: But again, we had the Dodgers as a coinflip

8:54
Ben Clemens: So

8:55
psweeting: This is the most positively I’ve ever heard the Trop talked about in a baseball context

8:55
Meg Rowley: the crowd sounds amazing

8:55
Ben Clemens: The Nationals are just preposterously overqualified as a Wild Card team, particularly the way their playoff roster works.

8:55
Wire Fan: Josh James is working on a complete game in the bullpen

8:55
Ben Clemens: Yeah that seems… bad

8:56
Ben Clemens: Verlander just very smoothly bounced the ball off the ground and back to himself I’m pretty sure.

8:56
Ben Clemens: Before handing it to Hinch.

8:56
Stuafoo: How about that Verlander skill of bouncing the baseball off the rubber like a basketball!

8:56
Ben Clemens: I know right??

8:57
Dystopian Future: Verlander’s final line: 3.2IP 7H 4R 3BB 5K 2HR and he’s responsible for Choi on first.

8:58
Ben Clemens: Is anyone ever really responsible for anyone else?

8:58
Ben Clemens: We all have free will.

8:58
Ben Clemens: But yeah, that

8:58
Ben Clemens: Isn’t a start he’ll frame the box score from.

8:58
Adam2: Parents for babies!

9:01
Fire Ken Tremendous: What’s so special about the Nationals’ playoff roster? How long can a team like that survive when the manager only trusts a handful of his pitchers?

9:01
Ben Clemens: Basically their stars are very star-y

9:01
Ben Clemens: And in the playoffs depth matters less.

9:01
Dystopian Future: AJ having another analyst in the booth makes him much more palatable.

9:01
Meg Rowley: we all do better when we have someone to talk to

9:02
Guest: So was Castillo considered an “opener” tonight?

9:02
Meg Rowley: Don’t think so, right? It was just an announced bullpen game.

9:05
stever20: If the Dodgers lose tomorrow, where do they go from here?  What’s the missing X factor that they don’t have?

9:06
Meg Rowley: imagine you see some bullpen contemplation but they’re a really very good team

9:06
Ben Clemens: This is an extremely un-Anderson outing. Three batters faced, no strikeouts.

9:06
Ben Clemens: It’s Andersonesque in that he has allowed no baserunners, but still.

9:06
kevinthecomic: So, who gets the start for the Astros in game 5?  Urquidy warming up in the pen now.  Cole?

9:07
Ben Clemens: Oh yeah Cole for sure.

9:08
Meg Rowley: for sure

9:08
That Guy: I know SSS and all but it seems slightly concerning that Houston’s offense has been kinda sorta not good this series.

9:09
Dystopian Future: Astros look like they’re trying to jump the fastball on Anderson.

9:10
Ben Clemens: This seems accurate. They know they don’t want a piece of the curve.

9:10
Dystopian Future: RE: Astros bats; important to remember that the Rays had an excellent pitching staff. They’re dominant too.

9:10
Meg Rowley: Tampa’s pitching is good, scoring dips in the playoffs just generally, the ball might be different — I wouldn’t fret too much

9:11
Ben Clemens: Yeah the Rays are nearly as good as the Astros at run prevention.

9:11
Meg Rowley: I mean, fret a LOT but

9:11
Andy: If Kershaw and Ryu are both available out of the pen in game 5, who are the Dodgers’ best options out of the bullpen (in order)? And who would you rather have throw a high leverage inning, Jensen or Kershaw?

9:11
Meg Rowley: the pitching/defense combo is quite potent, as we’ve seen!

9:11
Wire Fan: Chances Charlize Theron drinks Bud reserved lager?

9:11
Ben Clemens: Kersh pls. I’d hvae them Kersh/Jansen/Ryu

9:11
Meg Rowley: SHE DOESN’T TAKE EVEN ONE SIP IN THE COMMERCIAL

9:11
Ben Clemens: Yeah why aren’t people talking about this more.

