Archive for October, 2015

2015 World Series Game Four Live Weblog

7:49
Carson Cistulli: This is the World Series Game Four Live Weblog. Please don’t hesitate to begin saying whatever you’ve come here to say.

7:50
Carson Cistulli: Perhaps consider this: what the over/under on infield fly balls induced by Chris Young? That seems like a moderately interesting question to contemplate.

7:52
Comment From tz
5. Or, one per inning pitched

7:55
Comment From Mayor McCheese
12

7:55
Comment From Jenstrom
I’ll say 3. And aren’t we lucky to chat with sexy Carson Cistulli!

7:57
Neil Weinberg: The price is also being required to chat with Owen and me.

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Effectively Wild Episode 756: The Unwritten Rules of Syndergaard-Escobar

Ben and Sam do a quick bonus Saturday episode on Mets starter Noah Syndergaard’s first pitch of World Series Game 3.


The Best of FanGraphs: October 26-30, 2015

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times, orange for TechGraphs and blue for Community Research.
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The Adjustment Noah Syndergaard Made

The first pitch Noah Syndergaard threw Friday night sent Alcides Escobar to the ground. Syndergaard didn’t give Escobar an opportunity to swing because the instinctive priority was for him to get his head out of the way, and Syndergaard didn’t bother trying to disguise his intent after the game. He owned up to it — he wanted to give the Royals a little fright. The Royals, in turn, were furious, as they’re allowed to be, but the rest of the game spun the narrative wheel, and it ultimately settled on “Syndergaard delivered a message.” In the end he pitched pretty well and the Mets emerged victorious, so Syndergaard gets the favorable press.

But for whatever it’s worth, if Syndergaard did succeed in intimidating his opponent, it didn’t look that way early on, when the brushback was most fresh. After Escobar got knocked down, the Royals scored a run in the first. They scored another two in the second. The immediate aftermath, for Syndergaard, was troublesome, and the national broadcast speculated that he’d only succeeded in waking the Royals up. It was only after Syndergaard turned his game around that the conversation grew more sunny. And as a part of that process, Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud made a change on the fly.

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2015-16: Day 15 of 15 (Part Two)

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the giant and large 2015-16 free-agent market.

Below are links to ballots for six of this year’s free agents, representing the second half of the reliever group — and the final collection of players available for balloting, providing the author hasn’t omitted an important player like usual.

Other Players: Brett Anderson / Nori Aoki / Alex Avila / Antonio Bastardo / Joe Blanton / Jonathan Broxton / Mark Buehrle / Marlon Byrd / Asdrubal Cabrera / Trevor Cahill / Yoenis Cespedes / Wei-Yin Chen / Bartolo Colon / Johnny Cueto / Chris Davis / Rajai Davis / Alejandro De Aza / Ian Desmond / R.A. Dickey / Stephen Drew / Marco Estrada / Doug Fister / Dexter Fowler / David Freese / Yovani Gallardo / Jaime Garcia / Alex Gordon / Zack Greinke / Jeremy Guthrie / J.A. Happ / Jason Heyward / Rich Hill / J.P. Howell / Tommy Hunter / Torii Hunter / Chris Iannetta / Hisashi Iwakuma / Austin Jackson / John Jaso / Kelly Johnson / Matt Joyce / Scott Kazmir / Howie Kendrick / Kyle Kendrick / Ian Kennedy / John Lackey / Mat Latos / Mike Leake / Tim Lincecum / Kyle Lohse / Justin Masterson / Justin Morneau / Brandon Morrow / Daniel Murphy / David Murphy / Mike Napoli / Dioner Navarro / Bud Norris / Gerardo Parra / Steve Pearce / Mike Pelfrey / David Price / Alexei Ramirez / Colby Rasmus / Alex Rios / Jimmy Rollins / Jeff Samardzija / Alfredo Simon / Geovany Soto / Denard Span / Justin Upton / Juan Uribe / Chase Utley / Will Venable / Shane Victorino / Matt Wieters / Chris Young the Outfielder / Chris Young the Pitcher / Jordan Zimmermann / Ben Zobrist.

