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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Five infielders: twice in three days and yet we survive.

Five Infielders: how often this millennium? Saturday, April 7, 2012

Baseball is so stuck in its ways.  Come on, come on!  Try something, anything!  Switch from zone to man-to-man.  Press.  Do something different before we all keel over from abject boredom.


Friday, June 26, 2015, 8:15 pm, Busch Stadium III
Attendance: 45,558, Time of Game: 3:25
Cardinals 3, Cubs 2 in 10 innings

Bottom of the 10th, Cardinals Batting, Tied 2-2, Cubs' Justin Grimm facing 9-1-2

Peter Bourjos double
Kolten Wong single, Bourjos to 3B
Matt Carpenter IW, bases loaded
Jhonny Peralta safe on throwing error by RF, Bourjos Scores

Unmentioned in that play by play is that right fielder Mike Baxter was playing second base. Baxter fielded the ground ball by Peralta and threw home for a force play by Baxter's throw was wild. Cubs manager Joe Maddon had done something that he had done previously when he managed Tampa: positioned an outfielder in the infield. In this case Maddon had three regular infielders play on the left side between second base and third base, rather than have the extra fielder play near second base to field balls missed by the pitcher.

Saturday/Sunday, June 27/28, 2015, 4:10 pm, Citi Field
Attendance: 32,531, Time of Game: 4:33
Mets 2, Reds 1

Suspended Saturday after six innings; Completed Sunday.

Bottom of the 13th, Mets Batting, Tied 1-1, Reds' Nathan Adcock facing 9-1-2

Dilson Herrera BB
Curtis Granderson single to RF, Herrera to 3B

Ruben Tejada safe on SS error, bases loaded
Lucas Duda safe on Fielder's Choice 1B; Herrera Scores, RBI

Fielder's Choice my eye. That was Mets home town scoring completing a classic Mets game winning rally. Reds 1B Joey Votto completely butchered an easy chance on a high bouncer by Duda who did not deserve a game winning RBI. In the 11th Votto had let a routine ground ball go right under his mitt for a two base error; shades of Bill Buckner handing the Mets a win in game six, 1986 World Series, which the Mets won in seven; the grounder missed by 
Votto was much more difficult than the easy grounder hit by Mookie Wilson and missed by Buckner that would have won the WS right then for Boston.
Bill Buckner, Boston Red Sox circa 1986
by Craig Johnson from San Diego, CA
via Wikimedia Commons

As in the Cubs game unmentioned in the play by play: Reds manager Bryan Price had moved left fielder Skip Schumaker into the infield.

In common for both games:
- tied in extra innings
- minor point but facing 9-1-2
- bases loaded, no outs.

In other words both the Cubs and Reds were facing almost certain defeat and with their resources depleted.  They were desperate.  And yet both of these are VERY rare examples of something a little different being tried.

Defense as a Competitive Advantage. Monday, December 29, 2008

Competitive Advantage.  That's what a team hopes to achieve.  Any significant change that the team can master can result in a competitive advantage.

My friend Eric Weiss has this suggestion: five infielders.  Not just as a rare late game gamble but as an alignment for a ground ball pitcher.  My implementation would position the outfielder turned infielder behind second base.  That player would handle all plays at second, allowing the shortstop and second baseman to play further from the bag.


That was SEVEN years ago!

Innovation: basketball yes, baseball no. Friday, November 21, 2014

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