9:11
Abe Lincoln: How many times have the Rays faced Cole this year? If they jump on him early, shouldn’t the Astros be concerned?

9:12
Ben Clemens: Uh…. if the Rays jump on Cole early, yES!

9:12
Ben Clemens: yes!

9:12
Ben Clemens: Be incredibly concerned.

9:12
Ben Clemens: Because you’ll be down, in an elimination game, facing a pitcher who releases his fastball from low-earth orbit.

9:13
Fire Ken Tremendous: The Astro(naut)s should be used to working in low-earth orbit though, no?

9:13
Ben Clemens: Haha yes if any team has the training.

9:14
michael scarn: houston we have a problem

9:14
Ben Clemens: I’d like to congratulate the entire chat, because we made it five innings into the game without that pun, and when we got it it was in regards to an actual space joke!

9:15
Ben Clemens: Great work everyone.

9:15
Ben Clemens: You’re the real MVP’s

9:16
Meg Rowley: We have the best readers

9:17
Ben Clemens: You know, we’re praising AJ and Joe, but Joe just said “That play only worked because Kiermaier made a good throw.”

9:17
Ben Clemens: Well yeah buddy, that’s why it was good.

9:17
Derek: What is considered an elite exchange time for a relay through? .73 seconds looked pretty fast!

9:17
Ben Clemens: I have absolutely no idea and I wish Statcast would show more context.

9:17
Ben Clemens: But that thing looked freaking seamless to me.

9:18
Ben Clemens: Like the ball caught his glove almost and pulled him into throwing position

9:18
Ben Clemens: (I know that momentum makes this infeasible)

9:18
Matt: Do I get a monetary bonus for having been named a co MVP in this chat?

9:18
Guest: We are great chatters

9:18
Abe Lincoln: Going to JV over Miley seems weird to me. Miley offers a completely different look and you’re up in the series. Miley pitched recently, sure, but test that Rays’ platoon depth. Miley would have been fresher than JV in some ways plus the Astros pitchers overall have that power RHP thing going.

9:18
Ben Clemens: More of an honorary award sadly.

9:19
Meg Rowley: I dont have any trouble believing their numbers said a short rest JV was better than what Miley is and especially, has been lately

9:20
Ben Clemens: Yeah, you want to be wary of appeal to authority, but if you were going to appeal to any baseball authority, it would be either the Astros analytics department or the eldritch powers that keep turning nobodies into useful Cardinals players.

9:20
Matt: Agree with Abe Lincoln…Miley would have came in like a…wait for it………wait…..wrecking ball.

9:22
Rick: ESPN had a feature today on the QB you should choose if you absolutely needed to win a single game.  In a similar vein, which active starting pitcher would you choose to win you a single game?

9:22
Stuafoo: Is it actually true that a ball fouled straight back is one that a hitter just missed?

9:22
Meg Rowley: Scherzer

9:22
Meg Rowley: for me

9:22
Ben Clemens: Never seen anything conclusive on this. I kind of get it? It means, if nothing else, you timed it.

9:23
Ben Clemens: But I honestly have no clue, and I don’t see that timing one pitch would necessarily mean you’ll time the next one.

9:23
Meg Rowley: but not timed perfectly — I don’t take issue with “just missed” … I do think announcers greatly overstate how likely a hitter is to then put the ball in play on the next pitch

9:23
Meg Rowley: lol yes

9:23
Meg Rowley: Ben and I agree

9:24
Dodger fan: I mean not Scherzer today because he just pitched yesterday, but most days

9:24
Meg Rowley: heh fair

9:24
Ben Clemens: Wait

9:24
Ben Clemens: He can’t pitch consecutive days?

9:24
Ben Clemens: We’re sure?

9:24
Meg Rowley: WE ARE NOT

9:24
Dodger fan: Urquidy decided to make both plans look bad I guess

9:24
Ben Clemens: Yeah Urquidy doing his best to make Hinch look good.

