NL Division Series Games 4 Chat

3:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Hey folks, good afternoon and welcome to our NLDS Braves-Cardinals Game 4 chat. Tony Wolfe will be joining me. First pitch is coming in four minutes, and right now, in the only game that’s live, the Rays are pouring it on the Astros 8-1 in the fourth inning, so it looks like that series will not end with a sweep

3:06
Manta: Just a question, but why aren’t we talking about the Rays-Astros?

3:07
Avatar Jay Jaffe: We didn’t have enough bodies available to cover all four games today, and this time slot worked better for me when I planted my flag in our spreadsheet.

3:07
Roger: How long does Keuchel go with the platoon disadvantage and Teheran and Tomlin available?

3:10
Tony Wolfe: I have to think Keuchel gets a little bit of wiggle room. It isn’t as though Teheran is dominant against righties, though he did pitch well against St. Louis this season (10 IP, 1 R, 4 H).

3:11
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I imagine this will be dictated by results to some degree. He’s at a disadvantage (.314  wOBA vs RHB career, .267 vs LHB, against a lineup with 2 lefties). With a 2-1 lead, he definitely has a longer leash than if the Braves were down 2-1

3:16
Charlie Swanson: Braves in 4 — also, thoughts on the de-juiced ball theory for the playoffs?

3:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Have we heard from Justin Verlander yet? I’m interested to hear what he thinks. Scoring is down about 18% relative to the regular season (from 4.83 runs per team per game to 3.96) and homers are down about 23% (from 1.39 to 1.08), but I’m not sure how that compares to years past, and it’s worth noting that we’ve had a higher share of front-rotation types throwing innings thus far, since we’re only talking about 2-3 Division Series games per team

3:19
Avatar Jay Jaffe: until we get at least some amount of anecdotal information from pitchers and a larger sample size of games, I’d be very skeptical that the ball has changed. And even then, i’ll be at least somewhat skeptical.

3:20
Tony Wolfe: Right, I’d be hesitant to draw any conclusions from the small set of games we’ve had so far. This might be naive of me, but I honestly just think the number of dominant arms we’ve seen has been what’s suppressing offense.

3:20
Avatar Jay Jaffe: yup

3:21
Avatar Jay Jaffe: i’m working on something about the starter/reliever balance and I think a good bit of it is just that so far

3:22
Adam: Do either of these two teams match up better than the other against the Dodgers?  The Nationals?

3:23
Tony Wolfe: I think the Braves are better set up to score with LA.

3:24
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I haven’t thought about it too hard — there’s enough to try to analyze for actual matchups — but the Cardinals hitters were about 10 points worse in wRC+ versus lefties and the Dodgers have a lefty-heavy rotation (Kershaw, Ryu, Hill) so they might favor the Nationals; the Braves were more platoon-neutral (103 vs RHP, 99 vs LHP).

3:24
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and there’s Paul Goldschmidt with a towering solo homer on a 3-1 fastball

3:25
Tony Wolfe: If that Goldschmidt stroke would have stayed in the yard, I might have started listening on the de-juiced ball stuff.

3:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: And there’s Ozuna going yard too, so that theory is losing steam as we type

3:26
Tony Wolfe: Woah.

3:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: 439 feet on that one. No distance estimate published for Goldy’s shot

3:29
Tony Wolfe: 111.7 mph exit velo for Goldschmidt, 107.4 for Ozuna.

3:31
Josh: With Miley probably going to eat up innings here, does HOU go JV in Game 4, Cole in Game 5?

3:32
Tony Wolfe: I’d be really surprised if they did anything else

3:33
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it sounds like they’re probably starting Jose Urquidy, inexperience and all, and could have Verlander available out of the bullpen if need be, and still have Cole on 4 days of rest for Game 5

3:34
Tony Wolfe: Well look at me, being surprised

3:36
Eel Ffilc: What’s the rationale in having Monday day playoff games? I don’t get it.

3:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: less overlap in games. You can’t put 4 games at night and not take a bite out of the audience for each. This isn’t ideal but there’s really no winning when things are this hectic.

3:37
Avatar Jay Jaffe: keep in mind that the Game 4 teams have to travel, and they do have a travel day but they and the league would prefer to get them out earlier rather than later (hence the Dodgers-Nats g4 starting before Twins-Yanks g3)

3:38
James: If Verlander is available at all, doesn’t it make more sense to start him and milk him for all you’ve got? Even if he only gives 4 or 5 innings you still have a rested bullpen and Cole in your back pocket for game 5. Don’t want to lose the series and not maximize innings from the aces.

3:41
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I would probably lean that way, yes. I’m going on what an Astros beat guy reported re Urquidy. We’ll almost certainly have an answer within a couple hours anyway.

3:41
stever20: also isn’t another thing that most years this is Columbus Day and thus some folks off?

3:41
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Interesting point; I haven’t checked but you may be right

3:44
Tony Wolfe: The other advantage to pitching Verlander in Game 4, because of the ALCS starting Saturday, is he would still be pretty well-rested to start Game 1 of the next series should they advance.

3:44
Andrew: As a Cardinals fan, these start times are terrible.  Would the ratings really be worse if they had more evening games?

3:46
Tony Wolfe: I think they’d take a pretty big hit if they had to share Washington and LA’s audience, even if it was for half the game or so

3:46
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I don’t have any data but I suspect that’s what MLB has concluded. Which isn’t to say that they’re right, but this is a challenging setup regardless, and you only have so much advance time to tweak things due to the teams and time zones involved. I  haven’t compared this year’s schedule to last but I do recall that there were years with an extra off day thrown into the DS and that was horrible. This keeps teams on more even footing, so I think that’s preferable, ratings be damned

3:47
Tony Wolfe: And I guess as a neutral fan in these (and virtually all) playoffs, I’d rather not have to choose between two elimination games going on at once.

3:47
Charles Finley: Do the Yankees regret not making a bigger offer to Dallas Keuchel yet?

3:48
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I thought they made a mistake not signing him but looking right now at his numbers (3.75 ERA, 4.72 FIP), I can’t imagine they’re lamenting it too hard even given their rotation issues. Even losing German, they felt pretty good about their rotation going into the postseason thanks to the return of Severino and the final 1/3 of the season from Paxton.

3:49
Charles Finley: Will the Phillies throw up their hands and trade Vince Velasquez this winter?

3:50
Avatar Jay Jaffe: the Phillies spent much of the season throwing up INTO their hands… oh wait. Eh, I can’t imagine VV has significantly more trade value than he does as a potential late-game reliever.

3:51
Tony Wolfe: I’d be interested to see what another team might be able to do with him, but as Jay said, I’m not sure the risk of him hitting his stride elsewhere is worth whatever the Phillies would get back.

3:52
Russell: With Dallas not fooling anyone and getting a lot of contact do you think the Braves pull Dallas early?

3:55
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Again, the Braves lead the series. This game is still within reach. The bullpen ain’t great. I don’t think Snitker’s going to rush into things and pull him after 3 innings. Maybe, as with Game 1, he won’t get through 5, but unless this becomes a 3-4 run game, I think he’ll at least get through the order a second time

3:55
Tony Wolfe: It is a lot of hard contact so far, but I wouldn’t necessarily say he isn’t fooling anyone either. I think he’s still got some rope.

3:56
stever20: how long do you think Severino can go tonight?  5 innings?

3:56
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Somewhere between 5-6 unless he burns a lot of pitches in high-stress innings

3:58
Alfredo: If Yanks win but Astros lose, will they push the TB-HOU game from 4 to 8 EST?

3:58
Tony Wolfe: Yes. Here’s the schedule: https://www.mlb.com/news/2019-mlb-postseason-schedule

3:58
Avatar Jay Jaffe: ah, good call, Tony.

4:00
Tanaka: Why do I remember how to pitch in the fall?

4:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Some of it may be temperament — Tanaka is pretty unflappable, from what I’ve observed, and he’s been through these situations before. But  I think it has as much to do with the level of information and preparation that the Yankees provide their pitchers for a postseason start as anything

After his start the other night (which I covered), he said, “I actually don’t get too caught up on being good in the postseason and all that. Come to think about it, I think it’s still a small sample.”

Loved that!

4:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and there’s the Braves with their first run on singles by Swanson and Acuña Jr. and a sac fly by Albies. Good baserunning by Dansby, and probably a bit more leash for Keuchel

4:08
stever20: If the Dodgers lose Ryu this winter, are they going to be forced to go out and get a replacement?  Know they have some young guys- but the last 1/3 of the season with Kershaw has to be concerning.  Last 7 starts/8 outings of regular season he had a 4.35 ERA and 6.00 FIP, and then in game 1 he got hit fairly hard as well.  Are they really going to want to go into the season with Buehler as a clear #1, Kershaw as an aging #2, and then young guys or Maeda?

4:09
Tony Wolfe: Hudson got a big K there, but it seems notable that he didn’t get any chases that inning. He got four chases in each of the first two frames.

4:11
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I imagine they’re going to sign somebody to a longer-term deal this winter, whether it’s Ryu or a FA (Cole? Strasburg if he opts out?) to help bridge the gap; and don’t forget, Rich Hill is also a free agent. They have a high volume of internal options to go behind Buehler, Kershaw, and Maeda (May, Gonsolin, Stripling, Urias) but some of them might work better in the bullpen, and they LOVE having depth and moving guys in and out of the rotation.

4:11
Fangraph’s Lurker: Joe Girardi has been a great joy to listen as an announcer. Very informed, very insightful.

4:12
Tony Wolfe: And I think how they feel about Urias will have a lot to do with how much pressure they feel to go get a big name replacement. If they think he’s ready to break out, then they may elect to stand pat.

4:13
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’ve quite enjoyed him in this capacity, too. But then from a media relations point I always liked dealing with him as Yankees manager. Obviously he wants to go back to the dugout but he’ll always have broadcasting as an option, I think.

4:13
Randy Marsh: Re:Stever20

There’s a nonzero chance they go after Wheeler in FA for sure, but the farm is oozing w/ talent that KErsh still will be the no. 3 starter most likely>

Urias, May, Gonsolin are all probably starting more & same with Stripling, but another no 2 starter type would help immensely

4:13
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Wheeler is a good one to add to that list and may make more sense as a Ryu alternative – upside, but won’t break the bank.

4:15
Go Barves!: Freddie doesn’t look right. Elbow may be bothering him more than he’s letting on. Swinging and missing at hittable pitches in the zone. How bad does he have to look for Snit to move him down the lineup?

4:17
Tony Wolfe: I think that’ll probably rely more on conversations between those two and the trainers. The sample size is small enough that I’m not sure any lack of production would force someone’s hand.

4:18
Tony Wolfe: I do agree that he looks considerably less than 100 percent though.

4:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: i’m skeptical it comes to a move unless he communicates that he’s in pain. He came in to today with a .409 xwOBA despite going just 2-for-11, which suggests to me his quality of contact is pretty decent

4:22
Patrick: can you think of another team that made the playoffs with a WRC+ below 100?  The cards hitting is awful ?

4:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: There are a whole bunch even in just the two Wild Card era. Using OPS+ because it rarely differs by more than a couple points from wRC+ and because it’s easier to search via the Play Index, here’s the search results. 34 out of 80 teams in that span below 100, These Cardinals are 6th lowest  http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/Cp1RK

4:24
Tony Wolfe: Heck, last year’s Braves were at 97 wRC+.

4:25
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Welp, i think Marcell Ozuna has figured out Dallas Keuchel

4:26
Avatar Jay Jaffe: 429 feet on that homer. And we now have 376 on Goldschmidt’s

4:27
Avatar Jay Jaffe: And yet, just solo homers because Keuchel has only allowed one single and hasn’t walked anybody

4:28
Eel Ffilc: You think Girardi lands a managing gig this offseason?

4:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: More likely than not, yes. I think he makes some sense for the Cubs and Mets but I’m not sure he’s willing to eat enough **** and take as little $$$$ to work for the Wilpons. Offhand I’d guess he gets at least one more interview besides those.

4:30
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and there we have our answer on Keuchel, after he finally issues his first walk.

4:32
Tony Wolfe: Girardi was the Reds’ top choice last year and pulled himself out of the search, saying he wanted to go broadcast another year and keep spending time with family. He’s willing to be picky if he isn’t all in on something.

4:32
Avatar Jay Jaffe:

St. Louis is outperforming their Marcell projections in this NLDS
7 Oct 2019
4:34
Fat Matt: I feel like a lot of what I’ve read on the Yankees lately is about Stanton needing to produce and maybe not being ready after so much time away.  To me he’s having better at bats than Sanchez has, and Gary only had a couple games coming off his injury.

4:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Whoops, I typed the answer before the question on that one.

4:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Anyway, Statcast suggests that Stanton is closer to health, with an 88.5 mph average exit velo and a healthy .505 xwOBA, compared to 79.6 (cringe) and .266 for Sanchez.

OTOH, Stanton has looked terrible in the outfield, but Sanchez has been OK behind the plate, with the caveat that I didn’t get a TV-level view of him in Game 2 since I was in the press box and only looking up at the pitch replays generally when there was contact.

4:37
Max Fried: Why am I not in the rotation over Keuchel?

4:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Might have something to do with being about 45 innings past last year’s total (minor and major), with more than a dash of tactical value added because he’s a lefty with a typical platoon split. Wouldn’t be surprised if he starts a postseason game if the Braves advance.

4:39
Fat Matt: Any chance the Mets bring in Ozzie G to make their circus complete?

4:40
Tony Wolfe: Never put anything past the Mets.

4:41
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I haven’t heard his name circulated. Don’t think he’d be a strong bet to work well with an analytically inclined front office, and I have to think BVW wants that. Don’t know that he needs the headaches of working with the Wilpons, either.

4:45
orioles fan: Would you expect Buck Showalter to be seriously considered for any openings?

4:47
Avatar Jay Jaffe: He mentioned being interested in the Mets, which could make some sense, but there’s no public indication yet that he’ll get an interview.

4:48
Tony Wolfe: I’d think odds are more against it than for it because of managers’ ages trending down, but it wouldn’t surprise me by any means.

4:49
Avatar Jay Jaffe: That and salaries. And I don’t think the Mets want to pay the big $ (by managerial salary standards) that either Buck or Joe will seek, r that they’re willing to work for peanuts.

4:50
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I assumed that salary had something to do with why Girardi turned the Reds down, not that David Bell wasn’t a good choice.

4:50
Fangraph’s Lurker: charlie morton is now 4-0 in elimination games. So happy the Ray’s have him next year too

4:50
Avatar Jay Jaffe: We have a 10-3 final out of Tampa Bay, which means that we will  have at least one baseball game tomorrow

4:50
Tony Wolfe: Club option for 21, too.

4:53
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Re Managerial salaries, from Mike Puma of the NY Post (https://nypost.com/2019/10/06/next-step-in-mets-managerial-search-isnt…)

“The Mets have avoided paying for big-name managers in recent years, but Van Wagenen suggested on a conference call last week that money won’t be an issue for this hire. Even so, Girardi earned $4 million a year in his last contract with the Yankees. And Showalter was reportedly earning $3.5 million a year before he was fired by the Orioles.

“Willie Randolph was the last Mets manager to earn as much as $2 million a year, and that was over a decade ago.

4:54
Tony Wolfe: Adam Duvall will live in Cardinals fans’ nightmares for eternity.

4:55
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Atlanta cuts the lead to 3-2, as Dansby Swanson’s legs pay off again. One out double, advances on a passed ball and an infield grounder.

4:55
Bo Hart: Matheny to the Mets makes the most sense, as much as anyone really.

4:56
Avatar Jay Jaffe: No, he doesn’t. I can’t imagine the Mets would go that retrograde.

4:57
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Whoa and now we have a lead change. Ozzie Albies just jacked a two-run homer

4:59
Derek: What is the likelihood of one of the teams currently down in their series pulls off a comeback? Which is most likely?

5:00
Tony Wolfe: The Rays have the pitching to pull off three games in a row, but they’re also facing the toughest team to do that against. So I’d probably go with the Nationals.

5:01
Tony Wolfe: If we aren’t counting the Cardinals, who are only down one in the fifth and have a pitching demon starting Game 5.

5:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Let’s look at some ZiPS-driven odds based on pitching matchups (https://www.fangraphs.com/standings/playoff-odds/post-season-zips)

• Twins in 5: 13.5%
• Rays in 5: 6.9%
• Nationals in 5: 26.3%
• Cardinals in 5 (not including current game): 22.4%

Braves have a Win Expectancy in today’s game of about 61%, so that last one is then what, about 13%

5:03
Avatar Jay Jaffe:

Astros manager AJ Hinch said Justin Verlander will start in Game 4
7 Oct 2019
5:03
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Well, all right.

5:04
Adam2: Did Albies show solidarity with Acuna and give it a look?

5:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: not as showy but he watched

The Braves just keep coming back. Ozzie Albies delivers the go ahead blow 💣
7 Oct 2019
5:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: wow another nice play by Acuña battling the sun on Fowler’s line drive.

5:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe:

Castillo starts for #Rays on Tuesday and it’s a bullpen day from there
7 Oct 2019
5:09
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I’ll be honest, I had to look up Castillo’s first name. It’s Diego.

5:09
Tony Wolfe: That Goldschmidt double was 110.5mph off the bat. Smoked.

5:10
BPhilb: As a Cardinal fan I wouldn’t wish Matheny on my worst enemy. Ok, that’s not true I wish he managed the Cubs.

5:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: i thought he was considered the front-runner for the Royals job., which on the surface seemed pretty perfect.

5:14
Grissom on the run : Why no Julio here?  Seems like precisely the role he was supposed to have today–Keuchel comes out relatively early.

5:15
Tony Wolfe: Feel like the Braves would want him to start an inning.

5:16
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Well, considering that Teheran is only on the roster because Chris Martin got hurt, I imagine they weren’t particularly confident in him heading into this series, whether the reasons are matchup-based, physical, or something else. I do think there’s room to question the Braves for going with Keuchel on short rest and then getting just 3.1 out of him, with the aforementioned hard-hit balls; via Savant, his average EV was 99.0 mph

5:17
Tony Wolfe: is that bad

5:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: in the immortal words of Joe Girardi, which will certainly be repeated in at least one job interview

5:23
Adam: Which of this year’s playoff teams’ competitive windows closes the soonest?

5:25
Tony Wolfe: Washington’s?

5:27
Tony Wolfe: Scherzer ain’t gonna dominate forever, Strasburg and Corbin are each past 30 now, and Rendon is no guarantee to come back. Even with Soto being amazing, it’s not hard to see a future where the Nationals are struggling to keep afloat in 2021.

5:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Hmmm, the Nationals are one of the oldest teams in the league, and they have have Rendon and possibly Strasburg hitting free agency. I can’t imagine they retain both and either of those pieces lost is a huge one.  Plus, they have a bottom-five farm system right now, though to be fair they did graduate Soto and Robles in the past couple of years.  

The Cardinals are even older, they’re less likely to spend big money than the Nationals, the early signs on Goldschmidt’s long-term future ain’t great, Ozuna’s a free agent after this postseason, and their offense was, as discussed, pretty subpar by the standards of playoff teams.

Take your pick.

5:29
Adam: Is there any scenario at all where Strasburg pitches tonight?

5:29
Tony Wolfe: Yeah, the Cardinals are scary too, but I tend to believe in their pitching development.

5:29
Avatar Jay Jaffe: fair point

5:29
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Re Strasburg, it’s an elimination game. Odds are higher than you think, right there.

5:30
Cashman : I definitely still should have acquired one or both, but if we win tonight I think people might leave me alone about Dallas and Corbin, even if SSS is a bad way to evaluate

5:31
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Winning the Division Series isn’t a yardstick of success in the Bronx, and the real Cashman would be the first to say that.

5:33
Avatar Jay Jaffe: those are two very different acquisitions, and each as some logic to it. I thought Corbin would be a particularly good fit for the Yankees, but if they can sign Cole with that money (plus more) instead, then it may have been worth waiting.

5:33
Alfredo: But the Nats need to win Game 5 too to advance. If Strasburg is unavailable to start Game 5, what are their odds to win that game?

5:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: You still have to win today because if you don’t, you’re donezo.  I would think that if Strasburg pitches, it’s probably a shorter stint, and that he’s not down for a very long one under even the most desperate of circumstances. Still, if they need him tonight to pitch innings 11-14 or something, they’ll do it and figure out a way to Frankenstein their Game 5 pitching together

5:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: bases loaded, 2 outs, Braves ahead 4-3, and Duvall up against Brebbia. Big spot

5:37
Ian: Sorry if you already addressed the chat schedule, but will people be chatting all night?  I want to stay up for the Yankees/Twins, but I can’t do it alone!

5:38
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Ben Clemens and Josh Herzenberg will be chatting during the Nats/Dodgers game. Doesn’t mean that they won’t address Yankees-Twins game but the timing is lined up with the former one.

5:38
Dystopian Future: Well it isn’t just Goldschmidt; Fowler has a big contract and is declining, and can Knizner really fill Molina’s shoes? Carpenter is washed, I think. DeJong seems to be going backwards.

5:40
Avatar Jay Jaffe: DeJong had a bad second half offensively but just set a career high in WAR. Yes, there’s reasons to pick the Cardinals there, as noted. I don’t have the time or space to get exhaustive with them here

5:40
Avatar Jay Jaffe: And Duvall strikes out, so it’s still 4-3 Braves heading into the bottom of the 6th and OMG it’s only the bottom of the 6th.

5:41
Tony Wolfe: some uncharacteristically pessimistic contributions from Dystopian Future

5:52
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Acuña gets to third base on what’s been scored as a “sun triple” after Dexter Fowler loses sight of it.

5:52
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and I can’t wait* to hear people explain how he should have had an inside-the-park homer there

*can definitely wait until the year 2525

5:53
Dystopian Future: How do you feel about there being a little “SHIFT IS ON” message on the score gizmo instead of actually showing the shift?

5:53
Avatar Jay Jaffe: why not both? There’s enough time between pitches to show the shift, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little dot on the score bug.

5:54
Tony Wolfe: Yeah, they do have that little camera under the scoreboard to show you the runner taking a lead, it’s weird they wouldn’t just show it there

5:55
stever20: If the Nats could keep 1 and only 1 between Rendon and Strasburg, which would be the better keep?

