Jon Lester Good, Cardinals Not

Wednesday night, in Game 1 of the World Series, Jon Lester was good. The Cardinals’ hitters, in turn, were not, or at least their performance was not, and as a consequence, the Cardinals lost. The Red Sox are now ahead by a game, and the Cardinals have as long as possible to wait for the next start by Adam Wainwright.

That’s the story, basically. It’s not the story that’s going to get all of the physical and electronic ink — the Cardinals’ defense, early on, was atrocious, and Wainwright gave up a few solid hits, and Carlos Beltran got hurt robbing a grand slam, and David Ortiz subsequently got his home run anyway to pour gravy all over the blowout. There’s a lot that’ll be written about what went wrong for St. Louis early. There’s a lot that’ll be written about the implications of Beltran being injured. But the Cardinals didn’t score a run until Ryan Dempster hung a splitter in the top of the ninth. With some luck, this game could’ve been closer. With some luck, this game could’ve been even more lopsided. Against Lester, the Cardinals just weren’t going to win without a miracle.

I’m going to let you in on some trade secrets. They’re not really that secret, or juicy. When a pitcher has a start like Lester’s on a big stage, the start gets written about. And from an analytical perspective, you’re always looking for an explanation. How did the start come together? What were the pitcher’s strengths? What did the pitcher do differently? In short, in what sense was the start unusual? What was the key to the dominance?

Here’s the story for Jon Lester in Game 1, as far as I can tell after thorough investigation: he was good. He pitched like Jon Lester — he pitched like himself — and maybe he made fewer mistakes. His strengths were his usual strengths. His mix was similar to his usual mix. The game could’ve looked different given different outcomes in one or two at-bats, but when runners were on, Lester found the right spots to keep the runners from crossing. Jon Lester took a shutout into the eighth because he pitched like Jon Lester when Jon Lester is good.

In large part the game was about Lester’s fastball and cutter, and he was able to use those pitches to control both sides of the zone against hitters of both…handednesses. Some possibly telling pitch-location charts:

lesterrhb

lesterlhb

What you don’t see are many pitches right in the middle. What you see a lot more of are pitches on the inner and outer thirds, or just beyond them. In the very early going, Lester attempted to establish his fastball inside, and then he folded in his cutter more often and pitched to both sides, especially against righties. Some of the lasting images, for me, are batters getting frozen by third-strike cutters on an edge. Presented are some lower-quality .gifs.

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clip1056.gif.opt

clip1060.gif.opt

A low-away cutter at 89. A cutter away at 88. A low-away cutter at 88. A low-inside cutter at 87. Between the cutter and the regular fastball, Lester established a consistent velocity difference and a consistent movement difference, and he’d vary his pitches to the edges so that hitters couldn’t be sure which variety of fastball they were getting. In the top of the second, Lester faced a 1-and-1 count against Yadier Molina, and he threw a tailing fastball over the outer third, which Molina fouled off. He followed that with a cutter that started over the outer third, but instead of tailing away off the plate, the cutter stayed where it was and Molina was left frozen and helpless. It’s easy to talk about these things in hindsight, but after a game like this I’m pretty willing to give Lester all the benefits of the doubt.

There were a few other images that stuck with me. In the first, Matt Holliday hit a first-pitch single off a fastball down at the knees. Holliday batted again in the fourth, with a man on. He swung at a cutter, then he took a cutter, then he took a fastball to get ahead 2-and-1. He fouled off a low-away fastball, then he fouled off a high-away fastball. The count at that point was 2-and-2, and Holliday had only seen fastballs and cutters. Of Lester’s 16 two-strikes pitches to that point, all but two had been fastballs or cutters. Of Lester’s 11 two-strike pitches with at least one ball to that point, all 11 had been fastballs or cutters. Holliday had every reason to expect something faster than what he got instead.