9:24
Matt: I mean, have you ever seen Scherzer *not* pitch on consecutive days?

9:25
Ben Clemens: It’s a fair point.

9:25
Ben Clemens: So I’d take deGrom.

9:26
Mick: I’d have to think right now you have to take Cole if you need just the one win

9:26
Ben Clemens: But it’s one of these silly decisions. If you found a million dollars of diamonds on the ground next to 1.1 million dollars worth of diamonds which one would you take?

9:26
Meg Rowley: the repertoire makes this a very appealing choice as well

9:26
Ben Clemens: only matters if your team has two pitchers who are indistinguishably good

9:26
Ben Clemens: Mayyyyyyybe Scherz/Stras?

9:27
Ben Clemens: I know in theory Verlander and Cole are indistinguishable but I think the Astros would prefer Cole.

9:27
Eel Ffilc: It must suck to be the person that has to clean the turf in front of the dugouts. Hopefully they have a turf safe vacuum.

9:27
larryv: the $1.1m pile. obvi

9:27
Derek: Umm the pile worth 1.1 million dollars? That’s 100,000 more dollars!

9:27
Patrick: Maybe it depends on your bullpen and how deep a starter has to go.

9:27
Ben Clemens: Well my point is more that it’s a pointless hypothetical. It’ll never happen.

9:28
Meg Rowley: baseball is so weird, and one of the weirdest things about it is that you get to litter at work and it’s ok

9:28
Ben Clemens: Ooh I’m just sitting in my ivory managerial tower deciding which pitcher in all of baseball to use.

9:28
larryv: *squats over two piles of diamonds trying to appraise them as fast as possible*

9:29
Patrick: Why is Anderson being used so early in the game? I assume their is a reason.

9:30
Ben Clemens: Because leverage doesn’t matter here.

9:30
Nate: So speaking of Cole, y’all have any predictions for what he ultimately signs for this winter? I feel like if you aren’t cringing…it’s not enough

9:30
Ben Clemens: You need to get all the outs.

9:30
Meg Rowley: A lot. It’s going to be a whole, whole lot

9:30
Ben Clemens: The only time leverage matters is base/out state, not game state.

9:30
Ben Clemens: And he came in with a runner on second and two outs.

9:30
Ben Clemens: CHOIIIIIIIIII

9:31
Patrick: Makes sense

9:31
Ben Clemens: It’s actually kinda tricky to think about.

9:31
Ben Clemens: But the reason leverage matters so much is because you don’ want to burn your closer in a 5 run game when all the games are worth the same over a 162 game season

9:31
Ben Clemens: So you wait for the ninth to make sure you didn’t goof.

9:31
Ben Clemens: But here, there are only two games.

9:32
Meg Rowley: (to close the thought, Cole is great, the market is basically him and Stras, they’re both Boras guys, and there are some motivated teams)

9:33
Derek: I love how Choi always sheepishly smiles when he does something good. It’s the best

9:33
Meg Rowley: He’s very charming

9:33
Ben Clemens: You want to hear something shocking? Strasburg is FOUR MONTHS younger than Clayton Kershaw.

9:34
5 Run Homer: He’s WHAT

9:34
Fire Ken Tremendous: I need to sit down

9:34
Ben Clemens: Yeah someone told me that and my whole dang head exploded.

9:34
Meg Rowley: College, man

9:34
Nolan: More fun with ages: Scherzer is 3.5 years older than Kershaw; and yet, which one is breaking down with age?

9:34
Meg Rowley: “breaking down” feels strong

9:35
Mick: Is there merit to the idea that Cole is better with the Astros? I kind of buy the idea that maybe he wouldn’t have unlocked this level with the Pirates but now it seems he has kind of figured out the key to success with his repertoire and he should be able to carry it over to whatever team, right?

9:35
Ben Clemens: I’m skeptical that it only works on the Astros. Guys have left the Astros and been good.

9:35
Ben Clemens: Look at Morton.

9:35
Ben Clemens: Look at Ken GIles.