5:58
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Tough call. Both just had monster years, both have injury histories. The age difference (Rendon 29, Strasburg 31) might be the difference maker. I guess I’d lean Rendon.

5:59
Avatar Jay Jaffe: wow, for a moment it looked like Hechavarria might have hit that one out, but in the end the Braves strand Acuña at 3B.

5:59
Ian: How many hits would Markakis have to get to make the Hall of Fame just as a compiler?  Obviously he’ll never reach the standards.

6:00
Tony Wolfe: Yeah, I think Rendon’s skills have a good chance to age well. Though I also thought that about Joey Votto and *tugs collar*

6:01
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Re: Markakis, I honestly don’t know. I do know that I probably wouldn’t vote for him even if he did get to 3,000 because he just hasn’t been that valuable 33.0 bWAR, 28.8 JAWS — 1.3 less than Harold Baines), though I’d have tip my hat to him for the persistence.

6:02
5 Run Homer: How did that not go out

6:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: only 94.1 mph off the bat. 33 degree launch angle so we all perked up, booth included (see my recent piece on that subject) but not fast enough with that arc.

6:03
Not good hitter reaches 3,000: We have this chat every few years, right? Damon, Renteria, Rollins… and then they don’t make it, just like Markakis won’t.

6:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: indeed. the fact that Markakis was just a hair above replacement level this year (0.8 bWAR, 0.4 fWAR) suggests he’s not gonna stick as a regular for 600-whatever more hits

6:05
Tony Wolfe: Huh, off the top of my head I was thinking Damon’s run at 3,000 was much more realistic, but he was only at 2,425 through his age 35 season. Markakis is at 2,355 at 35.

6:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Hey, it’s Randy Arozarena, which means I can dig this up:

Every time the TBS broadcast mentions Cardinals outfielder Randy Arozarena, I’m hearing “Randy Rhoads Arena,” like it’s a venue named in tribute to the late, great Ozzy guitarist
4 Oct 2019
6:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Wow, Josh Tomlin looked great there. TCB  1-2-3 on nine pitches, and the Cardinals are six outs away from winter.

6:08
tb.25: Anybody off the top of your head that you can remember recently was an all star and the following season was replacement level (MarkakisAll-star to 0.4 fWAR.

6:09
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Brian Dozier went from 5.1 to 0.9 from 2017 to ’18, MIguel Cabrera from 4.8 to -0.2 from 2016 to ’17— obviously, injuries in both cases. Can’t recall a non-injury one so easily. Fun tool to play with that might jog my (or your) memory in less game-focused times: https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders/season-stat-grid?position=B&seasonSt…

6:10
Great hitter and 500: The real milestone that concerns me is… is Miggy going to have to have some OF fall down in Comerica to get 500 HR?

6:11
Tony Wolfe: Wow that made me sad

6:11
Tony Wolfe: I don’t think he’s getting there

6:11
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Good lord, I have to think he needs to do some work this winter to get back on track. I mean, he’s a HOFer in waiting already but his decline has been Pujols-like and he’s got a whole lot of money left on his deal.

6:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I mean, he needs 23 homers. I can’t imagine he stays this bad without some kind of attempt to try something different.

6:12
Ian: Still fun to think about Markakis even though he probably won’t get the opportunity.  The discussions of HOF on merit are mostly a matter of what our thresholds are.  The guys of historical significance are good to think about because there’s somewhere for the conversation to go.  Minnie Minoso and Buck O’Neil and so forth aren’t over any thresholds, but it’s good to think about them.

6:13
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Miñoso and O’Neil are very different cases than Markakis. I think Minne is the #1 player outside the Hall besides those on the current ballot. Lost a significant chunk of his career to the color line.

6:13
James: Pujols in 2015 was an AS and had .8 fwar in ’16

6:14
Dystopian Future: The one that really gets me for AS-to-replacement level is Scooter Gennett. Pretty sure he was an AS in 2018, and he was just bad this year. Obviously had to do with a groin injury, but still. Just feels like the magic genie had enough.

6:15
Avatar Jay Jaffe: injuries make up so many of these cases

6:16
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Not sure if this has been asked, but thoughts on Astros announcing Verlander on short rest for game 4?

6:16
Tony Wolfe: I feel awful for Scooter. He was waiting around on an extension offer that never came from the Reds before last season, and probably looking at $45 million-ish in free agency with even an average 2019. Now he’s gonna be hard-pressed even getting a major league deal.

6:16
Avatar Jay Jaffe: yes, that part sucks

6:17
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Getting back to Verlander, I’m fine with it. They have Cole for Game 5, with Greinke probably in reserve given his low pitch count today, though the combination of his performance and yesterday’s low-wattage presser makes me wonder if there’s something Zack’s not telling us.

6:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Kolten Wong grounds out on Tomlin’s first pitch and now we’re getting Shane Greene to face Goldschmidt and Ozuna.

6:19
Cam: Miggy and Felix are parallels in my mind. Both extremely talented with great peak years – but fell off the edge of a cliff in a hurry because of a complete lack of care for conditioning, and zero motivation to adapt their approach as they age. They SHOULD be giving more than what they do today, but arguably, it’s their own stubborn-ness that means they don’t.

6:20
Avatar Jay Jaffe: there may be some parallels but Cabrera is easily qualified for the HOF even if he never plays again, Felix is well short due to his decline.

6:21
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Cabrera also has 2 trips to the World Series and 2 MVP awards

6:23
Dick Mountain: Matt Kemp. AS starter 18. Released May 19.

6:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Another one. Also A-Rod 2016-7 (2.7 WAR to -1.1)

6:23
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and there’s a one-out double for Goldschmidt, so things are gettin’ tense.

6:24
Ben Clemens: Hey guys, I’m going to be covering the late game, but I got done with my dog walking duties earlier than expected so dropping in now. I’ll be in and out until I get everything set up, though.

6:24
Ben Clemens: Seems like I arrived at an interesting time.

6:25
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Hey Ben, welcome aboard!

6:25
Josh Herzenberg: I’ll be tag teaming along with Ben — should be set up in full shortly. Looking forward to chatting with all of you.

6:25
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and likewise, Josh!

6:25
Ben Clemens: Ozuna has 80 umpire side-eye, btw

6:26
Ben Clemens: The Joey Gallo of looking back disapprovingly

6:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: whoa, Ozuna takes a comeback sinker on the black for strike 3

6:28
Tony Wolfe: This umpire gives a couple inches pretty much everywhere, doesn’t he?

6:28
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and then Molina picks him up with a single over Freeman’s head, tie ballgame

6:28
5 Run Homer: I, uh, don’t know about that strike

6:28
Ben Clemens: Honestly it seems consistent though I haven’t watched the whole game.

6:29
Tony Wolfe: Yeah, it’s been that way throughout.

6:29
Ben Clemens: That said, if you’re Ozuna you can’t love that you saw 4 pitches, 3 were out of the zone, and you swung at the one in it.

6:29
Ben Clemens: That’s pretty good baseballing and a four-pitch strikeout is a rough reward.

6:29
Greg: OFF Freeman’s glove too …

6:29
Ben Clemens: My goodness, Freeman is tall. There are maybe no first basemen who could have caught that?

6:29
Ben Clemens: (given his positioning)

6:32
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Here’s the Ozuna at-bat via Brooks Baseball. That wasn’t a bad strike 3

6:32
Ben Clemens: This zone, hoo boy

6:32
Ben Clemens: Can’t be taking pitches today I suppose.

6:32
Morbo: Ben, future first baseman Aaron Judge begs to differ

6:32
Ben Clemens: Yeah Jay Brooks has the ump’s biggest problem being low

6:32
Ben Clemens: Where he’s been bad but symmetrically bad

6:33
Ben Clemens: And of course, the ‘the ump is screwing us’ narrative is always sketchy

6:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: yup. Lots of low strikes, more for ATL though, it appears

6:35
Greg: Probably not … he’s 6’5″ and seems to have pretty good hops.  Perhaps Evan White SEA, he seems to be the consensus best defensive 1B around and can is athletic enough to play OF but he’s 6’3″ (don’t know about his vertical leap)

6:35
Ben Clemens: Yeah he got UPPPPP for that one

6:35
Ben Clemens: Freddie Freeman could dunk all over me, that’s for sure

6:35
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Will Carlos Martinez blow up for a 3rd time?

6:35
Dystopian Future: This question might just be moot in a few hours, but who’s more likely to come back from a 2-1 series deficit, Nationals or Rays?

6:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: we did that one above.

6:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: • Rays in 5: 6.9%
• Nationals in 5: 26.3%

6:36
Ben Clemens: This one’s about the game I’m actually here to chat, so I’m going to say easy Nats. They have a pitching edge in both games.

6:36
Ben Clemens: Or at worst neutral

6:36
Avatar Jay Jaffe: those are the ZiPS odds based on pitching matchups

6:36
Ben Clemens: Whereas the Astros are, you know, a fully operational Death Star.

6:36
5 Run Homer: What percentage of major leaguers could dunk, do you think?

6:37
Ben Clemens: A ton. >50% easy I think. We underrate how well these guys move.

6:37
Tony Wolfe: 10%?

6:37
Ben Clemens: So many of the pitchers can

6:37
Tony Wolfe: Wow incredibly different answers

6:37
Avatar Jay Jaffe: And Acuña with a leadoff ground-rule double off his archnemesis

6:37
Ben Clemens: Might need a poll on this one:

6:37
Ben Clemens:

What percent of Major Leaguers can dunk?

<25% (37.5% | 36 votes)
 
26-50% (34.3% | 33 votes)
 
51-75% (26.0% | 25 votes)
 
76-100% (2.0% | 2 votes)
 

Total Votes: 96
6:38
Tony Wolfe: I’m thinking of the really tall pitchers out there and not feeling confident about most of them

6:39
Ben Clemens: When Josh gets back he’ll be a good person to ask on this.

6:39
Russ: Could Bartolo Colon dunk at any point in his career?

6:40
Avatar Jay Jaffe: no but he could high kick. Amazingly athletic dude despite the package

6:40
Bartolo Colon: I dunk a mean donut

6:43
Ben Clemens: Dodgers-Nats is now underway. I’ll keep people posted, but the drama is in St. Louis right now.

6:44
Dave: Think that Rays winning the series % was before today’s game. I see 14.4% now.

6:44
Avatar Jay Jaffe: indeed. spoke too soon

6:44
Avatar Jay Jaffe: And the Braves strand Acuña again, so the Cardinals have a chance to preserve their season with a walkoff

6:45
Tony Wolfe: Justin Turner just homered to put LA up 1-0 in the first.

6:46
Avatar Jay Jaffe: there are folks out there looking to find fault with every aspect of Acuña’s running but the reality is that he has 4 hits today in 5 trips and has yet to score a run, in part because Freeman and Donaldson haven’t done anything today

6:47
Ben Clemens: Guys, a moment please, dog related duties.

6:49
Tony Wolfe: Oh Paul what are you doing buddy

6:52
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Cardinals have the winning run at 2B, after Edman singles, nearly gets doubled off on a DeJong fly to right, and then advances on a throwing error.

