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  1. …and by saying they will face Max Scherzer, you mean they’ll be facing A. Sanchez???

    Comment by ron paul — October 8, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  2. If Oakland can even extend the series to get to Scherzer…

    Comment by Ryan — October 8, 2012 @ 11:10 am

  3. They’re facing Sanchez for game 3, not Scherzer, so facing Scherzer is assuming they don’t get swept.

    Comment by Jameson — October 8, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  4. fixed, thanks.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — October 8, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  5. Umm… he has been hurt? During those starts since the 12th, he’s given up 4 runs in 11 innings, including 0 in 4 IP the last start, so it’s not like he’s been awful. Just a very shallow argument.

    Comment by James — October 8, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  6. Bah, I see it’s been changed since I opened this page a couple hours ago. Still, Scherzer needed to be defended from that argument.

    Comment by James — October 8, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  7. who are you talking about, Scherzer? If so, obviously he’s been hurt. Is he fixed now? And I didn’t say anything about HIS production, just that it was likely the A’s would get another chance at the Detroit bullpen. Shoulders are wonky though, I’d be nervous about Scherzer’s start if there is one.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — October 8, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  8. It seems to me that the key PAs in this game happened in the 7th when, with 2 outs, Bob Melvin stupidly allowed lefty Sean Doolittle to face Austin Jackson, Omar Infante, and Miguel Cabrera. With a solid bullpen there was no excuse to not use Ryan Cook in that situation. The Tigers’ 3 best hitters against lefties are Jackson, Infante, and Cabrera and each of them reached, allowing 2 runners to score.

    I realize that Doolittle should’ve been able to escape if only Coco had been able to catch a fly ball but Cabrera should have never been able to come to the plate in that inning. Once he did, continuing to allow Doolittle to face Cabrera was simply stupid. The A’s made lots of mistakes in costing them game 2, but Crisp’s boneheaded defensive play disguised how awful Melvin’s managing was. It was probably a fireable offense but it will go unnoticed b/c Crisp didn’t catch the pop fly.

    Comment by chuckb — October 8, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  9. Good recap + solid analysis = great piece. Well done, Eno. It would be interesting to see more pieces like this, where an event-by-event recap of an important/interesting AB or 2 is interspersed with data adding depth to the summary.

    Comment by laerm — October 8, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  10. Doolittle dominates righties to the tune of a .509 OPS allowed.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 8, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  11. Benoit the Tigers best reliever? Maybe he was as of the All Star Break, but he’s had an absolutely hideous second half in terms of home runs and meltdowns. He’s like the 6-9th best reliever on the Tigers staff by WAR this year simply because of all those homers.

    Comment by JG — October 8, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  12. The pitch to Reddick was the worst pitch in the history of baseball, in selection, execution, everything. Absolutely terrible. First of all, Reddick has trouble hitting good fastballs, and Benoit has a darn good heater. He has just made a weak, flat-footed swing on a nice fastball, just to stay alive in the AB. Keep in mind that he was 0-6 with 6 strikeouts up to that point.

    Anyway, okay, so you’ve decided that you don’t want to throw all fastballs. Great, mix it up! Just one thing: DO NOT float a high extra-slow changeup right over the heart of the plate. If you do, Reddick, maintaining his focus despite his utter surprise that he has just been given a beachball when it makes the least sense imaginable, has a great chance to deposit into the seats.

    I can understand throwing it down the middle though. You don’t want to take any chances with the on-deck hitter, Josh Donaldson.

    At that point I was sure the Tigers deserved to lose, being a weaker team that is full of dummies for relief pitchers, chief among them being Valverde, who is an embarassment to all of Major League Baseball, let alone specifically the city of Detroit, which doesn’t need any more embarrassment.

    Anyway, I’m glad we won. Wouldn’t mind losing to the A’s though.

    Comment by Dan — October 8, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  13. Doolittle has mowed through most everyone. The failure to catch the ball is on Crisp.

    The A’s defense has cost them, but also, plain old good luck in hit placement has aided the Tigers. Think of game 1, inning 1: Drew knocks the ball down, but away from Cespedes for a Jackson double. Second batter hits one off of Donaldson’s glove. Tigers score because of that.

    Comment by cuppingmaster — October 8, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  14. righties perform better against righties than lefties do, the 124 right-handed batters Doolittle has faced notwithstanding.

    Comment by chuckb — October 8, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  15. But there are a great deal of exceptions to this truism. I believe Doolittle is such an exception and his pitch usage points to that. Merely saying “righties perform better against righties” is not convincing.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 8, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  16. Why is the fact that it’s just 124 PAs unconvincing, to say nothing of the fact that Ryan Cook is pretty good as well?

    In September, Chris Davis had a 181 wRC+ in 116 PAs. He was worth 1.3 WAR in that month alone. From that single month, in almost exactly the same number of PAs as Doolittle had this season, can we extrapolate that Davis is an elite hitter? Should we be treating him as an 8 win player? Of course not, because it’s only 116 PAs. We know that sample sizes that small aren’t at all predictive. Davis, in fact, was worth 0.8 WAR the entire rest of the season.

    So why should we just assume that Doolittle is not going to have any platoon splits — that for some reason he’s an exception to that tendency — based on a month’s worth of PAs?

    Comment by chuckb — October 8, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

  17. So even up 2-0 its all excuses why the A’s gave the win away. Fact is 3 home wins is unlikely given the home win loss record for the A’s. The tigers should win and u really think that was the worst pitch in baseball ever?

    Comment by Ryan e — October 8, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  18. Hitters, pitchers, and fielders make mistakes, but there is no excuse for a major league pitcher to not pay attention to a base stealer at second (or not mix up his looks) in a critical part of a post-season game.

    The only way that a runner on second steals third that easily is if the pitcher and/or the SS and second baseman so not pay enough attention to him (or the pitcher does not vary his looks).

    Comment by MGL — October 8, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

  19. I didn’t say we should just assume it. I said his pitch usage supports that conclusion. A fast ball that cuts in hard on righties, a solid change, and a so-so curve is a recipe for more success vs righties than lefties.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 8, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

  20. Over his past 8 starts Sanchez has been closer around 6 and a third innings with a 2.12 ERA. Not really able to tell what it is, but the man is a different pitcher his last two starts of August and all of September. Something as simple as greater confidence?

    Comment by Kevin — October 8, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

  21. Eno actually gave a fantastic answer to this query in his latest. Probably wasn’t prompted by what I said, but nonetheless very good stuff.

    Comment by Kevin — October 9, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

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