9:36
Meg Rowley: It is to the Astros credit but also mannnn did the Pirates goof

9:36
Meg Rowley: Think he can be good elsewhere, provided they goof less!

9:36
Ben Clemens: Yeah, and I think there’s also a bit of what you said, Mick — Astros tell him a thing he hadn’t heard, he’s like, oh neat.

9:36
Ben Clemens: Hey, now I know this thing.

9:36
Meg Rowley: right — he knows what works now

9:37
Patrick: Look at Chris Archer and Ryne Stanek. Some players aren’t as good once they leave the better player development teams.

9:37
Meg Rowley: when guys learn a new pitch grip that unlocks something, they don’t forget it when they go elsewhere

9:37
Ben Clemens: Yeah, although the Archer thing…. he didn’t look like a world-beater when he was still on the Rays.

9:37
Ben Clemens: Now, the Pirates seem to have made him WORSE.

9:38
Ben Clemens: There are rumors that the Astros are looking into a Men in Black-style mind eraser.

9:38
Ben Clemens: But nothing confirmed.

9:39
Lunar verLander: Ben…what if they’ve used it on you?

9:39
Meg Rowley: Not the craziest Astros rumor I’ve ever heard

9:39
Ben Clemens: We’d never know! That said, I’ve never met anyone from the Astr—– wait a dang second.

9:39
dazzle ship: a ball cannot pick up speed after hitting the ground – physics

9:40
Matt: Is anyone surprised that the Pirates wanted Arrrrcher? Maybe they go for YArrrrrrborough next.

9:40
Meg Rowley: oh jeez

9:40
Paul Gray: A denuralizer Ben

9:40
Ben Clemens: Paul, I didn’t know you worked for the Astros.

9:41
Lunar verLander: *neuralizer

9:41
Ben Clemens: Well your *name* makes it sound like you work for them. This is all very confusing.

9:44
Matt: Chirinos is wearing the catcher’s mask with the springs. I was trying to remember recently…who’s the MLBer behind that? Was it Grandal?

9:44
Ralph Rowdie : Somehow, someway, I like to think this Rays team has helped reinstill a little baseball fandom into Jeff Sullivan’s life. For that, I am grateful.

9:45
Lunar verLander: Joke’s on you, Ben: all of the people in this chat work for the Astros. We’re all in the same conference room right now.

9:45
Meg Rowley: ok now I get the short rest ting

9:45
Meg Rowley: thing even

9:46
Trent: In light of post-season announcing crews, I think this comic should read at least once each October: https://xkcd.com/904/

9:46
Ben Clemens: Haha yeah it’s just everyone frantically asking FanGraphs what to do. I’d love that to be the model.

9:47
Patrick: I wonder what the conversation is like between Astros employees right now.

9:47
Ben Clemens: Trent- I use this one at least once a month:
https://xkcd.com/552/

9:47
Meg Rowley: Dylan, they did a swear

9:48
Ben Clemens: Dylan, they probably did a lot of swears

9:49
Meg Rowley: How long do we think these last few innings will take?

9:51
Ben Clemens:

JOE BUCK: Welcome to the top of the 47th
[Sun rises]
[Sun keeps getting bigger]
BUCK: yes
[World engulfed by flames]
BUCK: oh god yes
28 Oct 2015
9:51
Matt: 1 hour and 15 minutes.

9:51
Patrick: An hour

9:51
Fire Ken Tremendous: They will take until the Opera lady sings to quote 21st century Yogi Berra

9:51
Mick: As long as they need to take, Meg. As long as they need to

9:51
Ben Clemens: This is how the Yankees-Twins games felt to me.

9:52
John Smoltz: It wouldn’t take all that long if they just let the starters pitch deep into the games like in my days!

9:54
Ben Clemens: I actually have talked to a decent amount of people who love Smoltz as an announcer, and that’s interesting to me. I guess it just goes to show that there’s more than one way to love baseball.