6:55
Matt Damon: And yet Acuña’s running in this series is not faultless.

6:56
Avatar Jay Jaffe: nobody here said it was faultless

6:56
Josh Herzenberg: Soto currently up in the far-less-dramatic Dodgers-Nats game at the moment. Like Ben, I’ll keep everyone here in the loop on anything pertinent there until this Cards-Braves drama dies down

6:59
Avatar Jay Jaffe: oh man, Fowler hit one down the line that looked like it might end this but more obviously foul from field level

7:00
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and Greene gets him to strike out on a high cutter and we go to extra innings, which is just what this 4-game day needs

7:00
Josh Herzenberg: lol

7:01
Josh Herzenberg: Corey Seager hits a leadoff double off a high 0-2 changeup from Scherzer

7:01
Avatar Jay Jaffe: I love baseball, love that writing about it is my job, love the fun of the early playoff rounds, but my god, 4 games in one day is too much baseball if you have any kind of non-baseball responsibilities to deal with, like, uh, parenting.

7:01
Avatar Jay Jaffe: kid’s around here… somewhere.

7:01
Josh Herzenberg: She’s welcome to join us here…

7:02
Ben Clemens: Alright — dog successfully napping. Sorry about that interlude, guys.

7:02
kyle: who is probable for STL/ATL and WAS/LAD if we have game 5s?

7:02
Avatar Jay Jaffe: almost certainly Buehler/Strasburg for the latter.

7:02
Fire Ken Tremendous: Do we know why Beaty got this start instead of Joc?

7:02
Josh Herzenberg: Joc is playing RF

7:03
Avatar Jay Jaffe: it’s Beaty for Pollock, who’s been dreadful

7:03
Ben Clemens: Probably Folty/Flaherty for the Cards series

7:04
Alfredo: So burning Fried as a PR was definitely a mistake, right?

7:04
Avatar Jay Jaffe: yeah that was bad, particularly given that he wasn’t the lead runner.

7:05
Ben Clemens: I don’t understand that at all.

7:05
Josh Herzenberg: IBB in the 2nd inning…

7:05
Avatar Jay Jaffe: wut

7:05
Tony Wolfe: The Braves probably weren’t planning on using him today given how much he’s thrown already, but now we’re in extras and, well….

7:05
Josh Herzenberg: Nats IBB Will Smith to get to Rich Hill…in the 2nd

7:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: ah, ok

7:06
Dystopian Future: Was that Michael A Taylor in CF? Is Robles benched?

7:06
Avatar Jay Jaffe: look, i saw Rich Hill hit a double just this year

7:06
Ben Clemens: Hurt himself in Game Two

7:06
Tony Wolfe: There’s Teheran

7:08
Avatar Jay Jaffe: wow, Hill was Scherzer’s first strikeout. Made him throw 6 pitches though

7:09
Josh Herzenberg: In 2017 I was on the field at Dodger Stadium for about an hour pregame during some early work and an on-field bullpen session, before any fans were there. I walked out of the tunnel with Hill and he turned to go into the stands and started running stairs at the ballpark. After the bullpen and everything was over I walked back toward the dugout and Hill was still running stairs

7:09
Dystopian Future: Having to be a pitcher and face Max Scherzer just feels mean.

7:09
Ben Clemens: No joke.

7:09
Josh Herzenberg: The hour is a guess – it might have been 50 minutes, or whatever, but it was not an insignificant amount of time

7:11
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and here’s Teheran, just as the masses have been clamoring for, and he gives up a leadoff double to Wong

7:11
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: I don’t want to be reactionary, but does Mike Rizzo deserve to keep his job in DC if the Nationals lose to the NL favorites? The Nationals’ bullpen has been a dumpster fire for several years now, and it is even more frustrating to see guys like Nick Anderson and Adam Kolarek get turned into gold by teams that can seemingly evaluate talent in a way that Rizzo is…deficient.

7:11
Ben Clemens: I’m not sure I buy this. Nick Anderson cost a 55FV prospect.

7:12
Avatar Jay Jaffe: IBB to Goldschmidt to bring up Ozuna, and man, if the Cardinals don’t win this then their Devil Magic must not work at all.

7:12
Ben Clemens: Now, Kolarek: yeah.

7:13
Alfredo: I’m watching TNT right now. I assume Return of the Jedi is referring to Rich Hill?

7:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: high-risk play, Ozuna hits a chopper and Teheran gets the force at second, but Wong takes 3rd. Base open, i’m not sure why you don’t walk Molina here

7:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: going for the double play i guess but that’sdeep enough to probably do it….

7:14
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and there it is, Cardinals walk off

7:15
Greg: One would think the Nats could at least draft/develop 1 or 2 RPs in the last several years …

7:15
Ben Clemens: Well, they’re busy trading them all for bad middle-aged middle relievers!

7:16
Tony Wolfe: That’ll do it for me too, folks. I’m off to recap the Dodgers and Nationals.

7:16
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Well, the Braves had their chances, but missed too many opportunities. 0-for-9 with RISP. Hitters 3-7 were 1-for-20.

7:17
Avatar Jay Jaffe: and the Cardinals still have some Devil Magic left in the tube.

7:17
Avatar Jay Jaffe: Game 5 on Wednesday in Atlanta, 5 PM if there’s also a Dodgers-Nats Game 5

7:17
Dystopian Future: Yadi has been a Cardinals playoff hero for what, fourteen years now? And the hits just keep on coming.

7:18
Ben Clemens: It’s truly amazing how he keeps coming up in big spots despite middling playoff numbers overall.

7:18
Ben Clemens: He’s not David Freese where he just hits .800/.800/2.000 so he has to succeed.

7:18
Avatar Jay Jaffe: And that’s it for me here. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of the chat with Ben and Josh!

7:18
Josh Herzenberg: Thanks, Tony and Jay!

7:18
Ben Clemens: I had been only half-watching the Dodgers game but the stats look brutal for Scherzer.

7:19
Ben Clemens: Striking guys out is good in baseball these days.

7:19
Wire Fan: There was a chance for all 4 series to end today.   Good to see some extra baseball in the LDS’s so far.

7:19
Ben Clemens: Yeah. I’m biased as a creator of baseblal content but I have loved these series.

7:19
Ben Clemens: Lots of interesting decisions and games.

7:19
Greg: I was going to mention that … win now mode sometimes makes some teams very loose with the minors talent.  I’m looking at you previous owners/GMs of the Dodgers

7:20
Ben Clemens: This so much. I don’t think it’s right to only stockpile but managing that balance is what separates great executives from average ones.

7:20
Twins: I am afraid we might be the one team not to make it interesting. I mean, we could, but we also might really not.

7:22
Ben Clemens: I’m really rooting for the Twins to make this a series. So tired of the Yankees/Twins narrative.

7:22
Ben Clemens: Nothing against the Yankees, just that story is sooooo tired.

7:23
Josh Herzenberg: How many people currently on/working for the Twins were involved with the club back in those days?

7:23
Ben Clemens: Exactly

7:23
Ben Clemens: Hey Josh I had to go on an emergency dog walk earlier so I missed it if you answered it, but what percent of baseball players do you think can dunk?

7:24
Yankees: Back in the days of…. 2017?

7:24
Ben Clemens: Well, that’s not hte narrative, right? “One wild card game” is a lot different from  4 NLDS’s and a wild card game.

7:24
Josh Herzenberg: I did not answer it haha. Maybe two thirds? Three quarters? Lots of pitchers are pretty tall

7:24
Ben Clemens: I said easy over 50% and Tony said 10%

7:24
Ben Clemens: So we were pretty far apart

7:24
Josh Herzenberg: Oh its definitely more than 10% haha, sorry Tony

7:25
Josh Herzenberg: I mean, if you’re 6’6″ and you’re a major leaguer, it would infer you’re a decent athlete

7:25
Josh Herzenberg: That combination lends to at least an average vertical leap, I would think

7:25
Ben Clemens: That was kind of my view. But then I just don’t know how good I am at estimating what percentage of baseball players are Ji-Man Choi.

7:25
Aaron Boone: Thinking I could dunk is how A-Rod  happened

7:26
Josh Herzenberg: We should pull Meg in to get her thoughts on Vogelbach

7:26
Wire Fan: Are managers underestimating the impact of using starters out of the pen on their “throw days”?  Aren’t those often less than 100% effort and much fewer pitches when you account for warm-ups in the pen and on the mound?

7:26
Josh Herzenberg: Does this happen often in the regular season?

7:26
Ben Clemens: Basically never except extreme extra innings games right?

7:27
Fangraph’s Lurker: at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if altuve could dunk. Learned to never underestimate him

7:27
Josh Herzenberg: These guys are all pretty good athletes…

7:27
Spud Web: Says bring it Altuve !

7:29
Wire Fan: Is Altuve athletic?   Fast doesn’t necessarily mean athletic.

7:29
Ben Clemens: He’s incredibly athletic.

7:30
Josh Herzenberg: Elite athlete

7:30
Ben Clemens: Watch the reaction times and adjustments these guys make.

7:30
Josh Herzenberg: Nearly everyone in the major leagues is mindblowingly athletic compared to the general population

7:30
Ben Clemens: They’re super fast-twitch and super coordinated, which I think is a lot of what goes into what people consider ‘athleticism.’

7:30
Ben Clemens: Oh and they’re all preposterously strong because they lift weights and run all the dang time.

7:31
Ben Clemens: Oh meanwhile in the game Max Scherzer shows that his bunt game doesn’t work well on three days’ rest.

7:31
Josh Herzenberg: Haha

7:31
Josh Herzenberg: That darn short rest

7:31
Ben Clemens: I have been on the prowl for evidence that throw-day starts produce bad starts

7:31
Ben Clemens: Because I think it would be a great article.

7:32
Ben Clemens: Throw day apperances, rather*

7:32
Ben Clemens: And I can tell you that I haven’t yet found it in the pitch-level data.

7:32
Ben Clemens: There’s more robust evidence that short rest has a cumulative effect

7:33
Ben Clemens: Though still nothing conclusive.

7:33
Greg: He hasn’t been the same bunter since the nose thing

7:33
lee: Watching LAD/WAS is the best advertisement for the DH I’ve ever seen (maybe we could compromise by having one for the postseason at least?)

7:34
Ben Clemens: Watching Rich Hill bat is the best advertisement for the pitcher batting.

7:34
Ben Clemens: How dare you?

7:34
Fangraph’s Lurker: how good is scherzer’s bunting on normal rest? I mean, he did break his nose

7:35
Ben Clemens: Oh haha no I don’t think it’s notable in either direction.

7:35
Ben Clemens: Just I get tired of the short rest starts narrative, thought that would be a nice subversion.

7:37
Ben Clemens: Adam Eaton with the worst variation of the Sam Miller bat throw:

7:38
Greg: Nats better cash in here …

7:39
Josh Herzenberg: Not the most ideal situation for the Dodgers here

7:39
Ben Clemens: This is a pretty big spot here. Highest-leverage spot of the game so far and you have your best hitter with the platoon advantage.

7:40
Josh Herzenberg: yep. And Hill nearing pitch count limit

7:40
Ben Clemens: Yeah. If there’s any lefty who can resist platoon advantage it’s hill and his 12-6 curve but I mean.

