Archive for Effectively Wild

Effectively Wild Episode 1287: Contact High

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about a home-run robbery by 40-year-old Endy Chavez and some managerial news, then discuss the first two games of the World Series, focusing on the Red Sox strikeout narrative, the disappointment of Clayton Kershaw vs. Chris Sale and Sale’s playoff vulnerability, David Price’s second consecutive strong postseason start, a Fenway Park attendance mystery, mid-inning commercials on the Fox broadcast, Nathan Eovaldi’s free agency, Cody Bellinger’s deceptive fly balls, the decisions of Dave Roberts (including Pedro Baez vs. Alex Wood and not starting Max Muncy), and more.

Audio intro: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, "Talking Straight"
Audio outro: Oasis, "Hung in a Bad Place"

Link to Endy play
Link to Ben’s research on the contact advantage
Link to Jeff’s research on the contact advantage
Link to Jeff’s Bellinger post

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Effectively Wild Episode 1286: World Serious

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo, how long it takes to fall asleep, and international signings, then review the end of the NLCS, discuss the worst way to lose, forecast the legacy and future of the Brewers, and preview the Red Sox-Dodgers World Series matchup, including why the series is closer than it looks, the Mookie Betts conundrum, Clayton Kershaw vs. David Price, the status of Craig Kimbrel, the potential for bad blood, the Dodgers’ flexibility, the correlation between payroll and success, what makes an exciting World Series pairing, and much more.

Audio intro: The Roches, "You’re the Two"
Audio outro: Elliott Smith, "Coast to Coast"

Link to Kimbrel pitch-tipping article
Link to Ben’s Dodgers flexibility article

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Effectively Wild Episode 1285: October Gets in Gear

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about a wild week of playoff baseball, including all the action from Games 3 and 4 of the ALCS and Games 4 and 5 of the NLCS, Joe West’s infamous fan-interference call against the Astros, Andrew Benintendi’s game-saving catch, Craig Counsell’s Curly Ogden gambit with Wade Miley, Clayton Kershaw’s bounceback start, spygate and sign-stealing, Manny Machado’s literal heel turn, Counsell’s fateful decision to pitch to Cody Bellinger, why playoff baseball would be boring if not for the suspense, and more, plus an addendum about the Red Sox winning the pennant and the whereabouts of Willians Astudillo.

Audio intro: The Dead Weather, "Hustle and Cuss"
Audio outro: The Band, "The High Price of Love"

Link to Jeff’s post about Joe West’s call
Link to Jeff’s post about sign-stealing
Link to Zach Kram’s post about Counsell’s strategy
Link to Ben’s post about how playoff baseball is different.

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Effectively Wild Episode 1284: The Ghosts of Game Seven

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Game 3 of the NLCS, the apparent breakouts of Orlando Arcia and Brock Holt, Josh Hader as Poochie, why Yasmani Grandal and other playoff catchers can’t catch, whether a “cruising” pitcher is actually likely to keep cruising, and the 15th anniversary of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. Then (26:12) they bring on former Red Sox senior baseball analyst and Diamond Mind developer Tom Tippett to talk about how he started working for Boston, simulating the 2003 ALDS for Theo Epstein, simulating ALCS Game 7 for NESN, why Grady Little’s decision not to pull Pedro Martinez may not have been quite as bad as it seemed, how Boston’s subsequent success affects our perception of Game 7, the value of managers, how teams prepare for the playoffs, whether working in baseball is satisfying forever, and more.

Audio intro: Fionna Apple, "A Mistake"
Audio interstitial: Vitamin C, "Unhappy Anniversary"
Audio outro: Uncle Tupelo, "Fifteen Keys"

Link to post about catchers not catching
Link to Russell’s research about cruising pitchers
Link to MGL’s research about cruising pitchers
Link to MGL’s research about quick hooks
Link to Pedro’s recent comments on Game 7
Link to Tom’s Game 7 simulation article
Link to full Game 7 telecast
Link to Ben’s Game 7 retrospective

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Effectively Wild Episode 1283: Hey, Look, a Playoff Episode

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the lack of non-playoff banter and discuss the first two games of each championship series, touching on Clayton Kershaw bias, Matt Barnes curveballs, the finer points of pitcher-batter matchup stats, Josh Hader as a starter vs. as a reliever, the upcoming games, and much more (including a Brandon Woodruff-filled snippet of last week’s Patreon-only broadcast).