9:54
Meg Rowley: I also think it really depends what he is talking about and the game state

9:55
Meg Rowley: I haven’t minded him with Davis, and he was fine with Costas before that game lasted 10 hours.

9:55
Meg Rowley: he’s not who I want leading the conversation about the games’ aesthetics

9:57
That Guy: Yesterday’s Yankees-Twins game took 4:02 and I still don’t understand how that’s possible.

9:58
Meg Rowley: my neck and upper back have decided to freak out and so I watched much of that game covered in heating pads and lemme tell you, it felt longer

9:58
Fire Ken Tremendous: There’s no way to know this but I wonder who the best former player to have in the booth would be. How many guys are there that would be a tremendous addition but just don’t want the job, would rather do something else, etc?

9:58
Ben Clemens: Man, I hope Lindor broadcasts when he’s done.

9:58
Patrick: Kieth Hernandez

9:58
Greg: Who has been the post-season MVP so far?

9:59
Ben Clemens: The chat. We settled this earlier.

9:59
stever20: Baseball Fans.  looks like we’re going to get 19/20 possible LDS games…

9:59
Ben Clemens: 18/20 presumably, but yeah

9:59
Ben Clemens: Great divisional round.

10:00
Lunar verLander: Wasn’t Chris Archer amazing in the booth a few years ago?

10:00
Meg Rowley: yeah, he was great

10:00
Greg: That sounds like a lame cop-out, like where a team names “the fans” the MVP in a transparent attempt to generate goodwill and ticket sales.

10:01
Lunar verLander: It’s like when Time named “You” as Person of the Year

10:01
Ben Clemens: You think we’re going to spring for those pricey mirrors they used?

10:01
Meg Rowley: Feel like Cole, Scherzer, Swanson, Ozuna, are on the list?

10:01
Ben Clemens: What are we, the kind of website that found a 1.1 million dollar pile of diamonds on the ground?

10:02
Derek: … but left it sitting there to take the 1 million dollar pile

10:02
Ben Clemens: I’ve made choices I regret.

10:02
tim: You guys ever think of re-scaling the defensive WAR numbers, so that a neutral 1B is 0 D. It always just bugs me when a guy like Matty Olson who makes middle infield plays at 1B, and scoops almost everything has a negative D on the team pages. I guess Im just not sure why it was done that way instead of 0 being the avg of the lowest position on the D spectrum, and then positional adjustments going up from there.

10:03
Ben Clemens: This is an interesting point. Where you zero stuff affects how you think of things. Meg and I aren’t really in the building the metrics of FanGraphs business (or at least, I’m not), but I think showing DRS in there somewhere would be useful.

10:03
Ben Clemens: That said scoops are notoriously difficult to put into defensive metrics.

10:04
Ben Clemens: The reason those numbers are negative is because the average amount of defensive value above or below average conributed by all players in baseball has to be zero, you know?

10:04
Ben Clemens: But nothing is stopping us from rescaling it for funsies.

10:06
Ben Clemens: And with that, we are above 95% win probability for the Rays, which means it’s time for a gratuitous picture of Ruby, to save me having to think about baseball for a quick minute:

10:06
Ben Clemens:

10:06
Meg Rowley: Rubyyyyyyyy

10:07
Ben Clemens: She’s wondering why I took the 1 million dollar pile of diamonds instead of the 1.1 million pile.

10:07
Ben Clemens: She looks pensive and displeased.

10:08
Meg Rowley: i love baseball and how its playing places allow for this

10:08
Derek: Ooh ring rules graphics

10:08
Ben Clemens: Some intern is like yessssssssssssssss

10:09
Matt: Is Meg pro catwalk? Please explain yourself

10:10
Meg Rowley: I like weird stuff, I’m almost tragically twee, and the trop speaks to my particular twee aesthetic

10:10
Abe Lincoln: Do you think JV suffers the fall out from pitching on short rest for years to come, especially in high intensity innings (Metric, please), like a Kluber or Miller? The Astros were up a game. Going to a different look without costing their best SP for the next series was the best move, especially when JV hasn’t gone on 3 days rest often and he’s getting older. Kluber said he was fucked for the next year and he’s not the first.