clip1055.gif.opt

That was the only whiff Lester got with his curveball, but he also got seven fouls, a called strike, and a pop-up. Lastly, with this stuff in mind, consider the top of the seventh. David Freese led off, and Lester got ahead with a curve. After a ball, Lester got ahead again with another curve. The fourth pitch was a cutter away, which Freese took for a ball. Freese might then have been expecting something similar, or perhaps another curve. What Lester did instead was bust him inside with a fastball, and Freese took too long a swing. The inning ended with Shane Robinson. Lester got ahead with a perfect outer-edge fastball. He then threw his first changeup of the game, which Robinson swung right through. The third pitch was a low curve that Robinson fouled off. Then Lester threw his second changeup of the game, more outside than the first.

clip1059.gif.opt

Even at that point in the game, with the score 5-0 and with the Cardinals looking helpless, Lester and David Ross mixed things up. For Shane Robinson, in the top of the seventh, Lester had a weapon he somehow hadn’t yet flashed. The weapon worked. Just about all of his weapons worked. The three strikes he threw to Pete Kozma to lead off the eighth were all different pitches, and they were all right on the edge of the zone. Lester’s last pitch of his outing, to Matt Carpenter, was a cutter that caught a little too much of the plate, but Carpenter still sent up only a routine fly. Maybe he was just surprised to see something hittable, which could be a weapon in its own right.

Absolutely, Lester’s start could’ve looked different. David Freese could’ve done something other than bounce into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded. Jon Jay could’ve not grounded out to short in the fifth. But, how did the bases get loaded? Jay took a walk with some borderline balls, and Allen Craig and Yadier Molina hit groundball singles off cutters on the edges. The fifth inning doesn’t get so threatening with a better defensive left fielder than Jonny Gomes. No one’s true-talent level is “shutout”, but Lester deserved a good game Wednesday, and the results followed and then some.

How did Jon Lester shut down the Cardinals in Game 1? He didn’t resort to any tricks. He didn’t do his best, I don’t know, Justin Verlander impression. He did his best Jon Lester impression. He pitched like the Jon Lester people have seen as an ace. He hasn’t consistently been able to pitch at that level, but when he gets there, no one’s able to call it surprising. This is the guy that’s been in there all along.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Stelio Kontos
Guest
Stelio Kontos
2 years 8 months ago

What is that idiot holding up behind home plate after every pitch?

Julian
Guest
Julian
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah I’ve seen that before he does it after every K but no idea why

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
2 years 8 months ago

The left one looks like the Spotify logo.

Nate
Guest
Nate
2 years 8 months ago

I believe that’s called the ‘umpire,’ and he’s signaling ‘strikes.’

Evan
Guest
Evan
2 years 8 months ago

They’re fans. One says “san” and the other says “shin”. “Sanshin” is Japanese for strikeout.

Benjammer
Guest
Benjammer
2 years 8 months ago

The more the Cardinals struck out, the angrier it made me. (Childish, I know.)

channelclemente
Guest
channelclemente
2 years 8 months ago

The NY Times is reporting this AM, Lester may have been doctoring the ball..vaseline in the glove rumored to have been used.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 8 months ago

I think the suddenness with which he pops those signs up is humorous.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 8 months ago

Lester was outstanding last night. It was a total shellacking in every area of the game. My Cards are going to have play better the rest of the series or it’s going to be over pretty quickly.

channelclemente
Guest
channelclemente
2 years 8 months ago

How ‘your Cards” play could be irrelevant, if the Lester effect is shared on the staff. A pic is worth a 1000…

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/10/what-is-inside-jon-lesters-glove/

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

A picture of a scuff in his glove?

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 8 months ago

You should post this a few dozen more times without reading first the threads you’re posting into that covered it hours before you arrived to break the news.

Devon
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

What really drove me nuts was the Kozma’s errors & the way the Cardinals batters kept swinging early. I couldn’t believe that, with the bases loaded, David Freese moved out of the way of that pitch that would’ve probably hit his foot. Sure, I understand that would hurt bad, but… it’s the World Series and the bases are loaded with your team down. Just take it like a man and make the BoSox pay for their mistakes. Instead, Freeze slaps a ball straight back to the pitcher for a double play, completely wasting a bases loaded situation.

