07/28/2005

Playing for One

We gave up TWO outs in the top of the 1st inning to score one run. Freel led off with a double against a rookie pitcher witha a 5.68 ERA. Lopez BUNTED him to 3rd!!! Griffey then Sacrificed him home. That is easily the dumbest thing they could have done in the 1st inning against a rookie pitcher. But, I can hear it now

Marty B: “Executed Perfectly”
George Grande: “The way baseballl should be played.”

Jim Tracy: “THANK YOU FOR THOSE TWO OUTS!”

The Reds scored their one run in the 1st inning, and then put up 3 in inning 2. I wonder what would have happened if we let our hitters try to NOT make outs. Would we be up 7 or 8?

Join the conversation! 29 Comments

  1. griffey wasn’t trying to hit a sac fly, he wasn’t trying to get out, he just hit the ball in the outfield and got out, like players do sometimes. The benefit of the bunt was that it allowed that out, which griffey was trying to avoid, to score a run instead of doing nothing.

    If you don’t like bunting at all, then you don’t like it, and you’re entitled to that opinion. But don’t try to oversell the issue by saying the reds “gave away” two outs in to score in the first. They gave one away, and that sac allowed a normal out to score a run.

  2. Also, strict sabermetrics wouldn’t have had Freel steal second and third and deliver the win last night.

    All things, sabermetrics included, in moderation.

  3. That’s 100% Wrong. If you steal at a 75%-85% clip a sabermatrician is thrilled.

  4. Sabermetrics is not a method to scoring runs. Sabermetrics is the study of it.

  5. I love Bunting for hits. I love sacrificing if you need one run in 8th or 9th or later, or if you are playing against Roger Clemons in his prime (is that now).

    The 1st inning against a rookie with a 5.68 ERA to get a guy from 2nd to 3rd with the 2nd best hitter on the team is dumb.

  6. Why did we have to bunt Freel over? Is today’s catcher harder to steal on than Phillips?

    I don’t believe in sacrifice bunts in the first inning unless, maybe, we are going up against an absolutely dominant pitcher.

  7. This Larue versus Valentin competition is certainly yielding some results!

  8. al, have you me Matt? Matt is a whiny stat geek you has convinced himself that he understands baseball better than every other analyst, hall of famer, coach, gm, fan who follows the game.

    Yes, your point about Griffey not “trying” to make an out but still doing something productive cannot be grasped by Matt because it requires dual/abstract thought. Matt can’t think conceptually. Matt can only think with formulas. Matt can only total up things after they happen and whine about how they should have been done in the first place were he at the helm.

  9. sp* “met”, “who”….

  10. [waits for explosion]

  11. As a contrarian, I note that “abstract” thought is about looking for more than what the eyes tell you, looking for patterns and underlying truths beyond what is immediate to your senses. Math in general is abstract. “Conceptual” thought is similar, in that there is a similar goal to reach past what our senses register.

  12. Hmm. Are we through the looking glass yet?

  13. ha ha….whoa you might be over my head with some of that advocate.

    I guess my point is conceptual/abstract thought deals with more than just totalling up bases or counting homeruns and assigning “stud” label.

    There is much more to the case of why Dunn is not a good “fit” for Cincy including the $$$ he will make, the position he plays, how his size impacts his baseball future, the type of game he plays, his attitude, his presence…..many of these things have an “intangible” quality to them. If all one does is total up bases they’ll never grasp these elements which are as important or more important as just the number of bases a player accumulates.

  14. Yeah Michael. Tell that to the Red Sox. If a player like Manny wanted out you would just get rid of him, knowing that there was NO way to get near equal value back. You would do it because his intagibles outweigh his more important tangible production numbers.

    Oh and again how do you define production?

  15. please pinski…

    When the Reds have a budget/payroll the size of the Bosox they too will have more margin for error and more room for luxury players.

    Dunn plays left field, can’t legitimately hit leadoff, third or fourth in order and does none of the little TEAM things which don’t show up on stat sheet. No way can the REDS afford to pay a guy like that like a core everyday player.

  16. Wait, Manny is a luxury?

    Manny seems to me to be a player I build around.
    What TEAM things are you referring to? Chemistry – check, him, Griffey, Kearns and Casey are great friends. You said something about his attitude, not sure what you want from the guy, we all can’t be bust your balls guys like Pete Rose and if you seriously think that everyone who plays ball has to be just like him then you have some serious problems.

    I mean Dunn comes to the ballpark and produces in my opinion. And I can back it up with facts. You continually say that he doesn’t produce, but the only thing that you can back that up with is opinion, which isn’t going to convince anyone.

    Oh and if Manny is a luxury, what the heck does that make a player like TO in a sport where TEAM is actually more important than I.

  17. Yes, well I’m not sold on that “Griffey, Dunn, Kearns, Casey, Larue” coregroup brand of chemistry. They had their opportunity. Five years of it. Sure, who knows what might have been different if pitching had been better? But also might not have been much different…..

    Either way that group has done lots of losing the last 5 years yet Casey is still “the mayor”, Griff is still smiling his way into the Hall, Dunn has his new house and his ESPN highlights….etc.. etc….. meanwhile Boone, Miley and others have lost their jobs.

    I’m no longer married to the dream of the Griff, Dunn, Kearns. Dunn will bring some pitching prospects AND break up that “winning” (NOT) chemistry. That’s good enough for me……..

  18. Things ignored because they cannot be answered:
    Oh and if Manny is a luxury, what the heck does that make a player like TO in a sport where TEAM is actually more important than I.

    What is production?

  19. Stupid questions with obvious answers….

    TO with all his antics is becoming a player that despite his talent will have many teams which will deem him not worthy of risk/$$$.