10:10
Ben Clemens: Dylan, chat did a swear.

10:10
Meg Rowley: JV has an incredibly impressive postseason resume and was instrumental to a World Series win

10:11
Meg Rowley: I think his rep will be fine

10:11
Alfredo: Kluber won the Cy Young the next year

10:12
Matt: I love weird stuff. But there’s something about turning a ballpark into a mingle course of sorts that’s…annoying.

10:12
Meg Rowley: Eh of all the aspects of a park that bug me the most, this doesn’t make the list, but I can see how it might rankle

10:13
Zack Greinke: If the Astros win game 5 does that mean I pitch games 1 and 4 against the Yankees.

10:13
Ben Clemens: Probably 1 and 5? I doubt they’re getting 7 games out of Cole/JV/Greinke, so just throw Urquidy in G4 and get everyone on normal rest.

10:15
Ben Clemens: Especially, and I know that this isn’t how analytics work but it is how minds work, after seeing JV tonight.

10:16
Dystopian Future: The Rays easily have the most fun bullpen in baseball, right? (As well as probably the best). Poche, Drake, Castillo, Alvarado (when he was on the team), etc

10:16
Ben Clemens: Easily.

10:16
Meg Rowley: oh yeah for sure

10:17
Alfredo: Does Tampa start Glasnow or Snell? Assuming both will pitch at some point, so maybe moot point

10:17
Ben Clemens: In Play, Run(s)

10:17
Meg Rowley: oops

10:17
Derek: The cool thing about a bullpen game is that they can use all these awesome relievers today, and then with tomorrow’s day off, they’ll all be available in some capacity for Game 5, right?

10:17
Ben Clemens: Yeah, bullpen games before off days are solid strategy.

10:18
Ben Clemens: Or rather, setting up your rotation to where that works is.

10:18
Matt: Technically, that ball was never in play, Ben.

10:18
Ben Clemens: I do always wonder about that. The inconsistent definitions of In Play trouble me.

10:19
Meg Rowley: Would think they start with Glas, but imagine we see both

10:19
Meg Rowley: uhhh I have 500 words on that somewhere

10:19
Meg Rowley: might dust it off

10:20
Oliver Drake: What the heck got into me.  Didn’t I set some kinda record last year for getting DFA’d and claimed.  Now I’m just filthy.

10:20
Ben Clemens: Luckily, I’m into hipster Rays relievers:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/oliver-drake-changed-his-game-and-found-a-…

10:20
Meg Rowley: heh

10:20
Meg Rowley: Emiliooooooo

10:22
Joc Pedersen : 2020 is my last year before free agency.  Are the Dodgers gonna move me like Puig and A. Wood before the 2019 season?

10:22
Dystopian Future: Quick reminder that Emilio Pagan was the best pitcher in baseball by xwOBA. And the Mariners traded him for Ryon Healy.

10:22
Meg Rowley: like I don’t think about this once a day already

10:23
Ben Clemens: Interesting question here: I lean no, because they’ve done their salary shedding, but given that they already have Muncy/Seager/Bellinger as lefty bats they might decide they don’t need more lefty platoon types.

10:23
Ben Clemens: I think Joc is probably a bit better than a platoon type at this point, and I’d keep him, but it has to be in play.

10:23
Alfredo: Emiliowe Pagan

10:25
Matt: I DESPISE THE PROPERTY BROTHERS

10:25
Ralph Rowdie : Sigh… why are the property brothers a thing?

10:26
Meg Rowley: Funny story, the place I get my nails done on occasion always plays HGTV but on mute, and then they play “spa music” and the last time I was in there, I swear to god the Twin Peaks snuck in there over the property brothers show

10:26
LFC Mike: And Verdugo in the mix next year for LA as a LH as well as Lux

10:26
Meg Rowley: It was very surreal

10:27
Ben Clemens: Haha mismatched soundtracks are great

10:27
Ben Clemens: Yeah honestly the more I think it out the more I think it’s not crazy.