In the end, it probably wouldn’t have made much difference, but we’ll never know what could’ve snowballed.

I just don’t want to see another sweep in the World Series, and I’m a bit concerned after last night, that we might see one.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 8 months ago

The swing early & often approach was pretty baffling, especially with the early returns being what they were.

Shannon
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Mitt
Guest
Mitt
2 years 8 months ago

What am I reading?

Ian
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Ian
2 years 8 months ago

Just stop please.

Shannon
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Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

Stop pointing out blatant cheating?

Conspiracy Man
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Conspiracy Man
2 years 8 months ago

We got them on the run Shannon! Can we please release the footage of Bush and Osama in the Sox dugout yet? Or should we wait to blow their minds?

Rodrigo
Guest
Rodrigo
2 years 8 months ago

How is it “blatant”, and, more importantly, how is it “cheating”? Looks like a worn out part of his glove, if you think Lester was throwing spitballs, I anxiosuly await some graphics that show some notable difference between how his pitches were breaking against the Cardinals and how they were breaking in other games. Thanks.

RC
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Link showing his movement was pretty much exactly what it has been.

Poppin the Elder
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Poppin the Elder
2 years 8 months ago

Plz don’t feed the trollz

Jeffrey
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Jeffrey
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t see the issue with Shannon’s post, select the link. That is obviously vaseline. And why would a pitcher use his guide fingers and dab that spot on the glove

pinch
Guest
pinch
2 years 8 months ago

a) bullfrog sunscreen, which improves grip, and is used by many pitchers throughout the league and has been repeatedly called ok by MLB
b) no one cares, because the cardinals do it too (wainwright didn’t deny it when asked in an interview last summer), as do most pitchers.
please read this, then continue this discussion.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/mlb–red-sox-s-jon-lester-is-the-latest-pitcher-who-has-been-dragged-into-a-non-controversy-163709343.html

LorenzoStDuBois
Guest
LorenzoStDuBois
2 years 8 months ago

Not sure where to ask this so:

Where is last night’s live blog??

Mitt
Guest
Mitt
2 years 8 months ago

They don’t show up for some reason. Here’s a link: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/world-series-game-1-live-blog-2/

Mitt
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Mitt
2 years 8 months ago
RPMcSweeney
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RPMcSweeney
2 years 8 months ago

Nope, that’s Game 1 of the 2010 Series. Last night’s live blog seems to have dematerialized.

Jason B
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Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

Game one of the 2010 series was likely more exciting. Let’s just go with that.

Nate
Guest
Nate
2 years 8 months ago

Go to the front page and scroll down, it’s still there this morning.

I don’t know why it doesn’t show in the links or a link to it doesn’t work.

Nate
Guest
Nate
2 years 8 months ago

Re: this sentence: “…he was able to use those pitches to control both sides of the zone against hitters of both…handednesses.”

I believe the word you’re looking for is “chiralities.”

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
2 years 8 months ago

This just in: Cardinals struggle against Left-Handed Pitchers.

vRHP — 280/343/412

vLHP — 238/301/371

Throw in a very good LHP and you get what you get.

It’s why beating Kershaw twice in the LCS was so surprising.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

Once you throw in the whole doctoring the ball thing, they had no chance.

Mike G
Guest
Mike G
2 years 8 months ago
Dan Ugglas Forearm
Member
Dan Ugglas Forearm
2 years 8 months ago

Please, just stop.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
2 years 8 months ago

Who gives a fuck? Between Nelson Cruz handing you your 2011 rings, you guys still bitching about 1985, the 2011 infield fly, and your incessant use of “#bestfansinbaseball” I hope he is cheating.

Conspiracy Man
Guest
Conspiracy Man
2 years 8 months ago

Compelling evidence! Man on the moon, 9/11, JFK assassination, Elvis’ death, and Lester doctoring the ball! Quick Shannon lets solve the next big case! All we need is some shoddy evidence and loose assumptions!

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
2 years 8 months ago

or, you know, video evidence of the perpetrator in the act.