7:40
Ben Clemens: Anthony Rendon is good, you know?

7:40
Fire Ken Tremendous: That’s a hot take Ben

7:40
Ben Clemens: Only the spiciest here.

7:40
Josh Herzenberg: Beaty almost misplayed that

7:41
Ben Clemens: Tune in tomorrow for IBB’s, sometimes not abysmal but often not good

7:41
Ben Clemens: (for real!)

7:42
Sam: Seems like his last 5 or 6 curveballs were left way up in (or out of) the zone

7:42
Ben Clemens: Been waiting all postseason for this. Hill has the highest average curveball height in all of baseball

7:44
Cale: Maybe I’m just wrong but do the baseballs seem less “juicy” in the postseason? Some of these swings and contact seem like they would be homers in the regular season.

7:44
Derek: Are we sure they didn’t de-juice the ball for the postseason?

7:44
Ben Clemens: I’m sure you guys came here to talk baseball, not Bayesian logic, but: I think there’s a pretty strong prior that they’re not monkeying with the baseballs right now.

7:44
Ben Clemens: Why would they?

7:45
Ben Clemens: If we think they like the way new baseball looks, they would like it for the postseason, and if they didn’t, why not change it after last year or whatever.

7:45
Ben Clemens: So we have small sample data and a strong prior that nothing has changed. I’d need to see a lot of evidence to change my mind.

7:46
Adam2: I generally find walks boring but love seeing Soto take balls

7:47
Ben Clemens: BP managing editor Craig Goldstein has been openly praying for a Dustin May/Juan Soto faceoff

7:47
Ben Clemens: Twitchfest 2019

7:47
Josh Herzenberg: Will be texting Craij if/when that happens. Subduing his giddyness will be tough

7:47
Ben Clemens: Cardinals homer that I am (note: not that much of one), I suggested Jose Martinez

7:48
Josh Herzenberg: Who came up with the Gingergaard thing? Was that Craig?

7:49
Greg: What’s the leverage number here ?

7:49
Ben Clemens: It’s around 3; we’re a play delayed on our LI calculations I believe.

7:49
Ben Clemens: And Josh yes. Childish Bambino too

7:49
Derek: Which, if they did de-juice it, is absolutely bonkers, but in this small sample size so far I’m at least suspicious! And, why would they change it in the first place without telling anybody (and then lie about it)?

7:50
Ben Clemens: Could be. On the other hand, we’ve played 15 and change games of baseball in the postseason. That’s one day of regular season play. Eh.

7:50
Ben Clemens: I’m just a skeptic.

7:51
Ben Clemens: RE: Soto, here is the absolute best Soto reaction of the season, courtesy of a friend of mine:

7:52
Kevin: Is there any chance the Dodgers amend Maeda’s contract next season and make him a full-time reliever (especially if Urias goes back to the rotation)?

7:52
Josh Herzenberg: He’s under contract through 2023

7:53
Belli Flop: My guy’s getting hot.

7:53
Ben Clemens: Yeah, he hasn’t flopped so far in DC.

7:54
Belli Flop: Those are the puns I came for! Thanks Ben!

7:54
Ben Clemens: I try not to break a promise.

7:54
Kevin: Yes but his contract is very unique and highly tied to number of starts (instead of appearances), so if he is moved to the bullpen it would greatly affect his earnings.  It does seem he fits better in the bullpen for the Dodgers though.

7:55
Ben Clemens: Yeah he has maybe the weirdest contract in baseball. Top two weirdest I can remember, after the Tim Wakefield perpetual.

7:55
Ben Clemens: My guess is that the Dodgers would make it right with him, to be honest. They could keep the rough financial incentives unchanged and avoid clubhouse discord without a ton of cost.

7:56
Ben Clemens: I used to work in finance and Kenta Maeda’s contract is what we’d call an exotic derivative.

7:57
Ben Clemens: Well it’s not a derivative, but it’s certainly exotic.

7:57
Ben Clemens: Just all goofy appearance bonuses and stuff.

7:58
Ben Clemens: Seager swings at a 3-0 meatball and pops it up. Good process, rough result.

7:59
Dystopian Future: Quick aside, that was Beaty swinging at the 3-0, not Seager. Seager struck out.

7:59
Ben Clemens: Whoops. Trying to go too fast here, my bad.

7:59
Belli Flop: Would Bregman be a crazy MVP pick?  Effectively equal in fWAR to Trout and played more games.

7:59
Derek: Was that Scherzer’s grunt the mics picked up there???

7:59
Josh Herzenberg: Yep

8:00
Ben Clemens: I don’t think crazy at all. I’d vote Trout, personally, because a lot of the tiebreakers I care about (less WAR accumulated via defensive metrics, which are inherently more unstable, higher WPA) lean his way.

8:01
Ben Clemens: But you could easily prefer Bregman. They’re within measurement error by the various metrics we use to judge value, and the MVP poll question is purposefully vague.

8:02
Alfredo: Nats or Tigers cap in HoF?

8:02
Ben Clemens: I think he’ll go hatless unless he wins a World Series in DC.

8:02
Belli Flop: bReGmAn Is On A wInNiNg TeAm ToO

8:02
Ben Clemens: If you read only the caps, you get RGAOANNTAT which is roughly the sound I made when I saw this argument

8:03
Belli Flop: (That was mockery)

8:03
Josh Herzenberg: bemnsnwniemo

8:03
Ben Clemens: Haha I know. The caps, as well as the fact that you’re participating in a FanGraphs chat, gave it away 🙂

8:04
Ben Clemens: The lower-case letters are the sound of Scherzer’s grunt.

8:04
Gunther Centralperk: Beaty’s gotta take on 3-0 there. Driving up Scherzer’s pitch count is imperative.

8:04
Josh Herzenberg: That was harder to type than I expected it to me. Might need to get my eyes checked

8:04
Josh Herzenberg: to be*

8:04
Josh Herzenberg: ^good example…

8:04
Ben Clemens: This is an interesting argument. Take a runner out of scoring position and maybe, but it’s super high leverage and it’s not as though Scherzer walks a ton of dudes. I think you sit middle-middle and take your chances there.

8:05
Ben Clemens: Players do *so much* damage when they put middle-middle fastballs in play on 3-0. Over huge samples year after year.

8:06
Belli Flop: But on the other side, getting to a starters-less Nationals bullpen increases their chances of winning by a factor of Fernando Rodney’s career ERA.

8:06
Ben Clemens: Yeah I mean, the fact that we’re even wondering shows you how bad the Nats’ pen is.

8:07
Ben Clemens: “Hey should you swing at a pipeshot fastball from one of the best pitchers in the game when a single drives in a run most likely?”

8:07
Savi: Cole Hamels good fit for MIL? I like him on a 2 yr deal.

8:08
Ben Clemens: Sure, as long as you’re cognizant of the fact that he’s 36 and the fastball isn’t going to get faster. Like him as a Gio-esque pickup, but I don’t think he’s as good as the name value.

8:09
Belli Flop: Damn Maeda is dominating this team.

8:09
Belli Flop: I spoke too soon

8:09
Josh Herzenberg: If this rain picks up and delays the game, this is a HUGE advantage for the Dodgers

8:09
Ben Clemens: Nah honestly, he’s been amazing.

8:09
Ben Clemens: Infield singles aside.

8:09
Ben Clemens: Hugely beneficial to the Dodgers.

8:10
Ben Clemens: He might just try to pitch anyway

8:10
Ben Clemens: It’s especially rough that he has to hit right now to where they wouldn’t even get PH value.

8:10
Josh Herzenberg: Knowing him, he’ll come back out in 90 minutes throwing harder

8:11
Greg: Max seems like the kinda guy that will put that arm into a heating blanket or hot water … and still go out … he’s a bulldog

8:11
Ben Clemens: FanGraphs’ official editorial position is to not put your arm into hot water. Just don’t do it.

8:11
Josh Herzenberg: This was an internal debate

8:11
Josh Herzenberg: Kiley was pro-hot water

8:12
Ben Clemens: Dan and I were initially on Kiley’s side.

8:12
Josh Herzenberg: Meg is a good salesperson

8:12
Ben Clemens: But it came out that he had offered us bonus pictures of Scout being cute.

8:12
Ben Clemens: And that bribery scandal tore down his argument.

8:12
Josh Herzenberg: FanBlackSox

8:13
Brian CashGod: Bribery scandal at Fangraphs too now?

8:13
Ben Clemens: Most of us don’t have kids to put through college, so we settle for petty disputes instead.

8:14
Josh Herzenberg: Dog pictures are generally influential, too

8:14
Ben Clemens: Josh was on the side of reason the whole time. Lukewarm or nothing.

8:14
Savi: Biggest name non-tender candidate? Addison should have been cut last year but he looks like a stone cold lock to be dumped this year

8:14
Josh Herzenberg: This is true

8:14
Ben Clemens: Okay back to baseball-ish content, sorry for the extremely long digression.

8:15
Ben Clemens: I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t done a ton of research, but looking through arb estimates now.

8:15
Ben Clemens: Are there any TJ guys? That’s a classic case.

8:16
Wire Fan: Is Treinen a non-tender candidate?  For could the A’s get someone looking to buy low on him?

8:17
Ben Clemens: Treinen will get tendered.

8:17
Ben Clemens: Too tantalizing to try to fix him.

8:17
Josh Herzenberg: Agreed

8:17
Ben Clemens: They might try to trade him for peanuts, but you have to tender him.

8:18
Ben Clemens: Depending on what your view of Derek Dietrich is, he’d be iffy, but he didn’t accumulate enough PA to be in line for a big raise.

8:18
Ben Clemens: So I think that’s quite unlikely as well.

8:18
Belli Flop: Would the Dodgers consider this a “must-win?”

8:18
Ben Clemens: No, but a “we’d-sure-love-to-win-this-strasburg-is-good”

8:19
Ben Clemens: Is Maikel Franco a big name?

8:19
Ben Clemens: He’s in danger.

8:20
Fangraph’s Lurker: Making good on your promise to attempt to dethrone kiley and dan as the kings of weird turns I see, Ben

8:20
Ben Clemens: I try.

8:20
Gunther Centralperk: On a scale from 1 to 10, how fair is the the flak that Kershaw gets for his postseason performance? I say a 2; his K-BB% and WHIP are consistent but only slightly worse than his regular-season numbers and we know about his luck with inherited runners scoring (to say nothing of Mattingly and company running him out there on three day’s rest).

8:21
Ben Clemens: I think it’s between a 1 and a 2. He’s better than people think in the playoffs, and pitches in harder spots than you think on less rest than you think. He’s had some bad games, but some good ones too.

8:21
Belli Flop: What an inning for Max

8:21
Savi: Forgot about Maikel. He’s a nice buy-low candidate for a dreadful team like the Tigers

8:22
Ben Clemens: Yeah he started slow but he’s been dealing. Also he hit 98 on a pitch to Pollock.

8:23
Ben Clemens: Might get in hot water with Meg for this one, but Mike Zunino

8:23
Ben Clemens: The Rays haven’t generally been in the business of paying money for baseball players.

8:23
Ben Clemens: Unless they absolutely have to.