10:27
Ben Clemens: Jeez, the Dodgers are stacked.

10:30
Dodger fan: Clayton Kershaw’s career wRC+ as a batter in the playoffs: 45
Cody Bellinger: 50

The sadness.

10:31
Ben Clemens: That’s….

10:31
Ben Clemens: I mean, it’s not great.

10:32
Mick: But we all know for an absolute fact that Kershaw can’t pitch in the playoffs. We have yet to discover if that’s true for Bellinger

10:33
Ben Clemens: Eric Sogard has extreme kid in your homeroom class who is in AP Calc and also Band energy

10:34
Ben Clemens: Also AJ Pierzynski with a great take: “I love when people post stuff on Twitter that’s kinda funny.”

10:34
Wire Fan: He’s got AV club written all over him.

10:34
Derek: Hey I was in AP Calc and also band!

10:34
Ben Clemens: There’s no condemnation in my comment.

10:35
Meg Rowley: AP Calc and Drama

10:35
Meg Rowley: plus zero-hour debate!

10:35
Meg Rowley: and model congress

10:35
Meg Rowley: I was… terrible

10:36
Lunar verLander: AP Calc and Orchestra…woo…

10:36
Ben Clemens: I seem to have struck a rich vein of the FG commentariat.

10:37
Lunar verLander: …is this the same vein who don’t know what the word “commentariat” mean…?

10:38
Ben Clemens: Turns out, I don’t know what it means!

10:38
Dystopian Future: Even as an AP kid I couldn’t understand the people who took zero hours, unless they had a job that required leaving early.

10:38
Ben Clemens: What are zero hours?

10:38
John: AP government, band, AND jazz band

10:40
Dan: I’m guessing zero hours happened before classes started for everyone else.

10:40
Ben Clemens: I kind of think that too and I’m just really hoping someone will tell me I’m wrong.

10:40
Meg Rowley: I took debate for credit before school started

10:40
Ben Clemens: Because ouch.

10:41
Dystopian Future: Classes taken before the start of the day, before first hour.

10:41
Ben Clemens: Yeah jeez. Aggressive.

10:42
Meg Rowley: Ha! That OJ Howard catch was great.

10:42
Lunar verLander: When was zero hour? 9:00 AM?

10:42
Meg Rowley: 7

10:43
Ben Clemens: Okay there rocket man.

10:43
Ben Clemens: And Meg, surely you aren’t talking about an OJ Howard catch this year, because there haven’t been any.

10:43
Ben Clemens: Not that I’m bitter.

10:43
Ralph Rowdie : Ben, with the way some members of the media have taken to heavy use of Twitter comments to fill in their articles perhaps everyday people are  becoming part of the commentariat.

10:43
Ben Clemens: Clearly what I meant.

10:44
Ben Clemens: Definitely not just using a word wrong because it sounded right.

10:45
Meg Rowley: hehe

10:45
Dystopian Future: I’m throwing in my vote to make commentariat more along the lines of Ben’s definition. Be the change you want to see in the world!

10:46
5 Run Homer: wait what does commentariat mean then?

10:46
Ben Clemens: commentariat: members of the news media considered as a class.

10:46
Ben Clemens: Not what I thought!

10:46
Ben Clemens: I assumed that people commenting would count too.

10:46
Dystopian Future: Of the three teams seemingly going into a game five, if the home team is down early which set of fans will be booing loudest: ATL, LAD or HOU?

10:46
Dystopian Future: I’d have to assume it’s Dodgers fans

10:47
Ben Clemens: I agree Dodgers.

10:47
Ben Clemens: They’re a little jaded at the moment.

10:47
Ben Clemens: If the Nats had a home game it would clearly be them.