Conspiracy Man
Guest
Conspiracy Man
2 years 8 months ago

Yes, the evidence so clear as day. The media is covering up I say! Illuminati is behind it, I know it! Quick Cardinal boys, to the Busch cave!

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

Nobody is covering it up, the media just hasn’t covered it yet.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

If it’s such an obvious and big deal, why haven’t the cardinals issued anything? Also, was the substance what caused the cards to play like shit in every other aspect?

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 8 months ago

“It hasn’t been covered yet.”

Which is why it is on the front rotation of the Huffington Post, a little-known news site of no importance. Well, okay, the “no importance” part is true. But it’s hardly watching underground rock news at 3 AM when Telemundo mysteriously switches over to English.

I don’t see anything in that glove. It’s a glove. Nobody complained during the game. The ump picked up tons of balls. Are you telling me that there was Vaseline on balls for 6 innings and the ump never noticed the ball felt gross?

I got to tell you. If Yadier Molina and Mattheny didn’t complain to the ump, you should probably trust their judgment. They’re not only more invested than you, smarter than you, and there there at the park. They also have years of catching. If they say something, they would say something. Heck, Mattheny spent 5 minutes arguing about an overruled call that was OBVIOUSLY correct. You’re saying he wouldn’t speak a word if he thought the other guy was shutting them down with a handful of Vaseline?

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 8 months ago

“were there at the park”

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

I get what you’re saying, but this is not grainy footage or complicated conspiracy theories. This is a team that has a history of doctoring balls, and plain HD photos and videos of a player with a mysterious substance inside his glove that he then discretely rubs his fingers on right before gripping the ball. There is very little ambiguity here, and it’s honestly kind of disgusting that the reaction to this is so mild. I mean, are we ok with saying that it is ok to cheat?

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Grainy footage is exactly what it is.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
2 years 8 months ago

it’s 1080p hd footage. grainy is the opposite of what it is.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

So which part are you denying, then? That there was a foreign substance in his glove, or that he rubbed that substance on his fingers right before gripping the ball? This isn’t complicated. It’s right in front of you.

Stay Classy St. Louis
Guest
Stay Classy St. Louis
2 years 8 months ago

By the way Shannon way to bring in the cancer survivor angle, extremely relevant and all. Adds tons of credibility to whatever point you were hoping to make…

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

It’s entirely relevant. Lester won’t get as much shit out of this as he should, because he’s a “good guy” because he beat cancer. Sorry, but cancer survivors can still be assholes just like the rest of us.

RMD
Guest
RMD
2 years 8 months ago

Bro, so you’re saying that the evidence isn’t conclusive he was using a banned substance? There’s a reason the camera guy zoomed in on it. He must have been doing that several times earlier in the game.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

“it’s 1080p hd footage”

No, that GIF is clearly not 1080p.

Jay
Guest
Jay
2 years 8 months ago

Its a little rosin or pt. You see this with many, many mlb pitchers. Smoltz used to keep pine tar on his shoes and bend down to get some for extra grip. Also, sometimes pitchers have too much rosin on their fingers for comfort, and they scrape it off in the glove. That can build up a little stain, especially when it becomes part of a pre-pitch routine. Pretty much every pitcher in mob uses rosin/tar or some combination for grip, especially on a very cold night. And you won’t find one team or manager who cares. They only care about vaseline, oils, slippery stuff.

As far as a history of doctoring the ball, you must be referring to that absurd “controversy” when the idiot Jays announcers thought Buchholz was going to something on his forearm. Which, too, was proven to be complete BS and conjecture.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago
RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Looks like a worn out spot in the glove to me.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
2 years 8 months ago

“Wainwright acknowledges at times using a mix of resin and sunscreen to enhance his grip. Just as significant, the combo applied to his pitching arm helps prevent sweat rolling onto his hand.

“There’s a difference in pine tar from oil and grease, things that make the ball sink, cut or do different stuff,” he said. “That’s different than doctoring a ball. If one of our pitchers gets a scuff on the side of a ball he can do all kinds of things with it. An emery board or something like that is totally different.”