***

Shawn Kelley (Profile)
Some relevant information regarding Kelley:

  • Has averaged 52 IP and 0.7 WAR over last three seasons.
  • Has averaged 0.9 WAR per 65 IP* over last three seasons.
  • Recorded a 0.9 WAR in 51.1 IP in 2015.
  • Is projected to record 0.7 WAR per 65 IP**.
  • Is entering his age-32 season.
  • Made $2.8M in 2015, as part of deal signed in January 2015.

*That is, a roughly average number of innings for a starting pitcher.
**Prorated version of 2016 Steamer projections available here.

Click here to estimate years and dollars for Kelley.

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2015 World Series Game Three Live Blog

7:53
Paul Swydan: OK, let’s do this. The Royals and the Mets are both wearing traditional uniforms, thank heavens. I’m going to get a beer and then we’ll get started. Hope you’ll join us all night!

7:57
Comment From Jon
Let’s go Mets! FAN… do do do

7:59
Paul Swydan: Looking at the poll results, it seems that people think that Syndergaard is going to pitch well and that the Mets are going to win. And that they have to win.

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2015-16: Day 15 of 15

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the giant and large 2015-16 free-agent market.

Below are links to ballots for six of this year’s free agents, the first half of the reliever we’ll consider here.

Other Players: Brett Anderson / Nori Aoki / Alex Avila / Mark Buehrle / Marlon Byrd / Asdrubal Cabrera / Yoenis Cespedes / Wei-Yin Chen / Bartolo Colon / Johnny Cueto / Chris Davis / Rajai Davis / Alejandro De Aza / Ian Desmond / R.A. Dickey / Stephen Drew / Marco Estrada / Doug Fister / Dexter Fowler / David Freese / Yovani Gallardo / Jaime Garcia / Alex Gordon / Zack Greinke / Jeremy Guthrie / J.A. Happ / Jason Heyward / Rich Hill / Torii Hunter / Chris Iannetta / Hisashi Iwakuma / Austin Jackson / John Jaso / Kelly Johnson / Matt Joyce / Scott Kazmir / Howie Kendrick / Kyle Kendrick / Ian Kennedy / John Lackey / Mat Latos / Mike Leake / Tim Lincecum / Kyle Lohse / Justin Masterson / Justin Morneau / Brandon Morrow / Daniel Murphy / David Murphy / Mike Napoli / Dioner Navarro / Bud Norris / Gerardo Parra / Steve Pearce / Mike Pelfrey / David Price / Alexei Ramirez / Colby Rasmus / Alex Rios / Jimmy Rollins / Jeff Samardzija / Alfredo Simon / Geovany Soto / Denard Span / Justin Upton / Juan Uribe / Chase Utley / Will Venable / Shane Victorino / Matt Wieters / Chris Young the Outfielder / Chris Young the Pitcher / Jordan Zimmermann / Ben Zobrist.

***

Antonio Bastardo (Profile)
Some relevant information regarding Bastardo:

  • Has averaged 54 IP and 0.7 WAR over last three seasons.
  • Has averaged 0.8 WAR per 65 IP* over last three seasons.
  • Recorded a 0.6 WAR in 57.1 IP in 2015.
  • Is projected to record 0.4 WAR per 65 IP**.
  • Is entering his age-30 season.
  • Made $3.1M in 2015, as part of deal signed in January 2015

*That is, a roughly average number of innings for a starting pitcher.
**Prorated version of 2016 Steamer projections available here.

Click here to estimate years and dollars for Bastardo.

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Effectively Wild Episode 755: The Soundtrack to Your World Series Weekend

Ben and Sam banter about the Market Diner, then discuss World Series strategy and answer listener emails.


Syndergaard-Ventura One of Best Young Matchups Ever

One year ago, at just 23 years old, Yordano Ventura became one of the youngest pitchers to start a World Series game in the last 30 years. The presence of a young starter in the World Series is not a completely rare phenomenon, naturally. Ventura, for his part, was the 64th pitcher in Series history to make a start before turning 24 years old, per Baseball Reference Play Index. Noah Syndergaard is set to be the 65th when the two face off this evening. Widening the criteria a little, one finds that 105 pitchers have made World Series starters before turning 25 years old. Ventura, now one year older, is set to be one of just 19 pitchers to make a start in two different World Series’ before turning 25, a list including Babe Ruth and, over the last 30 years including, only Madison Bumgarner and Steve Avery. Tonight’s encounter between Syndergaard and Ventura represents one of the better young pitching matchups in World Series history.