8:26
Wire Fan: Do you guys buy into Tauchman’s year?  Useful 4th OF going forward?   More than that?

8:27
Josh Herzenberg: Do I buy him sustaining a 5+ WAR pace? No, but I do think he can play everyday

8:27
Savi: Rockies a good fit for Dom Smith? They need something out of 1B with that park and he’s still young

8:28
Ben Clemens: The only problem with this is that if the Mets and Rockies traded, one of them would necessarily have made a good decision, and I’m not sure the universe could allow that.

8:28
Josh Herzenberg: Haha

8:28
Ben Clemens: (In all honesty that makes a lot of sense and I don’t think BVW is shy about trading guys if they don’t fit the blueprint)

8:29
Ben Clemens: Meanwhile In Play, Run(s) has happened.

8:29
Gunther Centralperk: What kind of pitch count if any will Verlander be on for Game 4? 90?

8:29
Josh Herzenberg: I don’t think there will be a pre-set limit on him

8:30
Jeff: What are the Cubs getting for Contreras? Tell the Braves to send Waters, Anderson/Wright, and Muller maybe throw in Inciarte or swap Newcomb for Muller

8:31
Ben Clemens: My hot player-valuation take: I think that teams don’t like Willson Contreras that much. The Cubs talk him up a lot but he has the exact kind of skillset that would lead to the league having a lower valuation than we all think.

8:31
Ben Clemens: Not that he’s bad,

8:31
Ben Clemens: Not that he can’t be an All Star.

8:32
Ben Clemens: Just that the framing stings, and teams pay for that.

8:33
Savi: How hot should Preller’s seat be? The Hosmer deal was dreadful the moment it was offered, Myers is a boat anchor and the prospects (besides Tatis/Paddack) haven’t shown a ton. If I were ownership I’d be dumping him in we don’t see major progress from Urias, Mejia, Margot. Can’t suck forever.

8:33
Ben Clemens: Lol at Urias with the lowest-possible-effort pickoff throw.

8:33
Ben Clemens: He has potentially the best move in baseball.

8:33
Ben Clemens: And he’s showing that nonsense instead.

8:33
Josh Herzenberg: They have 7 players in the top 102 on THE BOARD and Tatis and Paddack are both stars. I don’t agree with the premise that the prospects haven’t shown a ton. I think the opposite, actually

8:34
Ben Clemens: I’d add, re: Padres, that they seem like a team with semi-meddling ownership who might have been involved on Hosmer, and they’ve also made some very weird statements about the way they value team-building/cash outlays/etc. when releasing their books last year.

8:35
Belli Flop: Urías’ move is essentially a pseudo-balk

8:35
Ben Clemens: I agree with this other than “pseudo”

8:35
Ben Clemens: It’s a balk that umpires have all agreed not to call.

8:35
Ben Clemens: Which is why it’s so nasty. I think you should legitimately never try to steal on him.

8:36
Belli Flop: What even is a balk?  Like I’ve been a fan for years and still have no idea

8:36
Ben Clemens: Legit no idea. Other than that Urias’s pickoff move is one.

8:36
Savi: I should have said “haven’t shown a ton in the big leagues”

8:36
Ben Clemens: Umpires call that 45 degree angle thing consistently except for with Urias.

8:37
Adam2: Isn’t it what the Rays do when players ask for money?

8:37
Ben Clemens: Adam2 has jokes tonight. Step your game up, Adam1.

8:37
Josh Herzenberg: re: Padres… I understand, but the *oldest* player in that list of 7 in the top 102 is 22 years old, and Tatis/Paddack being what they are is 99th percentile success based on what they cost the club

8:38
Ben Clemens: In Play, Worried Dodgers Fan(s)

8:38
Ben Clemens: Look, I don’t have a dog in this fight (and another FanGraphs editorial position is no dogfighting, we’re not awful people), but you can’t help but enjoy this Zimmerman story.

8:39
Ben Clemens: Also excellent gratuitous analytics bashing by Francoeur there

8:39
Josh Herzenberg: No dogfighting, just dogbribing

8:39
Ben Clemens: Yeah you guys think I got hired at FanGraphs because of my incisive analytical mind, but it’s actually because I was getting a puppy.

8:39
Josh Herzenberg: Yeah, the assumption that “Zimmerman hit a home run, therefore analytics are bad!” is, well, interesting

8:40
Ben Clemens: Well if you listen to the on-field mic, Zimmerman was screaming “Analytics I banish you with this home run!” as he swung

8:40
Belli Flop: Pedro Báez, everyone!

8:40
Josh Herzenberg: Ah, I need to turn up the volume. I’ll rewind

8:40
Ben Clemens: It’s always a mixed feeling when Baez is bad.

8:41
Ben Clemens: Because I mean, I hate his slowness.

8:41
Ben Clemens: But when he’s slow and bad, that means more Baez!

8:42
Báez Flop: Changed name to what just happened

8:42
Ben Clemens: Was it even that bad of a pitch? I mean, Zimmerman absolutely pulverized it.

8:42
Ben Clemens: But like, location wasn’t the end of the world. Zimmerman was just on it.

8:44
Adam2: I would have thought throwing hard high fastballs to old players is good

8:44
Ben Clemens: Zimmerman is not the guy to challenge high. He has one of those prototypical flat swings, fly balls off of high pitches grounders off of low ones.

8:45
Frenchy: I’ll bet all those nerds in the front office told him not to swing at that

8:45
Adam2: Then it was a bad location! Make up your mind!

8:45
Ben Clemens: Fair counterpoint. I guess I should have hedged.

8:45
Ben Clemens: I don’t think it was a bad location, per se.

8:45
Ben Clemens: Way better than middle/middle.

8:46
Ben Clemens: But eh, not as good as I first thought.

8:46
Ben Clemens: It’s hard to call a pitch out of the zone a bad location, but I guess if there was someone you didn’t want to miss high with, it’s Zim.

8:47
Ben Clemens: That took me embarrassingly long to remember, had to look up his career ISO/BIP heatmap:

8:48
Ben Clemens: As well as an all-time favorite of mine, an article I wrote about how Zimmerman hits into all the double plays:

8:48
bosoxforlife: My problem with analytics is that the true believers can’t understand when their predictions don’t turn out as expected. Like how did Zimmerman hit that high heat? “You can’t predict baseball Suzyn.”

8:49
Ben Clemens: I would say that they’re doing their true believing wrong, then. If you don’t constantly doubt your own predictions, you’re not doing analysis right.

8:50
Ben Clemens: As Mitchel Lichtman put it: The sabermetrician’s credo: “I’m not sure, this is why I’m not sure, and this is roughly how not sure I am.”

8:52
bosoxforlife: I wish I got that feeling when I read a lot of the analytics. I tend to read, between the lines, a much more aggressively certain tone.

8:52
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I will say that personally I struggle to find the right line in my articles between being interesting and being responsible. I think I tend to err on the side of responsibility but I empathize with the desire to say something meaningful.

8:53
Josh Herzenberg: I find the process of analyzing to be far more purposeful than the result it brings out

8:53
Ben Clemens: I think the real secret ingredient is humor, which makes your stuff fun to read without you constantly having to invent new things.

8:53
Ben Clemens: That’s why Dan has been able to do this for so long.

8:53
Josh Herzenberg: Or dogs

8:53
Ben Clemens: Look the secret to having readers like you, not to FG internal politics.

8:53
Belli Flop: And Jeff

8:54
Ben Clemens: Yeah Jeff was the king of this. It really sucks that he left, even though that indirectly helped me get my job.

8:54
Derek: I think it’s just that sabermetricians believe they have the right approach (which, as has been borne out time and again, they do) more than they think they are *right*

8:54
Josh Herzenberg: That is my perspective. Doing it the right way leads to a better chance of the result being right. Doesn’t mean the results will be right any percent of the time

8:55
Josh Herzenberg: Predicting as such would be disingenuous

8:55
Wire Fan: How long does Scherzer need to go for the Nats to feel comfortable about winning this game?   9 innings?

8:55
Josh Herzenberg: At least

8:55
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’m with Josh. I’m a strong believer that my macro process is good, which means absolutely nothing in a given analysis, but hopefully will add up over time.

8:55
Dcrl: Analytics bashing aside, I gotta say Francoeur is a lot less bad and annoying than most of the other former players who do color on national broadcasts.

8:56
Ben Clemens: Yeah he’s climbing in my estimation. I heard him on a few Braves broadcasts this year and liked him, so I was surprised that he sucked early on.

8:56
Ben Clemens: But I think he was just getting his bearings in a new booth with new teams to cover.

8:56
Ben Clemens: Though he doesn’t love analytics he loves baseball.

8:56
Ben Clemens: And that is by far the most important thing to me.

8:56
Josh Herzenberg: Yeah, at the micro level, the unpredictability of human actions creates an almost impossibly predictive environment. But eventually, sample sizes turn into macro. That becomes predictive

8:57
Ben Clemens: Honestly Ernie Johnson has also grown on me a ton. He seemed early on like he was catching up with all the players (which he maybe was!) but he’s warming up.

8:57
Adam2: Could also be preemptive defensiveness because the other side will highlight times the outcomes go against the analytics as evidence against the analytics

8:57
Josh Herzenberg: Yep. I can empathize with that, though. I used to not be able to as much, but there are a lot of dynamics in play. Humans are playing the game

8:58
Ben Clemens: I mean I do think that there’s bad analytics. If you stubbornly believe that you can capture everything with data, you’ll be shocked at the stuff you keep missing

8:58
Wire Fan: My biggest pet peeve is the expression “good process,  bad result”, especially when someone is evaluating their own process (obviously they think it is good)

8:58
Ben Clemens: Misuse of tools is also super dangerous. People think that because they have numbers they are right automatically, even if they use those numbers wrong.

8:58
Josh Herzenberg: The challenge/follow-up here is “please define the difference between good and bad process”

8:59
Josh Herzenberg: Establish that baseline before conducting the analysis

8:59
Ben Clemens: There was a great Twitter thread between Tango and Nate Silver about the biggest errors people make in statistics.

8:59
5 Run Homer: Lol it was a real Belli Flop

8:59
Belli Flop: HI THERE

8:59
Ben Clemens: And the number one thing they think people should do is spend more time asking the right questions.

8:59
Savi: IMO Mets crew (Gary, Ronnie + Keith) should do every game. They work so well together, you get the pitching and hitting analysis and Gary is a living baseball encyclopedia

8:59
Josh Herzenberg: 100%. Love that

8:59
Derek: Yeah Ben, I was thinking the exact same thing about EJ. It’s clear that calling baseball games isn’t his main job and that he doesn’t follow it as closely as all of us, but he is just so damn good at… talking. Probably about anything

9:00
Ben Clemens: Aside from basically A-Rod and Smoltz, I end up tolerating most people.

9:00
Ben Clemens: And even A-Rod was fun when he was dueling with Pete Rose.

9:00
Belli Flop: I HAPPENED

9:00
Adam2: And you never have worry about that trio announcing with home team bias!