Manager Mike Matheny declined comment on the matter but the team is among those believing the use of substance mixed with resin to better grip the ball is widespread if not universal.”

Whomp whomp. That’s Wainwright from last year.

Cardinal Fans
Guest
Cardinal Fans
2 years 8 months ago

1*-0 Is what the series should read. We were job’d last night! Went out there and played a real quality game. Flawless performance only to be ripped off by the cheating red sox. Cardinals fully deserved that win last night.

Sincerely,
The Home of Baseball St. Louis “aka home of the baseball purists”

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

Nobody is saying that the Cardinals deserved to win. In fact, they deserved to lose- they played terribly. Doesn’t mean that Lester shouldn’t be held responsible for cheating, if he did.

Detective Shannon
Guest
Detective Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

If he cheated? Earlier you were throwing around definitive statements and accusations… Now you seem to concede your evidence is less than you may have originally wanted people to buy? I think if we both are being honest here, there really isn’t any evidence here to make an assumption let alone cast guilt.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

I have never said that anything is conclusive. It is pretty compelling, sure, but of course nothing can be said conclusively at this point. What SHOULD happen from this is Lester and every other Reds pitcher should have their gloves and caps checked before every inning. Obviously nothing can be done about game 1 retroactively (nor SHOULD anything be done, as it was clearly not the difference in the outcome of the game and at this point any actual hard evidence would be gone, as Lester has surely washed the gunk off his glove by now), but I do think that it is important to keep it from happening again.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

“This isn’t complicated. It’s right in front of you.”

That seems pretty conclusive to me.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 8 months ago

“HD photos and videos of a player with a mysterious substance inside his glove that he then discretely rubs his fingers on right before gripping the ball. There is very little ambiguity here”

“I have never said that anything is conclusive”

Grohman
Guest
Grohman
2 years 8 months ago

Oh my goodness…
“What SHOULD happen from this is Lester and every other Reds (sic) pitcher should have their gloves and caps checked before every inning.”

Introducing Shannon, MLB’s new VP of Exacerbating Game Pace Issues.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah, it was really awful how the Sox doctored up Pete Kozma’s glove.

That’s where we’re at on this, right? Because, you know, it wasn’t awful defense that sunk the Cardinals, it was the green dot on a grainy picture.

Jeffrey
Guest
Jeffrey
2 years 8 months ago

If the Cardinals are unable to hit the entire game because the pitcher becomes unhittable throughout the game, that would clearly limit their ability to come back from this game.

The Cards were beat, it would probably still be 1-0. But you can’t allow a pitcher to use his guide fingers on what is clearly a greenish spot inside his glove. If an umpire had checked his glove, you have to feel it would have been an issue during the game.

jh
Guest
jh
2 years 8 months ago

It’s friggin’ sunscreen! Wainwright admitted to using it last year. Half of the pitchers in MLB apparently use it.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/mlb–red-sox-s-jon-lester-is-the-latest-pitcher-who-has-been-dragged-into-a-non-controversy-163709343.html

Corky
Guest
Corky
2 years 8 months ago

Or its just a worn out spot on a leather glove, where Lester always rubs his fingers to dry them to get a better grip on the ball.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
2 years 8 months ago

do worn out spots on baseball gloves usually turn shiny and green?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t know about “usually,” but I do actually have an old glove with some green spots on it from where it’s worn.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Do GIFs ripped off of poorly calibrated TVs always have their colors perfect?

Its leather. It’s why there’s no “stuff” on the lacing right above the spot.

Adam
Guest
Adam
2 years 8 months ago

His glove is also so worn to the point he has tape on the outside laces of it.

RMD
Guest
RMD
2 years 8 months ago

0% humidity on a chilly night in Boston… He must have been sweating up a storm!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
2 years 8 months ago

You’ve never jogged in October, I take it?

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 8 months ago

What an embarrassing comment.

I'll just leave these here
Guest
I'll just leave these here
2 years 8 months ago

Gunk on glove:

Fingering gunk on glove:

…yep

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Bare spot on glove where paint is worn away.

Lester drying rosin off his fingers on bare spot:

…yep.