Over the last three decades, the only pitchers younger than the 2014 edition of Ventura to record a start in a World Series game were Avery, Bumgarner, Dwight Gooden, Livan Hernandez, Bret Saberhagen, Michael Wacha, and Jaret Wright. Noah Syndergaard, a few months younger than Ventura was last year, is set to join that list. The giant Mets right-hander has struck out 20 batters in 13 postseason innings thus far and looks to do what his counterparts could not as the Kansas City Royals have proven difficult to strike out.

While 105 pitchers under the age of 25 have made starts in the World Series, it’s quite rare to find two young hurlers pitted against each other. In the last 15 years, it has happened only twice: Madison Bumgarner against Tommy Hunter in 2010 and Cole Hamels against Scott Kazmir in 2008. In all of World Series history, there have only been 24 such matchups and only 19 if you remove repeat matchups in the same series. The chart below shows every World Series matchup sorted by average age.

World Series Matchups Featuring Pitchers Under 25
Year Player Age Player Age Average Age
10/23/1981 Dave Righetti 22.329 Fernando Valenzuela 20.356 21.343
10/22/1991 Scott Erickson 23.262 Steve Avery 21.191 22.227
10/26/1991 Scott Erickson 23.266 Steve Avery 21.195 22.231
10/22/1997 Tony Saunders 23.176 Jaret Wright 21.297 22.237
10/31/2010 Tommy Hunter 24.120 Madison Bumgarner 21.091 22.606
10/19/1986 Roger Clemens 24.076 Dwight Gooden 21.337 22.707
10/7/1950 Bob Miller 24.113 Whitey Ford 21.351 22.732
10/12/1914 Lefty Tyler 24.302 Bullet Joe Bush 21.319 22.811
10/8/1934 Schoolboy Rowe 24.270 Paul Dean 22.055 23.163
10/14/1969 Jim Palmer 23.364 Gary Gentry 23.008 23.186
10/11/1964 Ray Sadecki 23.290 Al Downing 23.105 23.198
10/30/2015 Yordano Ventura 24.149 Noah Syndergaard 22.256 23.203
9/29/1932 Lefty Gomez 23.308 Lon Warneke 23.185 23.247
10/10/1970 Jim Palmer 24.360 Gary Nolan 22.136 23.248
10/14/1970 Jim Palmer 24.364 Gary Nolan 22.140 23.252
10/8/1912 Jeff Tesreau 24.217 Smoky Joe Wood 22.349 23.283
10/11/1912 Jeff Tesreau 24.220 Smoky Joe Wood 22.352 23.286
10/15/1912 Jeff Tesreau 24.224 Smoky Joe Wood 22.356 23.290
10/11/1909 Ed Summers 24.310 Nick Maddox 22.336 23.323
10/21/1972 Gary Nolan 24.147 Vida Blue 23.085 23.616
10/3/1953 Whitey Ford 24.347 Billy Loes 23.294 23.821
10/9/1934 Dizzy Dean 24.266 Elden Auker 24.018 24.142
10/22/2008 Cole Hamels 24.300 Scott Kazmir 24.272 24.286
10/27/2008 Cole Hamels 24.305 Scott Kazmir 24.277 24.291
SOURCE: Baseball Reference

The encounter between Dave Righetti and Fernando Valenzuela back in 1981, when the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees, represents the youngest such matchup of all tim . Only two of the young-pitcher games have occurred in a Game Two: Jeff Tesrau’s Giants team defeated Boston’s Smokey Joe Wood in 1912 and Dizzy Dean’s St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Tigers’ Elden Auker in 1934. If the Mets and Royals get to a Game Seven and the rotation stays as is, Noah Syndergaard against Yordano Ventura would become just the third such matchup of all-time and the first in more than 80 years.

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JABO: These Royals Might Look Familiar

Let’s talk about contact. It’s what everybody else is doing, right? The Royals make a lot of it. They did all season, and they still are in the playoffs, even against Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom. No team this season posted a lower strikeout rate; no team was even particularly close. Contact is the skill around which the Royals lineup is built.