Audio intro: The Black Keys, "Just Couldn’t Tie Me Down"
Audio outro: Fleet Foxes, "Ragged Wood"

Link to Jeff’s Barnes post

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Effectively Wild Episode 1282: Play-By-Playoffs

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the response to their writing about the demise of the starting pitcher, the sources of their unease about baseball’s bullpen takeover, and the difficulty of previewing playoff rounds, then set up and break down the Astros-Red Sox ALCS and the Dodgers-Brewers NLCS and revisit the dullness of the division series round. After the break (37:50), they bring on Britni de la Cretaz to discuss her feature for The Ringer about why women broadcasters are still severely underrepresented in play-by-play roles.

Audio intro: Miniature Tigers, "Like or Like Like"
Audio interstitial: Land of Talk, "Got a Call"
Audio outro: Shy Boys, "Champion"

Link to Ben’s bullpenning opinion piece
Link to Jeff’s bullpenning poll
Link to Ben’s 2017 Keuchel article
Link to Stripling pitch-tipping piece
Link to Britni’s broadcasting article
Link to Jenny Cavnar’s call
Link to Christina Kahrl interview

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Effectively Wild Episode 1281: The Scary Sac Fly

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about an engaging Game 4 of the ALDS and sum up the Red Sox-Yankees series, the end of Astros-Indians, and the ALDS as a whole. Then they answer listener emails about working the count and avoiding the bullpen, why broadcasts don’t give screen time to streakers, and the best type of playoff rent-a-player, plus a Stat Blast about shifts and line drives.

Audio intro: The Avett Brothers, "All My Mistakes"
Audio outro: Tame Impala, "New Person, Same Old Mistakes"

Link to Sanchez sac fly
Link to the Jon Bois “Field Stormers” series
Link to Jeff’s post about Cleveland vs. Houston
Link to Ben’s Yanks-Sox story
Link to Ben’s bullpenning opinion piece

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Effectively Wild Episode 1280: The 1.8 Percent Strike

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Scott Oberg and the difference between good and bad balk calls, the Brewers sweeping the Rockies and the state of playoff bullpenning, the Astros juggernaut, Dodgers vs. Braves, Ronald Acuna’s grand slam, and the new Clayton Kershaw, the anomalous playoff performances of Kershaw and David Price, the Yankees’ sluggers and the appeal of balls knocked out of the ballpark, and more.

Audio intro: Built to Spill, "Gone"
Audio outro: Joel Plaskett, "Gone, Gone, Gone"

Link to Oberg balk
Link to Sam on balks
Link to Acuna grand slam
Link to Gary Sanchez homers
Link to Glenallen Hill homer
Link to Mark McGwire homer
Link to the .247 shirt

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Effectively Wild Episode 1279: October, Continued

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the difficulties of postseason scheduling, both opening games of the NLDS, a better bullpen game by the Brewers, the Rockies’ decision to pitch to Mike Moustakas, what Christian Yelich is doing differently, the composition of the Braves and the depth of the Dodgers and Astros, and Chis Sale’s history of fading down the stretch, then answer listener emails about what would happen to a manager who consistently lost in the World Series, why teams haven’t shuffled their lineups in response to the opener, Madison Bumgarner (and every other hitting pitcher) vs. Chris Davis, how quickly stats could distinguish between Chris Davis and Khris Davis, and awarding fans for throwing balls at baserunners, plus a Stat Blast about 100-loss teams beating 100-win teams.

Audio intro: The New Pornographers, "Three or Four"
Audio outro: Pink Floyd, "Free Four"

Link to Jeff’s Yelich post
Link to Ben’s Sale article
Link to the .247 shirt

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Effectively Wild Episode 1278: The Postseason Swing of Things

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan review the saber-savvy ESPN broadcast of the NL wild card game, relive the highs, lows, and pivotal/memorable moments of both wild card games, defend the bullpen game from an analytical standpoint (and criticize it from an aesthetic standpoint), and ruminate about every division series matchup. For the first time in ages, they do not discuss Willians Astudillo, although he’s always in their hearts.

Audio intro: Broken Bells, "October"
Audio outro: Amy Winehouse, "October Song"

Link to Hechavarria catch
Link to Baez-Arenado hug
Link to Jeff’s Ottavino post
Link to Jeff’s Betances post
Link to Ben’s Sale article
Link to research on the “times through the order” penalty
Link to the .247 shirt

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Effectively Wild Episode 1277: The Best Baseball is Back

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about a wild end to the regular season, including the season’s final Willians Astudillo update (maybe), endings for Joe Mauer, David Wright, and Mike Scioscia, Khris Davis batting .247 again, the Orioles’ final ignominy, surgery for Shohei Ohtani, final regular-season stats about strikeouts, hits, homers, and fastball velocity, Jeff Wilpon’s incredible comments, an unprecedented two-tiebreaker day, the upcoming wild card games, and more. Then they bring on White Sox and ESPN broadcaster Jason Benetti to discuss ESPN 2’s alternative, stat-slanted broadcast of the NL wild card game, the future of sabermetric broadcasts, and playoff storylines and commentating cliches, and Ben talks to baseball-book author and math and statistics professor Jim Albert about the odds of Davis finishing with the same batting average in an unprecedented four consecutive seasons.

