World News – US – How old school MLB beat the news: in the Astros’ big round that won Game 6


George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa come alive in the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead over the Rays (0:40)

A few months before the birth of Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, his 2020 American League Championship series counterpart Dusty Baker is said to have co-invented the high five with his late Dodgers teammate Glenn Burke Cash was born on December 6, 1977, and Baker had been a major leaguer for nearly a decade The capital slap occurred during the 1977 National League Championship Series, after Baker struck a grand slam

Baker broke into Major League Baseball as Hank Aaron’s teammate with the Atlanta Braves in the last season before the divisional game, in 1968, when you had to finish with the best your league record for making the MLB playoffs , at the time, was simply known as the World Series. A few years later he was waiting on the bridge when Aaron hit his 715th homerun to break Babe Ruth’s holy record

A few months before Kevin Cash got old enough to get his driver’s license, Baker had completed his first season as a big league manager. He led the 1993 San Francisco Giants to 103 wins, still the best of all the teams he led for 23 seasons in the canoe These giants didn’t make the playoffs They had finished one game behind Baker’s former team, the Braves, and that was the last season before baseball expanded its playoff format again

When Baker and Cash faced off in this year’s ALCS, they were an unlikely managerial couple in many ways Baker, 71, appeared to be done with the skipper’s troubles, until the Astros rushed into scandal and needed someone of his integrity to help restore confidence in the franchise Cash, 42, had guided the Rays to AL’s best record and, after six years in the Tampa Bay dugout, had earned a reputation as perhaps the best of the new generation of managers at the analytics-conscious baseball

The other thing that made the reunion so unlikely is that 2020 is the only one in baseball history that this could have happened Best League Record The Rays (40-20, 667) would have staked a playoff slot machine in any format up through the annals of the American League The Astros’ 29-31 mark required this year’s expansion to a 16-team format to allow the club to play So, Baker managed a 103-win squad that didn’t make the playoffs and a squad that was on a 78-win pace (over 162 games) that did.

That might be overkill, but all this incongruous fuss seemed to collide in one dramatic single inning in Friday’s ALCS Game 6 And because things went wrong Baker, he and Cash joined an exclusive management club together: only four managers reached a Game 7 in a series in which one team lost the first three games of the set. Only the 2004 Red Sox had already forced a game seven after falling into a 3-0 hole, which in the ALCS that year against the New York Yankees

The round in question was the start of the fifth, in which Tampa Bay entered with a 1-0 lead if the Astros continue to complete their epic comeback on Saturday – and we don’t know what the drama has in store for us then. – fans of both teams might point to this round for when things finally turned towards Houston

When the inning began Blake Snell had put all the zeros in but – like his Achilles heel all season – he hadn’t done it as effectively, marching three Houston batters and burning 71 shots. Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young winner, hadn’t completed six innings in any of his 14 previous starts this season, including the playoffs He threw 105 pitches in five innings but clinched victory in the ALCS opener.On the other hand, Houston’s precocious southpaw Framber Valdez was doing business despite allowing an early run

Snell’s control problems continued He started Gurriel with a strike on one change but missed three subsequent changes He tried to recover with a fastball and missed None of the pitches were close enough that he fumbles The five-length walk pushed Snell’s pitch count to 76 His season average was 82 pitches

With the lead man based representing the race tied, the leverage index climbed over 20, making it the statistical definition of a high leverage cash l ‘would have known, and he does a better job of matching the right pitcher with the right hitter with the right moment of leverage than any manager in the sport

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Diego Castillo goes wild in the Rays ‘bullpen He and his compatriot Nick Anderson had the highest average leverage when entering the games among the relievers on the Rays’ ALCS roster The two have closed games at times, but in 2020 no one beats an eye when Castillo is in the fifth inning of a 1-0 game

But Diaz, despite his strike from the right side, has an OPS career against lefties (692) significantly below his rating against righties (821) against “soft” throws like the curve ball and the change in which Snell excels, Diaz’s career OPS is 787, but just 610 on soft left-handed pitches Cash stuck with his ace

It took six throws – none of them fastballs – but Snell eventually left a slider and Diaz bounced him through the 5-6 hole on the left side for a mere 955 mph in out speed, it was a hard hit single against a staggered defense Against a traditional roster, it probably would have been a tough backhand play for Rays shortstop Willy Adames, but as he was shady towards second base in misaligned alignment, we’ll never know

So the leverage index went up even more, with two, no one came out and the spokes cling to that edge in a run Castillo was hot in a hurry in the paddock Snell hadn’t allowed a race, but he was in a traffic jam and his pitch count was up to 82, his season average Next up would be Houston light-hitting wide receiver Martin Maldonado, a clear double play candidate

“It was pretty clear,” Cash said afterwards. “I thought the way Valdez was throwing there wouldn’t be a ton of scoring opportunities for us and I wanted to put the ball in the Diego hand »

Money came looking for Snell, sure, And that’s the kind of thing where you’d really like to know what was going on in Baker’s mind at the time.In a 52 year career, how many times had he seen a manager (or been a manager) hit his ace in the fifth inning of a key shutout game?