Right around the end of the regular season, I wanted to try to put these Royals in some kind of historical context. I wanted to know how good they are at hitting the ball, relative to other teams over the past several decades, but it’s not as easy as just looking at the strikeouts because whiffs have increased over time, especially lately. You have to make adjustments, so I folded in yearly league averages and standard deviations. What I found: by the resulting measure, the Royals were baseball’s best contact-hitting team since at least 1950. I went back no further, because I didn’t see the point.

It’s interesting, that conclusion. 1950 was a long time ago, and an awful lot of baseball has happened ever since. Mickey Mantle hadn’t debuted yet; Dave Winfield hadn’t been born yet. So it’s notable to post the most extreme anything between 1950 and 2015. In taking the top spot, the Royals just barely edged out the runner-up. The team knocked into second place was the 2002 Angels.

Immediately, that catches your eye. The Royals are the best contact-hitting team in ages. Those Angels were the second-best contact-hitting team in ages, and they won the World Series. For Royals fans, that’s encouraging, probably, and from my standpoint, now that I think about it deeper, there are a ton of parallels between these two ballclubs, even beyond putting the ball in play. Those Angels might be the best historical comparison for what the Royals currently have going on.

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Alex Anthopoulos and Title Inflation

Yesterday, Alex Anthopolous left the Blue Jays, turning down a contract to remain with the team because, as he said in his conference call, he didn’t think it was a good fit anymore.

“I don’t know that I’ve had to make a harder decision in my life, but I did what I felt like I needed to do,” Anthopoulos said. “I just didn’t feel like this was a right fit for me going forward.”

It’s pretty clearly not a coincidence that Anthopoulos’ exit coincides with the arrival of Mark Shapiro, who was hired in August to take over as the new team president. Shapiro was brought in to replace Paul Beeston, so while it’s not a new position in the Blue Jays organization, the fact that ownership openly courted guys with baseball operations backgrounds — first Kenny Williams, then Dan Duquette, and now Shapiro — makes it seem that they’re changing the responsibilities of the position. Beeston was a business guy, an accountant who worked his way up through the organization’s financial side, but the Blue Jays actions over the last year make it clear they wanted a baseball guy in the team president role.

This is the new trend in baseball, of course. Over the last five years, it has become en vogue to promote the General Manager to President of Baseball Operations, or some similar title. The Blue Jays, in fact, became the 12th team to employ a recently promoted GM (or manager, in one case) in that job, with the title of GM going to someone else in the baseball operations department.

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Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/30/15

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Hello friends

9:12
Jeff Sullivan: Welcome to baseball chat

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Tonight, there will be another baseball chat, for Game 3. It shall be hosted by Mr. Swydan!

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: In that chat, you’ll talk about the game. In this chat, we’ll talk about whatever?

9:13
Comment From William Binkers
hello?

9:13
Jeff Sullivan: Hi!

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The Mets, Fastballs, and Pitching to a Scouting Report

The narrative, coming into the World Series, was impossible to ignore. Boiled down to its most simple form, it went like this: the Mets are here, playing in the World Series, because they throw really good fastballs. The Royals are here, playing in the World Series, because they’re really good at hitting fastballs. There’s much more to it than that, of course, but that was the most talked-about story, the Mets’ fastballs vs. the Royals’ ability to hit them, and so something had to give. The Mets would either overpower the Royals like few other teams have been able to, or the Royals would become the first team to strike back against New York’s heat.

With the Royals now leading the series 2-0, you can guess what happened. You’d guess the latter, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong — you don’t outscore your opponent 12-5 and take a 2-0 lead in the World Series without hitting some heaters — but the correct answer might actually be “neither.”

Allow me to explain. The Mets, see, haven’t exactly thrown their fastball. In Game One, Matt Harvey threw a career-low rate of heaters to the Royals, throwing just 30 fastballs while going to his breaking and offspeed stuff 50 times. Granted, he also may have had his career-worst stuff, and the couple ticks he’d suddenly lost in velocity are a reasonable explanation for why he’d be more reliant on his non-fastball offerings.