Audio intro: The Replacements, "When it Began"
Audio interstitial 1: T. Rex, "Jason B. Sad"
Audio interstitial 2: The Neighborhood, "24/7"
Audio outro: The Postal Service, "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"

Link to Mauer catching video
Link to Wilpon comments
Link to Jim Albert’s homepage
Link to new edition of Analyzing Baseball Data with R

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Effectively Wild Episode 1276: Reviewing the Regular Season

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the MVP races, the definition of value, Jacob deGrom, and Christian Yelich, plus an investigation into teams’ international practices, CC Sabathia’s costly hit by pitch, whether steroids were really responsible for steroid-era home run rates, and (don’t worry) Willians Astudillo. Then they review the 2018 regular season, including their favorite moments, the biggest ways baseball changed, what they learned about Mike Trout, how preseason narratives held up, teams that raised or lowered their stock the most, and the articles they most regret writing.

Audio intro: Super Furry Animals, "It’s Not the End of the World?"
Audio outro: Guided By Voices, "When We All Hold Hands at the End of the World"

Link to Sabathia HBP video
Link to Jeff Passan’s report
Link to Ben’s steroid era article
Link to Melisa Reidy-Russell comments

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Effectively Wild Episode 1275: Collapses and Surges

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo, Chris Davis and Khris Davis, the end of a Clayton Kershaw streak, Jacob deGrom, the ever-changing NL playoff race, the rapid spread of the opener, Joe Maddon’s comments about Addison Russell, and the worst team collapses of 2018, then answer listener emails about the Cubs’ offense and the most surprising division race, Bryce Harper’s bad defense, intentionally deflecting pickoff throws, the relievers with the most wins after blown saves, and the worst 2018 lineup that could be constructed out of former All-Stars, plus a Stat Blast about the biggest single-season differences between a hitter’s high- and low-leverage performances.

Audio intro: Buffalo Springfield, "Down to the Wire"
Audio outro: The Kinks, "Close to the Wire"

Link to Dan Hayes article on Astudillo
Link to Ben’s article about Kershaw’s streak
Link to article about the Brewers’ one-out opener
Link to Jeff’s post about Schwarber
Link to Moustakas pickoff play
Link to Effectively Wild crossword puzzle

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Effectively Wild Episode 1274: Meet the New Manager, Different From the Old Manager

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo, Jeff McNeil, and Juan Graterol, Shaq Thompson and the highest minor-league strikeout rates, the last week of the season, the lowest ERAs of the second half, Bryan Mitchell, and why voting for pitcher awards may be getting even more complicated, then (20:14) bring on The Athletic’s Levi Weaver to talk about the Rangers’ reasons for firing Jeff Banister, what his dismissal says about managerial styles, the value of managers, and the future of managing, the mystery of Manager of the Year Award voting, the power of Jon Daniels, covering Bartolo Colon and Adrian Beltre in what could be their final seasons, the resurgences of Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar, the streakiness of Rougned Odor, how the “opener” spread to Texas, Jeff Baker’s thumb, Brady Feigl and Brady Feigl, writing for The Athletic, and whether covering bad baseball leads to better baseball writing.

Audio intro: Hour Glass, "Down in Texas"
Audio interstitial: Levi Weaver, "All Our Days"
Audio outro: Elliott Smith, "Almost Over"

Link to Ben’s article on Shaq Thompson
Link to Levi’s story on Banister’s firing
Link to Levi’s story on Jeff Baker’s thumb
Link to Levi’s viral Feigls tweet
Link to Levi’s Athletic links

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Effectively Wild Episode 1273: Baseball, But Louder

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the response to their previous episode, whether improvements in catching or improvements in umpiring have done more to reduce the variation in framing performance among teams, a Mike Trout snub, Breyvic Valera’s contact rate, and the latest revelations about Addison Russell’s alleged domestic abuse, then answer listener emails about Luke Voit and Yankees home-run records, Mike Clevinger and Indians strikeout records, whether it would be noticeable if baseball gradually grew twice as loud, cryogenic freezing after Tommy John surgery, and how long a fan would last as a GM, plus a Stat Blast about two surprising Royals, Ryan O’Hearn and Adalberto Mondesi.

Audio intro: The Milk Carton Kids, "Hear Them Loud"
Audio outro: The Band, "Thinkin’ Out Loud"

Link to Ben’s article on framing
Link to Melisa Reidy’s post about Russell
Link to Trout snub response

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Effectively Wild Episode 1272: Take Money to Make Money?

