Nerd of Batman, sports, logic, objectivity, Star Trek, personal enlightenment, Lincoln, the Rays, psychology, mic dropping. Kind've in that order.
KCP - Kentavious Caldwell Pope
WAR - Wins Above Replacement
FIP - Fielding Independent Pitching
LD% - Line Drive Percentage.
LOOGY - Left Handed One Out Guy
B/S - Batman/Superman
Jake Peavy and his walks, and hittableness, helped the Tigers far more than Jim Leyland's legendary lineup changes.
Though I battle math once again and disagree this from Twitter.
We act like a lineup shuffle is going to make a mult-run difference. Probably less than 0.1 runs in reality.— Matt Snyder (@snyder_matthew) October 17, 2013
###BTW, I like my back and forths with Matt!###
Maybe I'm stepping into a sabermetrics weight class I'm not qualified to mix things up in, but that .1 may be over the course of many games in season, or in the regular season. I find it difficult to digest that urgency can be accounted for in dire situations like the Tigers were facing in Game 4.
The Tiger offense 'ignited' due to, of all things, an RBI walk by the struggling Austin Jackson. Martinez singled, again(!), Peralta and then Avila walked to load the bases for Jackson. Bases loaded, you're seemingly oh for the postseason, and your team has been anemic trying to consistently score runs during October. Does Jackson step to the plate and think of his strike out demons AND how his bases loaded at bat MAY be the best AND final chance for the Tigers to stake, then a keep a lead?
See, there's that emotion that makes me toss aside a good deal of sabermetrics in the postseason. Emotion are running at peak highs and I think that should create a variance in numbers that are more reliable over 162 games where 1 there, doesn't mean as much as it does in October.
So, what was it Austin? How much did the lineup change affect you? From Gillian Van Stratt at MLive.com.
"It felt a little different," Jackson said. "Just hitting down in the order and coming up after guys have already hit and getting a chance to see what he's doing to guys. I know that I've been scuffling this postseason. It's not a secret. But I think the goal was just to get me to relax and just go out and play, don't put so much pressure on yourself."
"I have no idea if I would have had the same type of game (if I was in the leadoff spot today)."
Only Cabrera, who went down looking on an inside slider, struck out before Jackson's first at bat. I'll buy that Jackson seeing all those pitches before his turn MAY have given him a better game plan to attack what Peavy had that night. As he mentions, you obviously don't get that leading off a game.
The offense scoring runs, five of them in second, is probably what got the whole darn lineup - except for the hitless Fielder - to calm down and apply patient approaches at the plate. Hell, forget patience. The Tigers didn't chase bad pitches last night, and when you don't, the count usually winds up in your favor, and then you get YOUR pitches to strike soundly, then cross your fingers on the BABIP.
I guess the word I'll go with is less jumpy. The Tigers looked less jumpy last night, including Austin Jackson.
As for how many runs the Tigers would or wouldn't have scored based on Leyland's escape from loyalty or if things had remained as is, I think Jackson's second sentence up there gives us the answer.
- Jackson stole a base. Easily too! It's only a single, yet exemplary, piece of evidence that justifies my thinking that Jackson should bat down in the lineup next year. More opportunities to run in front of hitters who aren't the best on the planet.
- Whatever caused it, the Tigers faced the worst start by any starting pitcher so far in the LCS. Maybe Peavy was rattled.
- If the strike zone was as consistently called as it has been in these ALCS four games so far, we wouldn't need robot umps. Just above the shins and to the letters. You better be swingin'.