10:47
Lunar verLander: Depends; is there a questionable umpiring decision? ’cause then it’d be ATL no question

10:47
Ben Clemens: Ooh if there’s an infield fly.

10:48
Ben Clemens: Disaster

10:48
Guest: Outfield fly

10:48
Ben Clemens: Yeah that one still stings, it’s safe to say.

10:49
Dystopian Future: Snell warming in the TB bullpen, Rays are really trying to make sure this lead is locked down.

10:49
Ben Clemens: The broadcast pointed out that it’s also his throw day, so they don’t lose anything by having him warm.

10:49
Ben Clemens: Meanwhile, this game has gotten tight.

10:50
5 Run Homer: uh oh

10:51
Mike: Yeah Snell was on MLB Network earlier today saying hed be a good to go for a batter or an inning. Same as a bullpen day for him

10:52
Ben Clemens: Now I’m calling this the commentariat, because that’s news.

10:52
Blue: Time to Snell what the Blake is cooking

10:52
Ben Clemens: Yordan Alvarez is so so so so good

10:52
Ben Clemens: I don’t know how baseball players don’t lose their minds.

10:52
Ben Clemens: I’d be so scared.

10:53
Dystopian Future: Can you Snell what the Trop* is cooking?

10:53
Dystopian Future: Blake Snell is so so so so so good, too. So good he gets an extra so. He won the Cy Young last year!

10:53
Ben Clemens: Yeah Snell is great, and with the platoon advantage I mean, you have to like his side.

10:54
Ben Clemens: Just, what a rough spot for the Rays to have this guy come up here.

10:54
Studstats: I wonder if there has ever been any research done on the impact of starting pitchers entering games like Snell. Even though the pitches thrown might be the same I doubt the intent or effect level is the same.

10:55
Derek: was that a great pitch or just a really bad chase?

10:55
Meg Rowley: good starters pitching in relief makes me (Dylan, I’m gonna do a swear) so god damn nervous

10:55
Ben Clemens: I’m not 100% sure honestly. Somewhere in between.

10:55
5 Run Homer: Yordan REALLY wanted to tie it up there

10:56
Ben Clemens: …But a five-run homer would give the Astros the lead.

10:56
Ben Clemens: I’m confused.

10:56
Matt: Who the hell is Dylan, and why does he keep getting informed of swears being done?

10:56
Meg Rowley: Way to admit you don’t listen to FanGraphs Audio, MATT.

10:56
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: It looks like a low fastball out of the hand and it’s a two strike count. Not a bad pitch.

10:57
Ben Clemens: Yeah it wasn’t his tightest breaking ball, but certainly not his worst.

10:57
Dylan Higgins: Meg, 2 more swears and I should get a raise

10:57
Matt: I don’t have ears, MEG.

10:57
Meg Rowley: we get sassy at the end of the chat

10:58
Ben Clemens: “It’s very dangerous to wave to people you don’t know because what if they don’t have hands? They’ll think you’re cocky.” – Mitch Hedberg

10:58
Meg Rowley: lolol

10:58
Ben Clemens: In Play, Out(s) and we’re going five.

10:58
Meg Rowley: folks, friends, pals, baseball rules

10:58
Ben Clemens: What a game. Even though it wasn’t particularly close most of the way they gave us a lot to talk about.

10:58
Ben Clemens: And we, the commentariat, reveled in it.

10:58
Meg Rowley: Tremendously fun

10:59
Meg Rowley: Thanks everyone for hanging out

10:59
Ben Clemens: I will almost definitely not see you guys tomorrow. But I will be on the edge of my seat.

10:59
Ben Clemens: Goodnight.

10:59
Meg Rowley: Night all — recap from Rian coming soonish!

We hoped you liked reading Astros vs. Rays ALDS Game 4 Chat by Meg Rowley!

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Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs, the host of FanGraphs Audio, and the co-co-host of Effectively Wild. Her work has previously appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing, and Just A Bit Outside.

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