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Trevor Story’s close call, then (9:04) bring on former MLB pitcher Michael Schwimer, the founder and CEO of Big League Advance, to talk about the mechanics and morality of giving money to minor leaguers in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings if they make the majors, why the company was the subject of a now-dropped lawsuit, the dilemma of low minor-league pay, why Michael maintains that BLA is helping players, BLA’s investment model and efforts to predict pitcher injuries, and Michael’s proposed solution to the rising strikeout rate. Lastly, Ben and Jeff review the interview and offer their thoughts on BLA, minor-league pay, and injury prediction.

Audio intro: Aerosmith, "Make It"
Audio interstitial: Neil Young, "Roger and Out"
Audio outro: Spinal Tap, "Gimme Some Money"

Link to Ken Rosenthal on BLA
Link to Jack Dickey on BLA
Link to Sheryl Ring on BLA
Link to Jonathan Perrin podcast episode

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Effectively Wild Episode 1271: The Stretch Run

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo and Jacob deGrom (as usual), the perception of the Cubs vs. the reality of the Cubs, the dramatic, puzzling increase in infield shifting against Mike Trout, the checkered career of honest but pugnacious umpiring legend Tim Hurst, the future of two-way players, Joel Sherman’s column about new stats driving fans away from baseball, and the end of the American League’s interleague winning streak.

Audio intro: Sloan, "Same Old Flame"
Audio outro: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, "The Losing End (When You’re On)"

Link to Craig Wright’s newsletter
Link to Joel Sherman’s column
Link to Joe Posnanski’s response post
Link to Jeff Fletcher on the Angels’ two-way players

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Effectively Wild Episode 1270: A Cup of Their Own

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo going viral again, a Shohei Ohtani fun fact, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, and how to gauge a player’s value to his teammates, the emergence of A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano, the impending ends to the careers of David Wright and Joe Mauer, a Kyle Freeland update, the surprising NL West race and AL wild card race, and the overlooked excellence of Jeremy Jeffress. Then (34:42) they bring on Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri to talk about her feature on the Women’s Baseball World Cup, the origins and progression of the tournament, baseball vs. softball, the slow growth of women’s baseball in the United States, why the game has grown in Japan, why women’s baseball players don’t all aspire to be big leaguers, MLB’s involvement in promoting women’s baseball, and more.

Audio intro: Jukebox the Ghost, "The Popular Thing"
Audio interstitial: Steely Dan, "Change of the Guard"
Audio outro: Jenny Lewis, "Sing a Song for Them"

Link to Ken Rosenthal on Martinez and Betts
Link to Emma’s article
Link to Christina Cauterucci on co-ed youth sports

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Effectively Wild Episode 1269: Best in the Business

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the unlikely championship season of the Northwest League’s Eugene Emeralds, Jacob deGrom’s latest hard-luck loss, and maintaining perspective about the Phillies’ late-season swoon, then answer listener emails about an MLB ballpark sleepover, whether making ballparks bigger would counter the three true outcomes, Chris Davis’s strikeouts vs. batting average and the worst seasons of all time, Javier Baez and “creating chaos,” the value and cost of good and bad third-base coaches, and clutchness, Dansby Swanson, and Giancarlo Stanton, plus a Stat Blast about the odd batted-ball effects of Citi Field and a last-minute Willians Astudillo update.

Audio intro: Lord Huron, "Emerald Star"
Audio outro: Rakim, "Flow Forever"

Link to Emeralds walk-off balk
Link to Craig Edwards on Baez
Link to Russell Carleton on third-base coaches
Link to Jeff’s post on Citi Field
Link to Carson Cistulli on the best hitters in space
Link to first Astudillo video
Link to second Astudillo video

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Effectively Wild Episode 1268: Replay, Reviewed

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo, Jeff’s ideal afterlife, Mike Trout’s future and what an extension for Trout might look like, the Tyler Flowers extension, Michael Kopech’s impending Tommy John surgery and the UCL scourge, how being Tampa Bay’s “bulk guy” is affecting Ryan Yarbrough’s WAR, Mallex Smith vs. Giancarlo Stanton, a divisive call against the Astros and the state of replay review, the Cubs and bad weather, Oakland’s incredible bullpen, John Gant’s odd batting line, a wild Triple-A ending involving Giovanny Gallegos, and more.

Audio intro: T-Bone Walker, "Stormy Monday"
Audio outro: Rilo Kiley, "Close Call"

Link to Ken Rosenthal on Trout
Link to Jay Jaffe on Tommy John surgery
Link to Yarbrough WAR article
Link to Astros-Red Sox call
Link to Jeff’s A’s bullpen post
Link to Meg Rowley on replay

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