Then also, there’s this:

A line of thinking exists that if you change what it is that’s made you successful in light of your opponent’s strengths, then you’ve already lost. It sort of goes hand-in-hand with the “playing not to lose, rather than playing to win” mantra. As a Mets fan, it’s probably not the thing you want to hear. On the surface, it makes it seem like the Mets had decided beforehand that their strength wasn’t as strong as the Royals strength, and so they changed courses before they had a chance to find out. Of course, there’s some give-and-take here, and it would have been silly for Harvey to not have considered a potential Plan B if he didn’t like what he saw coming out of the gate. He didn’t like what he saw coming out of the gate, and so he opted for Plan B. And in the end, he really didn’t pitch that poorly.

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Noah Syndergaard’s Comps Imply Ace Potential

After falling to 2-0 against the Royals and their high-contact ways, the Mets will turn to rookie Noah Syndergaard for game 3 tonight. After disappointing outings from both Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, the Mets are hoping he’ll pitch like he has all season long, and keep his team within striking distance of a World Series title.

I last wrote about Syndergaard when he was called up back in May. Heading into the year, KATOH pegged him for 11.5 WAR through age 28, which was the second highest forecast among pitching prospects, and sixth highest overall. Although he posted an unremarkable 4.60 ERA in a full season at Triple-A in 2014, Syndergaard’s near-30% strikeout rate pushed his KATOH forecast to elite levels. A pitcher’s minor league strikeout rate is a very strong predictor of big league success, and Syndergaard’s was the highest of any Triple-A pitcher at the time of his call up. All while being one of the youngest pitchers at the level.

Thus far, Syndergaard’s lived up to KATOH’s high expectations — and then some. He maintained his near-30% strikeout rate in his rookie season, and actually improved his walk rate at the highest level. The end result was a 3.24 ERA and 3.25 FIP — both figures tops among rookies with at least 130 innings pitched. Those numbers don’t even consider the stellar job he’s done in this year’s postseason: a 1.44 FIP with a 38% strikeout rate against some of the best hitters the National League had to offer.

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Is Baseball Bad at Bunting?

During the fifth inning of Game Two, as Alcides Escobar attempted to bunt against Jacob deGrom, Harold Reynolds decried the current state of bunting in professional baseball. Even after he admitted that hard throwers are hard to bunt on, he went on a mini tirade: “I know it’s hard to get one down against a guy that throws this hard, but I’ve never seen this bad of bunting. Ever. Ever! In baseball, just across the board. I know Escobar can handle the bat, but we see this every night. They have to move the runner. Not just the Royals, but across the board.”

The moment was probably lost for a couple reasons. For one, Escobar decided to swing-away after two failed bunt attempts, and promptly tied the game with a single to center. There was too much excitement to think too deeply about the state of bunting in our game. Now we have a second to breathe, though.

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Jacob deGrom and Hitting the Wall

One of the many struggles of every baseball team in the major leagues is to balance the desire to win now and the desire to win in the future. That’s why we have arguments every April about reforming the arbitration system, why teams agonize over trade deadline decisions, and why we talk about pitcher workloads toward the end of each season. We want young, exciting players to be on the field as much as possible. Due to long-term team interests, that doesn’t always happen.

For the Mets, we’ve already witnessed an innings-limit battle play out during September with Matt Harvey, Scott Boras, and Harvey’s potential playoff availability in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. And, before the World Series started, Mets manager Terry Collins alluded to Jacob deGrom also feeling the possible effects of overuse:

“He’s at a stage where the ball doesn’t have the life down, even though he has the velocity,” Collins said. “It doesn’t have the life it once had. He’s been missing balls up in the zone.”

Usually, paying too much attention to word choice in manager interviews is a pointless exercise, but when the greatest strength of a team – its young, dominant starting pitching – is publicly called into question by the team’s manager, it’s at the very least something to pay attention to.

The concern over “the wall” that Collins has been voicing in relation to his young starters is merited. Harvey is coming off a Game One start in which he had some of the worst stuff of his career. And, despite deGrom’s healthy velocity during Game Two (his average fastball was 95.5 mph, not far from his regular season average of 95.8 mph), fatigue doesn’t affect every pitcher’s game in the same way. There are many indicators, as we’ll see below, that suggest deGrom hasn’t quite been himself in his past few starts.