9:00
Ben Clemens: Wow burnnnnnnnn

9:01
bosoxforlife: That is my point. There must be a balance and I am a huge believer in statistics and analytics but I don’t see the balance. I recall on a chat in Game 7 of the 2017 WS, one of the hosts called out A.J.Hinch for leaving Charlie Morton in to pitch the 9th despite the fact that he was throwing unhittable stuff and could easily handle 4 innings. The analytics book said that Giles HAD to brought in. The eye test said Morton HAD to be left in.

9:01
Josh Herzenberg: There also isn’t one “analytics book,” per se

9:02
Dystopian Future: Don’t strawman analytics. Analytics is just suggestions as to what may be more effective, given previous results and indicators of future performance. Analytics and “the eye test” aren’t really at odds all that much.

9:02
Josh Herzenberg: I tend to agree with this perspective

9:03
Ben Clemens: I mean, I don’t remember that situation well enough to know the specifics, if someone thought the answer was obviously one side or another that’s probably bad analysis, I’d agree

9:03
Ben Clemens: That’s not what people should be using it for

9:03
Belli Flop: I actually really enjoy A-Roid’s broadcasting style.  Not necessarily his takes, but his voice is pretty soothing.

9:04
Ben Clemens: Tacking back between our two brands tonight (analytics and announcers)

9:04
Ben Clemens: Yeah A-Rod’s points are sometimes all over the place but he’s a good studio talking head.

9:04
Ben Clemens: I wouldn’t want Kenny Smith to call an NBA game but I love him in the studio.

9:05
Ben Clemens: That foul ball was the first time Anthony Rendon has shown any emotion in his career.

9:05
Josh Herzenberg: That was a different sort of Belli Flop

9:06
stever20: I loved the old FS1 thing with ARod and Rose….  Those 2 were such the odd couple but they were so fun.

9:06
Ben Clemens: Yeah that show was great. That’s entirely the reason I like A-Rod basically.

9:06
Belli Flop: What was the emotion? I missed it while checking an email.

9:06
Ben Clemens: Pain. Hit a ball off of himself.

9:07
Josh Herzenberg: Unsure if it was on purpose. Highly unlikely though (analytically…)

9:07
Adam2: Seems more physical

9:07
Ben Clemens: Touche, touche.

9:07
Derek: What do you guys think of MLB Network’s decision to not show a strike zone overlay during the broadcast?

9:08
Ben Clemens: I don’t hate it, honestly. I used to be completely on the other side.

9:08
Ben Clemens: But I kind of enjoy not having my brain tricked by the box, which isn’t always right.

9:09
Ben Clemens: I think the TBS corners only box is a good compromise, or the up in the corner box, as Belli Flop points out.

9:09
Adam2: I’m sure in his mind a his heart Rendon felt perfectly neutral about the searing pain of the foul ball. The foul ball was just doing what foul balls sometimes do.

9:10
Eel Ffilc: I like having it after the pitch. See if I passed the test so to speak.

9:10
Ben Clemens: Yep this too.

9:10
Ben Clemens: Gleyber is happening in the Yankees game btw.

9:12
Belli Flop: It’s also the Twins game

9:12
Wire Fan: As Gleyber hits a HR,  what would an extension to Gleyber look like?  Something like Acuna? Maybe a bit less?

9:13
Ben Clemens: Josh, what do you think on this one? I would have him meaningfully lower.

9:13
Ben Clemens: Or well, meaningfully lower than Acuna’s fair value.

9:13
Josh Herzenberg: Let me take a look

9:13
Ben Clemens: So probably basically Acuna’s deal yea.

9:14
Belli Flop: What’s so great about wires?

9:14
Ben Clemens: How do you think you have internet, buddy?

9:15
Belli Flop: I don’t!  I’m using my cup and string right now to shout at all of you.

9:16
Josh Herzenberg: I’d say something like 18mil in AAV would be in the right range for Gleyber to give up equivalent FA years

9:16
Dystopian Future: It’s also important to note that the suggestions generally made by analytics aren’t the same as the eye test or gut feeling suggestions, which are much more “you HAVE to get this guy out of here,” as opposed to “you probably have like a 4% better chance of getting the hitter out by bringing in the reliever”. Josh is right with the micro/macro level comment, and Ben is right that you always have to hedge. It’s like one of the basic tenets that anything could be proven in a sample size of one, right?

9:16
Josh Herzenberg: Right. Hence our mocking of the broadcast

9:17
Josh Herzenberg:

According to Statcast, Pedro Baez threw 36.1% of all his pitches during the regular season in Gameday Zones 11 & 12 this season — areas outside the strike zone high, high and outside, or high and inside. He allowed a slugging percentage of .086 on those pitches.

The pitch Ryan Zimmerman just hit out was the highest pitch the @Nationals have hit a home run on this whole season… 3.76 ft off the ground
8 Oct 2019
9:17
Josh Herzenberg: That zim hit the home run doesn’t make the pitch a bad pitch

9:17
Josh Herzenberg: That’s the premise of sabermetrics

9:18
Adam2: So was Ben right or was I right?

9:18
Josh Herzenberg: Yes

9:18
Ben Clemens: Yeah one last comment on the whole mountain we’ve made out of a pretty reasonable take on analytics is that I do think that there are a lot of people who think of themselves as analytical thinkers but aren’t. They’re just looking for the truth to be given to them so that they can repeat it.

9:18
Ben Clemens: The true value is in questioning and being okay being wrong.

9:19
Ben Clemens: The people who say “Oh you can literally never let a pitcher face a guy the third time through” are just as wrong as htose who say “In my day everyone could do that and it’s just hte soft players with their sabers now that can’t”

9:20
Adam2: Ben, sounds like you don’t want to admit I was right.

9:20
Ben Clemens: Haha I think you were closer to right than I was on the Zimm home run. He was clearly unlikely to hit a home run there. He might have power up there but, no one has power THAT up there.

9:20
Ben Clemens: Let me put it this way, I’d like a knee-high fastball more than what he threw, but that’s splitting hairs.

9:21
Adam2: Yay

9:22
Adam2: That should be read with Anthony Rendon’s demeanor

9:22
Dystopian Future: Oh, perfect timing to say Eddie Rosario has power THAT up there

9:22
Ben Clemens: Both of these games are interesting right now.

9:23
Josh Herzenberg: Doolittle and May are up in each respective pen

9:23
Ben Clemens: I’m still watching the Nats, but gonna start streaming Yankees on the side soon.

9:23
Josh Herzenberg: Sorry, Gingergaard*

9:23
Dystopian Future: Meanwhile the game in Washington is getting interesting again. Guess it’s time to start wondering when they’re going to pull Scherzer, and who they would replace him with.

9:23
Ben Clemens: The wildest move would be Strasburg, but even Davey isn’t that crazy.

9:23
Ben Clemens: Is he?

9:23
Belli Flop: Again, May does not like that nickname.  He prefers “Big Red” to Gingergaard

9:24
Josh Herzenberg: I know. You can tell on me

9:24
Josh Herzenberg: He’ll forgive me

9:24
CJ: Normally, I’d say ‘Why in the world is Scherzer still pitching??’ but given what Nats have..

9:25
Trent: Would any team other than the Nats (i.e., any team with a better bullpen) have stuck with Scherzer this long?

9:25
Ben Clemens: The Cardinals have a top five or so bullpen in baseball by the numbers this year and let Adam Wainwright throw six hundred fifty pitches yesterday in a one run game.

9:26
5 Run Homer: Ooooooh Joc almost did a thing

9:26
Ben Clemens: Pretty sure that was the right call but WOW

9:27
Ben Clemens: Good thing they didn’t over-paint the lines

9:27
Ben Clemens: Also A+ that Ernie is talking about how they need the system they have for tennis

9:27
Ben Clemens: Which is literally coming to baseball next year.

9:27
Josh Herzenberg: Frenchy saying “I hope not” about getting Hawkeye (the tennis technology) in the game is especially funny

9:27
Josh Herzenberg: Haha

9:27
Ben Clemens: Like, wow, you really stumbled onto something there.

9:27
Josh Herzenberg: Great timing

9:28
Ben Clemens: Going to throw a Nats fan friend of mine under the bus here.  His take: “Yeah I think we (the Nats) have a tendency to pull our starter too soon”

9:29
Ben Clemens: So hey, there are multiple perspectives

9:29
Norm: The Cards’ bullpen, though, did have the 26th worst “Clutch” score in baseball.  That probably traumatized Schildt during the season.

9:29
Ben Clemens: Yeah I mean, that’s an example of a bad decision that analytics would disagree with.

9:29
Ben Clemens: And yet that didn’t burn the Cards.

9:29
Ben Clemens: Even so, uh…. Mike, don’t do that.

9:30
Wire Fan: 1 more inning for Scherzer or can you trust the Nats plan to get 6 outs before giving up 5 runs?

9:30
Dystopian Future: I assume this is where it ends for Scherzer, so we should say that he gave WAS everything they could need to push it to a game five today. Clutch, excellent start.

9:30
Ben Clemens: I too assume this is it. He is a bit gassed out there, and he’s been superb.

9:30
Josh Herzenberg: May is in for LAD here

9:31
Ben Clemens: The last fastball he threw was 93 on the gun. He’s given everything.

9:33
Ben Clemens: Call May whatever you’d like; he’s one of the most unique pitchers in baseball.

9:33
Ben Clemens: And visually striking.

9:33
Josh Herzenberg: Striking is a good way to put it

9:33
Belli Flop: May day!  May day!  The pitch will sink!’

9:33
Belli Flop: Wow I thought that “May Day” thing was hilarious, ok

9:33
Ben Clemens: Haha my bad, I didn’t see it. Took Ruby outside for a quick bathroom break.

9:33
Ben Clemens: (For her, not me)

9:34
stever20: we’ll see Scherzer in game 5 right?

9:34
Ben Clemens: I mean I assume he’ll be theoretically available but that the Nats really hope they don’t need him.

9:34
Josh Herzenberg: Per statcast that pitch from May was 99.9. That’s the hardest pitch he’s ever thrown

9:34
Josh Herzenberg: APologies, the pitch before was 100.4 mph

9:34
Josh Herzenberg: That would be the hardest

9:34
Belli Flop: There won’t be a game 5!

9:35
Ben Clemens: He’s contractually required to pitch in a Game 5.

9:35
Ben Clemens: So the Cards and Braves have been making calls.

9:35
Wire Fan: I assume Corbin out of the pen in game 5 if they need innings?  Maybe Sanchez (2 days rest)  too?

9:36
Ben Clemens: Yeah this will be all hands on deck. I dug into the data as much as I could to see if he was somehow worse in his relief appearance and didn’t really see it

9:36
Ben Clemens: He just got hit

9:36
CJ: I was typing “If Twins don’t score, this might be it. It shouldn’t be, but given how Twins vs Yankees usually  goes.”, Well…

9:37
jonnyzuck: what a tightrope job by severino

9:37
Belli Flop: Kershaw would be available in Game 5

9:37
Ben Clemens: Game 5 is just going to be so hype.

9:37
Ben Clemens: If it happens.

9:38
Ben Clemens: Like, these are the two most star-laden teams in the NL

9:38
Ben Clemens: And because of the ways they run their pitching staffs, they will both be going all out

9:38
Nick: Because I am a Mariners fan, I am not sure what these “playoffs” are that everyone is talking about. So, a different question: if we were assigning “natural rivals” to MLB teams based on their team names, would the Mariners’ natural rival be the Pirates or the Marlins?