Conspiracies are fun.

this too
Guest
this too
2 years 8 months ago

http://tinyurl.com/myemmg3

…lol. As if he wasn’t cheating.

Anon
Guest
Anon
2 years 8 months ago
RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Looks like a guy with a wierd habit, and a worn spot in his glove.

Plenty of pitchers do wierd stuff like that. And Wainright, for example, has admitted to using rosin/sunscreen/vaseline on the ball.

someone
Guest
someone
2 years 8 months ago

Please give me a source that shows me where Wainwright has admitted to using Vaseline? Dyin to read it

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

If you read this whole thread, you’d see its about 15 posts up.

aribau97
Member
aribau97
2 years 8 months ago

“Wainwright acknowledges at times using a mix of resin and sunscreen to enhance his grip.”

someone
Guest
someone
2 years 8 months ago

It’s funny cuz I already had read what that link had to say. The word ‘Vaseline’ is used once in the entire article, and it was part of this Chris Carpenter quote:

“If you’re talking about scuffing or putting Vaseline on the ball to make it move differently, that’s a separate issue. But to do something to get a better grip on the ball? With guys throwing 100 miles per hour? I don’t think that’s cheating. Unfortunately for (Peralta), maybe they didn’t like him. I don’t know. Pine tar, sunscreen, whatever… it’s not there to help the ball sink, cut or do funny things. It’s a tool to keep it from flying out of your hands.”

What Wainwright had to say further down:
“There’s a difference in pine tar from oil and grease, things that make the ball sink, cut or do different stuff,” he said. “That’s different than doctoring a ball. If one of our pitchers gets a scuff on the side of a ball he can do all kinds of things with it. An emery board or something like that is totally different.”

So not only is no one on the Cardinals admitting to using Vaseline, both Carp and Waino differentiate between using rosin and sunscreen for grip and using Vaseline (or grease etc) to make the ball move in a way in otherwise wouldn’t. Nice try tho guys.

Pretty clear in that 7 second vid clip of Lester carefully touching the tips of his first two fingers to the green glob on his glove that he wasn’t using it for grip.

someone
Guest
someone
2 years 8 months ago

messed up the block quotes there, last two paragraphs are mine. not that you guys care, since you’re being deliberately obtuse.

Shan the Man
Guest
Shan the Man
2 years 8 months ago

Your little Lester’s cheating cost us the game; more holes in it than Kozma’s glove.

You say in comment that the Cardinals deserved to lose, then in a different claim the Cardinals had no chance because of doctoring? Which one is it the “cheating” or the putrid performance? Flip flopping more than Capitol Hill right now

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

sar·casm (särkzm)
n.
1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.
3. The use of sarcasm.

Shan the Man
Guest
Shan the Man
2 years 8 months ago

Yes clearly all of your comments reek of sarcasm.

(Get it I’m using sarcasm)

Shannon
Guest
Shannon
2 years 8 months ago

Nope, just the one. Sorry it went over your head.

Shan the Man
Guest
Shan the Man
2 years 8 months ago

Love the retroactive “it was sarcasm” when making moronic statements online. I’ll put in the memory bank, for the next/first time I make an incredibly foolish remark. Could use the I was just “trolling” excuse too, heard that one works as well.

Shan the Man
Guest
Shan the Man
2 years 8 months ago

Oh and was the “It’s clear and right in front of you” also sarcasm? Later you go on to admit there is no definitive evidence…

Here is a hint when trying to make a credible argument, pick one stance and stick to it. You look like a fool changing the narrative to try and fit your rebuttal.

Have A Ball
Guest
Have A Ball
2 years 8 months ago

I did not know Jon Lester survived cancer. Fascinating, that’s good stuff

RC
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/topic/80134-the-world-series-thread-red-sox-vs-cardinals-for-the-title/?p=5061379

Pretty good post with Lester’s PitchFX spin charts from the last couple of games. Basically nothing to see.

So either he’s always been throwing a spitter (which wouldn’t match his spin/movement at all), or its nothing, and he just has a little weird tick where he rubs his glove.