We don’t know what was going on in Baker’s mind, but we have a pretty good idea of ​​what was going on through Snell’s noggin. Experienced lip readers would have noticed he was less than satisfied then. he was leaving the mound

“I was just frustrated,” Snell said, before adding, “Most of the time I’m aware of it, and I understand that Cash is really good at his job and good at what he does. fact I don’t agree with him; it’s going to happen Mainly because I’m a guy who wants to be there and go as far as possible « 

By leverage, this was the most intense moment in the game Castillo has a vicious lead / slider combo that saw him take out 28% of the right-handed people he’s faced this season Maldonado has struck out 33% of the time against the rightists

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For almost all of baseball history, and certainly for most of Baker’s long baseball career, this is a classic decay situation. Perhaps not for the Rays, as the players de Cash didn’t attempt a single sacrifice in the regular season When Manuel Margot posed one in Game 3 of the ALCS, the post-game reaction in the Zoom sessions was as if someone had reinvented the sport

And indeed, Maldonado has made the rounds of decay He has successfully laid 26 in his regular season career and has executed about 65% of his attempts, by reference to That’s about 9% better than the average decay attempt in a typical season Maldonado has taken a slider; then on another slider he dropped a manual decay on the third baseline The Rays had pulled their turns, but the decay was too precise, and Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Zunino jumped over it and threw Maldonado so that the runners were advancing

“I was actually lucky to have two sliders to carize,” Maldonado said after the game. “[Last year] I tried to play with Diaz on second base and I was referred to [Castillo vs.] 98 (mph) So I go in there, ‘Oh my gosh, now I have to be kidding this guy’ So I was lucky I had two decay sliders « 

It all seems to be the single brand of baseball we’ve watched all of our lives But what if the respective maintainers were in opposing dugouts? Would Baker have shot Snell? Would Cash have asked for a cavity?

Anyway, according to FanGraphscom, after the decay the Astros’ probability of winning dropped from 492% to 485% So if you think it was obvious that Cash would have made the same call as Baker, it isn’t Maybe Maybe not The numbers didn’t like cavities

Our third straight high-leverage batting action Springer had hit in his two at-bats against Snell For his career, he has a 760 OPS against him over 19 home plate appearances, but since 2018 when Snell is rose to ace status, Springer had 3 for 14, playoffs included

Meanwhile, Springer’s OPS against Castillo (including the playoffs) is a solid 1,125, though it’s only eight appearances on the board given that Cash had to anticipate Baker’s decision to call a decay in Maldonado, it was the match he had chosen: Castillo against Springer, rather than Snell against Springer

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The point is, those individual correspondence numbers you just read probably didn’t make it into Cash’s thinking at all. And they shouldn’t Managers used to make the mistake of reading too much in small sample correspondence a lot more often than they do now But this has become less common with the increase in knowledge, and this is not something Cash is going to be guilty of very often

What he is aware of, and more of a practitioner of, is limiting how often opposing hitters see one of his pitchers in a game It didn’t matter whether Snell hit Springer twice or Springer had better numbers against Castillo than Snell It only mattered that Snell’s control wobbled at a number of steps which was his typical threshold and that Springer saw him twice

Cash’s defensive lineup was even more interesting than the game As we know, the Rays are hyper-aggressive to change their defense. In this case, Cash didn’t just put his infield in a side change against Springer; he brought his infield back to try to reduce the binding run to the plate Three infielders were playing on the grass between second and third, while first baseman Yandy Diaz was also on the edge of the green, halfway between the first and the second

Castillo started with an inside slider that handcuffed Zunino and kicked him, but he quickly brought him down as Castillo ran from the mound to cover home plate, so Diaz stayed perched at third base On the next pitch, with the Rays’ infield in the same line-up, Castillo placed a 96 mph lead on the outside edge of the plate, although Zunino appeared to be set for an inside offer. Keep this in mind: Springer rarely hits a ground ball on the right side of the infield

Springer shortened his swing and pushed the fastball over the outer edge through the wide open right side of the infield Both runners scored The Astros’ odds of winning jumped from the aforementioned 48 5% to 64%

« I’m sure [coach] Gary [Pettis] was very happy, because every day at BP he stands at second base and challenges George to try to hit him, » said Baker. « George hasn’t hit him yet, so George would have hit him today I’m sure Gary Pettis was very, very happy, and we were even happier than Gary was »

Pettis, who was diagnosed with cancer in late September, has been at Petco Park for two games and has been an inspirational figure for Baker and his players

Here we’ll go back to summary mode The Astros had just taken the lead with a one-step starting streak, followed by the game’s three highest leverage games The Rays drew their starting ace who was working on a shutout, bringing one of their aces of relief in the fifth inning, played the infield and shifted at the same time, played the corners, did it all by the percentages The Astros broke up and picked two shifts to take the lead

Was old Dusty recovering from the new school cash? Nah, that’s a stretch Every move Cash made was logical and defensible, while Dusty’s accusations just had better execution.However, it was a nice contrast between what baseball is now and what it is. has always been

He also put the wheels in motion Jose Altuve doubled at Springer and went third on a passed ball Michael Brantley walked Carlos Correa single at Altuve Finally, Castillo bounced Alex Bregman in a late inning double play But the Astros were leading 4-1

The frame started with an Astros victory expectation of 362% It ended at 809% There was still plenty of play left and both teams scored three more times before the end But this round – the start of the fifth – was the tipping point, when Hail Mary’s return from Houston after desperation in the series felt complete Now the two teams are equal

“We’re all frustrated,” Cash said. “I don’t think [the players] are straining I think they recognize that we have the opportunity for the fourth time to do something special”

With another game to play, we know in Game 7 that Dusty is going to do Dusty and Cash is going to make Cash And, honestly, whether you prefer old school, new school, or a mix of all of the above, the would you like otherwise?

“Getting closer is not enough,” said Baker “I’ll show more emotion after our win tomorrow, then on the next challenge. It’s been a challenge, and it’s been more of a challenge of positive thinking and faith than a physical challenge in the field »

Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, MLB, Kevin Cash

World News – US – How Old School MLB Beat The News: In The Big Round of the Astros who won Game 6



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