    As for production, let’s just say you can be productive (believe it or not) without hitting 40+ HRs and walking 100+ times…….

  20. They had their opportunity. Five years of it. Sure, who knows what might have been different if pitching had been better?

    Have they had their opportunity? They are the highest scoring offense in the NL this season, yet the team is 14 games under .500. If the pitching staff would just give up a league average number of runs (around 4.5 a game), they would be about 10 games over .500. I believe you are underestimating the pure sucktitude of this pitching staff. The offense is doing it’s job.

    Earlier you said: Dunn … can’t legitimately hit leadoff, third or fourth in order

    I don’t care if he can’t hit leadoff, that’s not his style. He has only played 65 games in his career where he batted 3rd, and only 7 of those since 2002 – so I can’t say whether or not he can bat 3rd comfortably cause I haven’t seen it enough. His career numbers as a four hitter are excellent though (in 160 games): .282/.394/.549/.944 – If you don’t want that kind of production out of your 4 hitter, well then, you are a fool.

    Michael, I think if you would give us a measurable definition of what production is, you might be able to win us over in your arguments. Hell, I may not agree with your definition, but if I can understand it as a measurable quantity, then maybe I can learn to understand what you are telling me. I’m sorry if it bothers you if I need objective proof, but I can’t watch every game and I can’t remember every event that I’ve watched. I need the numbers to help confirm or deny what I think I saw.

  21. let’s just say you can be productive (believe it or not) without hitting 40+ HRs and walking 100+ times
    No kidding michael. But giving counter-examples to try to define something is called circular. I would say Ichiro’s season last year was productive, but I am not sure how much it was worth. Maybe 7-8 million, I don’t know. But to keep avoiding the question means you really don’t have a defintion. Simply put its subjective and not that useful.

  22. For simplicity, let’s stick with OBP and SLG for primary measures of “productivity”. Let’s call things like batting avg, strikeouts, hitting with RISP, speed on basepaths, BB rate, other situational intangibles all secondary measures of “productivity”.

    As for best VALUE on team this year, give me three guys: Freel, Lopez and Randa.
    Freel = very productive this year. High marks for OBP, speed, etc…great in leadoff role (injury obviously impacting total production but still great regarding rate). Lopez = ditto in his role. High marks for his offensive productivity. 3)Randa = ditto….
    All of those guys were productive in their roles and relatively inexpensive. All 3 were a great VALUE.

    For second tier of VALUE on this team I’d put Griff and Dunn. Griff and Dunn have done some things very well. Dunn has struggled in some secondary areas as he always does (Ks, RISP, etc..etc..) but Dunn is far less expensive. Although he won’t have that going for him next year.

    After those guys give me Aurilia, the catchers, Pena, Kearns, Casey etc.. etc…. ……all less productive and less VALUE.

    We probably differ in how we look at “productivity” insofar as how much weight we’d assign to some of the secondary measures. And even with primary measures I’d care more about OBP when looking at Freel or Lopez than I would when looking at Dunn, Casey, Pena, Griff, Kearns etc…..

  23. batting average is in OBP and SLG…why look at it again? Also Dunn does very well in RISP situations.

  24. Avg holds value on it’s own in given situations. I believe it is highly overrated and still overly stated on it’s own, but just because it’s overstated doesn’t mean that you don’t look at that stat in certain situations. Saying that it is secondary is a bit vague, I would say it’s very little in value compared to OB and SLG, but useful in a given situation.

    As for K’s being a “secondary stat”, it is really only relevant if there are runners in scoring position with less than two outs. Again, it’s worth looking at in given situations, but on the whole if you were to compare someone like Dunn to someone like Casey who rarely stikes out, you’re only talking about roughly a few less runs per season due to Dunn striking out at such a high rate. It’s really not even worth the amount of time that we’ve put into discussing it…

  25. We pick and argue about the best offense in the NL? I don’t quite understand. And i define “best” by who scores the most runs, because ultimately scoring runs is the prime objective of a team’s offense.

    I also believe that Michael only speaks in hyperbole. He cannot help making vast generalizations that upon closer examination are typically false.

    But me thinks he just likes starting fights…:evil:

  26. As usual, I think the truth is somewhere in between these two things.

    Yes, Adam Dunn is a productive offensive player. It is unusual to be so productive so young, which is why I would be very, very hesitant to trade him. People also pay to see guys like him hit dingers…not to be underestimated.

    He also stinks defensively. And his historic propensity for strikeouts DOES cost this team, even if he often makes up for it in other situations with home runs and walks.

    Would I trade him for prospects because he’s going to get paid next year? No…I’d give Casey away for extra bats before I’d move Dunn over money.

    But if someone offered a real live No. 1 type starter, I think you’d have a taker here.

  27. newguy, prove to us at what significance they actually cost this team runs. I would love to hear what you guys think his strikeout costs this team in runs per season. It’s frustrating to watch Dunn go down on strikes, but the reality is that on the whole it does very little to effect his value as an offensive player.

    Nice to see that Dunn is proving Michael wrong in the cleanup spot tonight. 2 dingers, 4 rbi!

  28. Barry Bonds has a propensity for making outs nearly half the time he comes to the plate. And those outs do hurt his team, even if he often makes up for it in other situations with homeruns and walks.

    Sorry to be snide. I saw a study on Baseball Prospectus a while back (I think – can’t locate it right now) that concluded IIRC that Reds’ hitters’ strikeouts as a team last year cost them about 10 runs (one win), as compared to a team with an average K rate. Now, that’s a statistical study, not a case study of individual situations, but still.

  29. That’s about what I would guess it to be, very little on the whole. Dunn’s contribution is obviously a few of those runs, very little effect when you’re talking about his production value as a whole.

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Reds - General