Jeffrey
Guest
Jeffrey
2 years 8 months ago
RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

If it was vaseline, we would have seen a difference in the spin of his pitches, which we didn’t.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
2 years 8 months ago

Unless he’s just really bad at using it because he caught a case of viral incompetence from Peter Kozma.

Grohman
Guest
Grohman
2 years 8 months ago

Jeffrey, something relevant has happened in the article you linked. This is copied directly from it:

“Update: An MLB spokesperson released a statement regarding Lester’s potential use of a foreign substance, courtesy Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.

‘We cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game.”
Update No. 2: Strauss talked to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak about the incident, who told the reporter that the story is a “non-issue.’ A full quote from Mozeliak appeared in an article written by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

‘As far as I’m concerned it’s a non-issue. It’s something that arose in social media and not from our players or manager or our coaching staff. To me it does not represent a concern.'”

So maybe we all just let this go? Maybe we pop over to Eno’s chat, make friends? No?

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
2 years 8 months ago

He was probably coating the ball with a high-tech, metallic gel, and when the ball was halfway to home plate, Farrell remotely activated a powerful magnet in either Ross’s left or right shoe to give the pitch that little extra break.

At least, that’s what *I* would have done…

Beau
Guest
Beau
2 years 8 months ago

Facts:
Something appeared to be unusual about a spot on Lester’s glove.
Lester touched that part of his glove before throwing one or more pitchers.
It is a universally accepted practice for pitchers to use rosin/pine tar/sunscreen/etc. to improve their grip on the ball.

Speculation:
The unusual spot on Lester’s glove may have been been a bit of substance which would constitute doctoring pitches.

Seems to me that you need to take a pretty significant jump in logic to arrive at the conclusion that what is show in those gifs is in any way cheating.

I’d expect for people to draw conclusions about things as impactful as cheating on CBS and Fox Sports but [most] of us come to fangraphs for inciteful, intelligent analysis. I’m surprised to see such detritus on these boards.

Beau
Guest
Beau
2 years 8 months ago

Also, MLB players are people. People do weird things to deal with stress, especially pitchers who are superstitious and stick to routines. Stuff like touching a certain part of their glove every pitch and making it wear out after thousands of incidents. I wonder if we can find screen grabs from similar occasions in the past with Lester doing the same thing?

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 8 months ago

Anyone who has seen a Nomar Garciaparra plate appearance would understand this. The fact that someone exibits a behavior doesn’t mean there’s a rational explanation for it, or an advantage to it.

Its a bare spot on the glove

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
2 years 8 months ago

It’s not just baseball players, far too many fans (Myself included) do this crap.

During games, I have certain parts of my cap I will not touch compared to parts I feel are necessary to touch.

Likewise, I absolutely refuse to step on cracks on game days. I look like a complete idiot walking to work and my wife spends endless amounts of time making fun of me, but at least I feel I’ve done what I can.

TheMocc
Guest
TheMocc
2 years 8 months ago

Cardinals fans are the best. They continue not to hit a lick, and are awful defensively, but still can’t help themselves from complaining about how the other team plays the game.

TheMocc
Guest
TheMocc
2 years 8 months ago

The actual team continued not to hit and so forth, not the fans. The fans just whine.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

#bestfansinbaseball

Fruit
Guest
Fruit
2 years 8 months ago

90% of your comments I stumble upon on Fangraphs is hating on the Cardinals and their fans. Pretty embarrassing bruh. Constant vigilance!

Paul
Guest
Paul
2 years 8 months ago

Somebody, anybody at Fangraphs please ban Shannon from posting. He can post his crap on a site other than one that is the best for baseball analytics in the business. Intelligent, rationale and fact-based comments. Is that too much to ask?

Guest
Guest
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t understand why you are dogging Shannon. There looks to be a decent amount of video and photo showing the yellow/green oozy spot on the glove fingers and Lester rubbing it.

People in MLB seem to think rosin and sunscreen is acceptable for grip, while believing Vaseline is used for cheating.