9:39
Ben Clemens: Oh wow.

9:39
Josh Herzenberg: Carson would’ve had a field day with this question

9:39
Ben Clemens: This is interesting. My first thought was of course the Marlins, because I think of mariners as the Samuel Taylor Colerige type.

9:40
Ben Clemens: But those weren’t fishermen, really, I don’ think.

9:40
Wire Fan: Is the winner of this series the NL Pennant favorite?

9:40
Ben Clemens: Yes.

9:40
Ben Clemens: BUT BACK TO TALKING ABOUT HYPOTHETICAL MASCOT RIVALRIES

9:40
Ben Clemens: (no, definitely this series winner will be favored)

9:40
Trent: Is it customary for players to replace their face divots in the outfield, like golfers replacing their divots on the fairway?  (Asking for a friend named Jake Cave)

9:40
Dystopian Future: Well, Marlins are only dangerous if aggravated. I’d say the Pirates, since they’re more of a general threat.

9:41
Ben Clemens: I’ll go pirates, but the real thing I’m wondering about is other rivalries.

9:41
Ben Clemens: White Sox are clearly Red Sox, because I’ve done laundry before.

9:41
Ben Clemens: In Play, Dashed Dodger Hope(s)

9:42
Josh Herzenberg: Royals and Nationals

9:42
Ben Clemens: Excellent point there.

9:42
Dystopian Future: I’d say Royals and Yankees, but that works too

9:42
Belli Flop: Padres and Royals

9:42
Ben Clemens: Unclear. They were allied in Spain.

9:42
Josh Herzenberg: Yankees and Indians

9:43
Ben Clemens: Nationals and Yankees have to be interchangeable in these I think

9:43
Person: Reds vs. Yankees

9:43
stever20: how much better of a game 5 matchup could it be with Strasburg vs Buehler?   About as good as you’re going to get IMO.

9:43
Josh Herzenberg: 100%

9:43
bosoxforlife: Buehler vs. Strasburg is must-see TV. Maybe, just maybe, the Nationals let Strasburg go really deep, like all the way.

9:44
Ben Clemens: Doolittle isn’t having his best year but his fastball still looks fine to me offhand.

9:44
Dystopian Future: Would Diamondbacks and Rangers work?

9:44
Ben Clemens: Good enough. There are no outlaws or cowboys or anything to fight the rangers.

9:45
Josh Herzenberg: Though the Cowboys and the Rangers play next door to each other

9:45
Ben Clemens: That just amps up the excitement!

9:45
Wire Fan: Infield in with Judge batting.   Hope the IF did a cup check before the game.

9:45
Ben Clemens: Yeah, that sounds not fun.

9:46
Ben Clemens: To whoever came up with this line of questioning: You are to blame for the fact that Sean Doolittle just had a huge inning and we didn’t talk about it.

9:47
Josh Herzenberg: Muncy hit that ball 107 mph, 32 degree LA, .910 xBA

9:47
Josh Herzenberg: The wind, man.

9:47
Belli Flop: Cubs and Rangers

9:48
Ben Clemens: The Jellystone National Park Series

9:48
Derek: Maybe the wind, but also maybe… The de-juiced ball?

9:48
Derek: sarcasm by the way

9:48
Ben Clemens: You’re the man

9:48
Ben Clemens: You guys are crazy to still be here chatting with us

9:48
Josh Herzenberg: May didn’t learn his cutter until last year in high A, btw

9:48
Ben Clemens: But we love you

9:48
Dystopian Future: Where do the Mets fit into this natural rivals talk?

9:48
Ben Clemens: Oh, Metropolitans/Trolley-Dodgers

9:48
Josh Herzenberg: The Mets?

9:49
Ben Clemens: Those jerks not paying their fares

9:49
Josh Herzenberg: Oh. I was going to go Mets vs. Mets

9:49
Belli Flop: We love you too, Ben!

9:49
Ben Clemens: Unless they’re dodging being hit, then those jerks not getting run over.

9:49
Brian CashGod: Would a player who could see 10 seconds into the future be more valuable on offense or defense?

9:49
Ben Clemens: We’re going full effectively wild here.

9:50
Belli Flop: Offense.  Know what pitch is coming

9:50
Ben Clemens: That’s my thought, but

9:50
Ben Clemens: Your opponents would have a 0 BABIP

9:50
Ben Clemens: like actually zero!

9:50
Belli Flop: One guy can’t run across the entire field.

9:50
Ben Clemens: No, he’d have to yell, and then we get into some interesting causality loops.

9:51
Dystopian Future: Well, for the sake of not being boring, why don’t we assume that this person can ONLY see 10 seconds into the future. They can’t see the intervening seconds, just literally what happened 10 seconds from point x

9:51
Ben Clemens: A real question is, can he change the future?

9:51
Ben Clemens: Like, if he’s a catcher and sees that there will be a dinger in ten seconds can he just call time?

9:52
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: But wait, now everyone on your team can know what pitch is coming if the guy can yell…

9:52
Ben Clemens: I think we’ve discovered why time travel makes for such good science fiction.

9:52
Derek: That swing looked uncomfortable

9:53
Ben Clemens: I’d say that that May stole Dozier’s soul on that one, but that pales in comparison to Kolten Wong’s combination belly flop/ swinging K earlier today

9:53
Adam2: Wouldn’t this player be violating the unwritten rules of baseball time travel?

9:53
Ben Clemens: Yeah but good luck beaning him.

9:53
Marc: Only being able to see ten seconds into the future sounds like a guy who’d watch himself getting hit with a liner because he can’t see what’s going on in present time

9:55
dilldrup: Let’s go Hudson

9:55
Brian CashGod: Strasburg in the hoodie lmao

9:55
Ben Clemens: I am gonna tone it back down towards the game a little.

9:56
Ben Clemens: Now that it’s literally the ninth inning.

9:56
Marc: Yes but what if you could watch the game in the ninth inning ten seconds before anyone else?

9:56
Ben Clemens: I’m watching it on YouTube TV, so ten seconds after everyone else.

9:57
Belli Flop: People actually use that?!

9:57
Ben Clemens: We have super cheap fiber in my building, but cable is pricey

9:57
Ben Clemens: So it’s YouTube TV or Sling

9:58
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Are there unwritten rules for baseball with respect to time traveling and the future? As far as I’m aware, the only precedent is backwards baseball-related time-traveling.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Card_Adventures

9:58
Ben Clemens: Well if you pimp a home run long enough that you can see yourself pimping it ten seconds in the future.

9:58
Ben Clemens: I assume that violates the rules.

9:58
Belli Flop: Balls aren’t carrying

9:59
lee: So Acuna is the only player who can exist in multiple states

9:59
Ben Clemens: I’m not a meteorologist, but I would assume the rain is brutal for carry.

9:59
Ben Clemens: And humidity in general.

9:59
stever20: Nats park in cool weather plays like a huge park too…

9:59
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s not THAT cold in DC tonight but it’s cooling increasingly as the night goes on

10:00
Ben Clemens: We underrate how much temperature matters for dingers

10:00
5 Run Homer: And it’s DC, so you know it’s humid

10:00
Brian CashGod: Didi’s grand slam came close to 10 seconds of pimping, it was great

10:00
Ben Clemens: Didi’s slam was great. Though I do think he was wondering if it was gone.

10:01
Aaron (UK): If it’s Nats-Cards, who get HFA?

10:02
Ben Clemens: Cards. Wild Card teams can’t get HFA

10:02
Dystopian Future: On a little non-sequitur, why did the Twins build an outdoor stadium in Minnesota? Not knocking it, just sort of confused.

10:02
Ben Clemens: It was a big deal when they planned it, and my friends from Minny absolutely love going to games there.

10:02
Ben Clemens: Minneapolis is lovely for the vast majority of the baseball season.

10:02
Ben Clemens: But yeah, probably not fun around now.

10:03
CJ: Higher seeds gets HFA, right?

10:03
Ben Clemens: Yeah basically. It’s record, unless the Wild Card team is involved (because they’re the lowest seed)

10:03
Wire Fan: Didi said after the game he knew it was gone.   And something like it was more just relief and not wanting to go too crazy.

10:03
5 Run Homer: It’s like 12°C in Minneapolis right now, that’s not too terrible

10:04
Ben Clemens: Yeah, that’s not pleasant but not unbearable.

10:04
Belli Flop: What’s that in Fahrenheit

10:04
Ben Clemens: Low 50s?

10:04
Ben Clemens: Yeah 53.5

10:05
bosoxforlife: Why is Daniel Hudson in this game? It harkens back to Terry Collins using Familia in Game 3 in 2015, 9-3, then not having him at his best in Game 4.

10:05
Josh Herzenberg: They have a day off tomorrow

10:05
Ben Clemens: Or Andrew Miller in the 2016 WS

10:05
Ben Clemens: But yeah

10:05
Ben Clemens: In this spot it’s not terrible I don’t think?

10:05
Ben Clemens: The reliever stress doesn’t get awful until the 7 game series

10:05
Ben Clemens: Because of the structure of off days

10:05
Ben Clemens: That is going to do it, folks.

10:06
Ben Clemens: Nationals hold on!

10:06
Ben Clemens: The exclamation mark is only because it’s the Nats.

10:06
Ben Clemens: No other team would get the ! there

10:06
5 Run Homer: Buehler v. Strasburg Wednesday. Hell yeah

10:06
Josh Herzenberg: Should be a lot of fun!

10:06
Josh Herzenberg: Thanks everyone!

10:06
Dystopian Future: Thanks for chatting, Ben, Josh, Jay, Tony!

10:06
Brian CashGod: Game 5 is gonna be lit

10:06
bosoxforlife: Thank you very much. Love the game chats.

10:07
bosoxforlife: At least Matt Williams won’t be around to bring in Drew Storen after Zimmerburg goes 8 1/3.

10:07
Ben Clemens: Boy, I was at Game 5 in 2012.

10:07
Ben Clemens: That one was brutal for the Nats.

10:08
Brian CashGod: Almost a good thing they’re playing it on the road…

10:09
Ben Clemens: And on that note, I think we are going to call it a night.

10:09
Ben Clemens: Thanks everyone for watching the game with Josh and me, and thanks for your great takes on both mascot fights and time travel paradoxes.

10:09
Josh Herzenberg: These were important discussions. Like Ben said, thank you all

10:09
Ben Clemens: And also, fine, some discussion of announcing and the role of certainty in analytics.

10:10
Ben Clemens: And fiiiiine, also the game as it went on.

10:10
Ben Clemens: But FanGraphs will return.

10:10
Ben Clemens: Tomorrow, for at least one and possibly two games.

10:10
Ben Clemens: Good night!

We hoped you liked reading NL Division Series Games 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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stever20
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stever20

can’t wait now for Wednesday night. Nats/Dodgers with as good of a game 5 matchup as you’re going to see. Buehler vs Strasburg.

Do think it’s kind of an end of an ERA- Dodgers have Kershaw on full rest and yet he won’t get the ball in game 5. Although you can pretty much guarantee, Dodgers fall behind 2-3 runs early, and Kershaw will be in there really quickly.