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Your Opinion of Royals Magic

The other day, I received a tweet saying 72 wins is the new #6org. It was in response to a Jon Heyman article that ripped a Royals preseason 72-win projection. This is just about the best possible time to do that — the only better time, maybe, to write that article could be next week. Now, a difference: the #6org thing is ours. The 72-win Royals projection came from Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA system. So, this could be their own version of #6org, but it’s not like PECOTA was all that exceptional. All the systems pretty much agreed. Our own systems projected the Royals to go 79-83. That looks better than PECOTA, but it still looks bad. The Royals have made the numbers look silly, is the point.

They were projected to go maybe .500, and they’re close to winning the World Series. A year ago, they were projected to go something like .500, and they came close to winning the World Series. The year before that, they were projected to go something like .500, and they won 86 games, up 14 from the year previous. Right now the Royals are being described every 10 seconds as relentless. They look like they’re unstoppable, and though they’ve come very close to being stopped, and though they were stopped just last October, there’s still something of a special feeling. The Royals, we’re told, do things differently. On observation, it’s hard to disagree.

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Jacob deGrom, Pitch-Tipping, and Last Night’s Fifth Inning

Before the World Series, Tom Verducci wrote an article about the Royals’ advance scouting. Specifically it discussed the scouting done by third base coach Mike Jirschele on Jose Bautista’s throwing habits. There was also a suggestion that the Royals had picked up on David Price tipping his changeup. They used both pieces of information to beat the Blue Jays. So it appears the Royals are pretty good at this advance scouting stuff.

Fast forward to last night’s Game Two against the Mets. Starter Jacob deGrom gave up four runs in the fifth inning on a walk and five singles. Following the game, which the Royals won 7-1, Adam Rubin of ESPN spoke to two people he identified as ex-Met players who suggested deGrom had been tipping his pitches.

From Rubin’s article:

As for deGrom, one ex-Mets player speculated he may have been tipping pitches.“I can’t figure it out yet, but they have something on deGrom out of the stretch,” the retired player indicated. “They better figure it out or they can’t win this series.” Another ex-Met saw the first ex-player’s comment and added: “He must speed up on his heater and a tad slower with other stuff. But I think it’s in his facial expressions — seriously.”

Interesting! The conspiratorial answer often is, after all. The fact that the Royals just did this to Toronto — and to such good effect, too — adds plausibility to the discussion. Even so, I’m not sure I agree. I went back and re-watched the inning to see.

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Lorenzo Cain and a Brief History of Mad Dashes Home

The World Series is delivering its thrills, but one can still feel a residual tingle from Lorenzo Cain’s first-to-home dash on Eric Hosmer’s single in the deciding game of the ALCS. Part of that thrill is due to this being a repeat performance by Cain. In the fifth and deciding game of Kansas City’s ALDS, he went first-to-home on a Hosmer single, chipping away at Houston’s 2-0 lead on the way to a 7-2 triumph. Not as dramatic as plating the go-ahead run in the eighth, but it loomed pretty large at the time.

What hasn’t gotten so much attention is the parallel to one of the most fabled plays in baseball history: Enos Slaughter’s Mad Dash Home. In Game Seven of the 1946 World Series, the Red Sox scored two in the top of the eighth to tie the Cardinals 3-3. (Sound familiar?) In the home half, Slaughter got on first for St. Louis, and when Harry “The Hat” Walker laced a two-out hit, Slaughter never slowed down, racing home ahead of the throw to score the decisive run.

The similarities, and differences, between the plays are enlightening. The greatest apparent difference is that Walker was credited with a double. This is widely regarded as a scorekeeper’s mistake. Walker took second on the throw home, and should have had a single, thus making Slaughter’s basepath aggression much clearer. Hosmer left no room for doubt both of his times by staying at first base.

For other matters, it will probably help to look at the plays in question. First, Slaughter in 1946. The quality of the footage is not at all great — you can hear the rattle of the film projector from which it’s taken — but given the age of the play, we are probably a little fortunate to have something this good.

The footage shows Slaughter running with the pitch. We see a close angle on him breaking from first, then cut to a shot behind the plate for Walker’s hit, so it’s not seamless, but it’s clear from how fast Slaughter enters the second shot that he was indeed going.

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Effectively Wild Episode 754: The Royals Are Reading Your Mind

Ben and Sam banter about the brilliance of Roger Angell, then discuss the latest Ned Yost news, Jacob deGrom’s supposed pitch-tipping, and more.