You can link to an interview w/ quotes from Maddon and Hickey of TB where they explain that its not really “kosher” to ask umpires to check gloves in game, so thats probably why Matheny didn’t ask.

If it is Vaseline in the glove, which looks like a possibilty, perhaps all this attention will deter Lester from using it his next start.

If its not, he will chalk the controversy up to “fans not having a clue” and continue about his business next start. No worries.

It would be nice to see him address these questions to a media member today.

I wouldn’t assume its a non-issue just because MLB said so. They also said steroids were no big deal for 15 years and have no interest in people thinking that there is cheating going on.

Beau
Guest
Beau
2 years 8 months ago

We are dogging Shannon because he drew non-evidence based conclusions and made emotional statements. If he presented the opinion that “Lester may or may not have been doing something to alter his ability to grip the ball and/or effect the path of his pitches and we really don’t know for sure but there seems to possibly be something interesting that may be worthing evaluating” then no one would have dogged him. Fangraphs is a place for analysis and in depth intelligent conversation, not jumping to wholly unsubstantiated conclusions.

Beau
Guest
Beau
2 years 8 months ago

It’s one thing to say “Hmmm looks like something weird on his glove, I wonder what it is, let’s find out” and an entirely different thing to say “OMG His glove looks funny he must have cheated OMG!”

Grohman
Guest
Grohman
2 years 8 months ago

Hi Guest, please go buy some vaseline and attempt to create a yellow/green pile of it in a spot on a leather baseball glove. Report back with results. Thank you!

HenduforKutch
Guest
HenduforKutch
2 years 8 months ago

When, exactly, did they start making green Vaseline? Did I miss that exciting new product release?

If it’s any sort of substance, it’s Bullfrog sunscreen. The same stuff that’s been seen multiple times in the Red Sox dugout throughout the season.

https://twitter.com/thepainguy/status/393392624758841344/photo/1

Also, a little common sense. If he were going to doctor the ball with something slick, why oh why would he use the two fingers that last contact the ball to do it? You don’t exactly gain control of your pitches by making them slip off your release fingers.

channelclemente
Guest
channelclemente
2 years 8 months ago

It’s not about last touch, first touch…it’s about the coefficient of friction at a discreet position on the balls surface, and it’s aerodynamic effect on drag at that point.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/dispatch_article/dissecting-a-mystery-pitch/

HenduforKutch
Guest
HenduforKutch
2 years 8 months ago

I understand that and it has nothing to do with my point. My point is that a pitcher, even a cheating one, would want control at the point of release. It’s why guys use resin and sunscreen.

If he were going to goo the ball, as alleged, it would make no sense to do so with his last contact fingers. In that scenario, he’d have a wildly moving ball with no ability to control its location. The goal is extra movement, not being wild, which is what lubing up those two fingers would do.

And yes, I know I just used a sentence containing “lubing up those two fingers”.

channelclemente
Guest
channelclemente
2 years 8 months ago

IF it’s froglube, it’s not a grease. That’s what, IMO, makes it so darn clever.

http://froglube.com/froglube-product-info/froglube-questions-answers/

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

Paul–

Yes, it *IS* too much to ask for commenters that you personally don’t like to be banned from posting. You don’t have to read the comments. They may have been long on passion and somewhat short on evidence, but they weren’t abusive or threatening to other commenters.

If we got rid of all of the commenters that one person or the other didn’t like for any ol’ reason, the boards would be empty, except for Carson.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 8 months ago

Carson would be gone for living in France. ;-)

jerryjerry
Guest
jerryjerry
2 years 8 months ago

Jeff throws gifs and two minute data plots and gets paid again.

I don’t get the use of data in the first two graphs. You say that there weren’t many balls in the middle pat of the strike zone but seems like a third of the pitches are right in the middle if the dots representing the baseballs are actually appropriately sized with the x and y axis.

Plus the webpage still hasn’t loaded up completely.

Hyun-Jin Kershaw
Guest
Hyun-Jin Kershaw
2 years 8 months ago

When Ortiz gets eaten alive by squirrels at Busch, the whole thing will even out.

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