Thursday, June 28, 2007

Week #2 -- Tigers @ Yankees

After I had finished running the Tigers against Jon, Chris took over as manager (while Ted is busy) to visit the house that Ruth built. I can't do a play by play anymore ...

Game one had Kenny Rogers starting against Randy "I'm not in Arizona anymore" Johnson. The Yankees got a run in the 2nd (of a Giambi double and Cairo Triple), but then the Tigers scored two in the 3rd and 4th (one off an A-Rod error).

In the bottom of the 6th, Damon drew a walk, followed by an Rodriguez homer. Then, after Cabrera popped out, Sheffield got a solo HR to send Rogers to the dugout (replaced by Ledezma). The Tigers get a run in the top of the 7th (a Monroe HR), but the Bombers scored another three in the bottom of the 7th, to go up 7-5. Detroit got another unearned run (again due to A-Rod) in the 8th, but Rivera came in to shut Detroit down, striking out two batters to defuse a one-out runners on 1st and 2nd situation.

Then the Yankees batted around (stranding 3, but three more runs). Rivera took out the 2-3-4 of the Tigers for the save.

Game 1
DET -- 6R, 7H, 1E
NYY -- 10R, 12H, 3E

Wang gets the Win (7 1/3IP, 7H, 4ER (2 Unearned), 3BB, 3Ks
Rivera gets the save (1 1/3 IP, 0H, 0BB, 2Ks)

Rogers gets a No Decision (5 1/3IP, 6H, 4ER, 2BB, 1K)
Ledezma gets the Loss (2 1/3 IP, 5H, 6ER, 3BB, 1 SO)
Grill (1/3 IP, 1H, 1BB)


Game two featured Jaret Wright vs Justin Bonderman.

In the second game, the Yankees were up 5-0 after 3, only to have the wheels come off in the 5th. Casey singled, then Inge lined out, Santiago struck out. Then a walk, single, double, homerun (sending Wright to the showers), a double, another HR, and a merciful groundout.

Detroit up 7-5.

The Yankees got a run in the bottom of the inning, to narrow the gap.

Scott Proctor (replacing Wright) then turned on the heat, not allowing a hit during the 6th, 7th and 8th (and a single walk). The Yankees got a run in the bottom of the seventh to tie, and then went ahead in the bottom of the 8th.

Out came Rivera, and earned his Master Sergeant rank (Three up, Three down) for the Save.

Pitchers Lines
Wright (ND) -- 4 2/3 IP, 8H, 5ER, 1BB, 2K
Proctor (W) -- 3 1/3 IP, 2H, 2ER, 1BB, 3K
Rivera (2 Saves) -- 1 IP, 0H

Bonderman (L) -- 7 2/3 IP, 13 H, 8 ER, 3BB, 6K, 1HBP
Rodney -- 1/3 IP

So the Tigers fall to 1-3, and the Bronx Bombers live up to their name, scoring18 runs in 16 innings.



At 12:11 AM, June 29, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

Some ugly stats for the Tigers ...

Giambi: 9 plate appearances -- A single, double, two home runs, a walk, two strikeouts.

Phillips in game two had two doubles, a triple, and a successful bunt.

The Yankees Batted .362, OBP of .432, with slugging of .797. (That makes the Series OPS 1.229.

And I mis-spoke. Two errors on Jeter in the same game (the last error was on A-Rod).

At 1:18 AM, June 29, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...


Thanks for playing out my games for me. Also, thanks for the great session reports.

I'm going to have to study my line-up. It's a bad sign to go to 1-3 since I started with my best guys. I'll have to think about this.

At 6:31 AM, June 29, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Great session report. I don't even like baseball, but I did feel myself suddenly craving a hot dog and cold beer!

At 5:04 PM, June 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm sorry--I feel bad that I was the acting manager for your two losses. As Brian is my witness, though, there wasn't a lot of managerial input that ever came into play. The pitchers always got replaced when they got fatigued (well, I think one pitcher stayed in for one additional out, but he got it and then got yanked). I hated using up one of Grilli's appearances to just get one out but that was a situation where Ledezma loaded the bases in the 8th, thereby fatiguing him. The game was still within reach at that point, so I thought I had to replace Ledezma to get that final out and give the Tigers any kind of chance.

I also used a pinch hitter for the DH (to improve a righty-lefty matchup) and EVEN a pinch runner on another occasion to replace a slow guy at first and get him into scoring position at a point where the Tigers were down by 1 in the eighth inning. The Bronx Bombers were just too much, though. They just tear up left-handed pitching (and pretty much right-handed pitching, too, but to a lesser extent).

Nevertheless, the dynamics of the game are fun to watch. Watching the Tigers do nothing for four innings and then score 7 runs, not just in the same inning but all with two outs in the same inning, was pretty exciting stuff.

After watching the Yankees though, one thought comes to mind:

I'm glad I'm playing a National League team.

At 5:09 PM, June 29, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

Ted, regarding your lineup ...

I don’t think too much was done wrong (with one exception) in your games vs the As and Yankees. I mean, you scored 13 runs in two games against the Yankees. Taking two losses on that is just tough.

You outscored the As by a run, a lopsided win and slightly less lopsided loss.

Thoughts on Strat-o strategy:

1) Most of what you do doesn’t matter. Assuming you are playing your starting lineup, sometimes the dice speak. I suspect that perhaps half of the games are beyond the manager’s control (assuming no egregious errors).
2) [The Exception] That being said, the one area where managers can exert a big control is correctly playing people against Left Handed Pitchers (LHP). Because of the small sample size (at bats vs lefties in 2006), some players have huge cards vs LHP, and others have terrible ones. Often OPS changes by over 100 points! The Yankees have good hitting all around (my 1-4 hitters are all as good or better than the A’s best hitter). But against LHPs some of my backup guys become much better. And some of my good players suffer. (OK, not many). Do you know which of your platoon players had great numbers against LHPs? (See comments in this post).
3) Batting Order matters, but not that much. The book “Baseball by the numbers” estimates that for real baseball, a manager using an OK lineup instead of an optimal one probably only loses ~10 runs a season. That seems low to me, but if you said ~40 runs, it would still be low. Still, follow the obvious rules… put a fast, high OBP guy first, and heavy slugging guys 3-4th, and your weakest batters last.
4) You need good defense at 2B and SS. All pitchers give the SS seven chances for an X-result, and 6 to the 2B. [Hitters vary, but pitchers don’t]. By contrast, 1B only gets 2. Put your defensive studs in the right place. (This mimics baseball, where the 1B player is often a power hitter, and mainly just catches throws to him. In short, the dumping ground for poor defenders).
4a) You kept playing Guillen at first, but isn't he your shortstop? I didn't check his numbers, but Baseball-reference lists him as mostly a SS last year. I have no idea if that cost you on defence (although I worried for a second that I had misread your lineup).
5) Good management (before and during the game) earns small (probabilistic) improvements. Perhaps a good manager earns a few % of ‘extra’ wins. In a 16 game season, I doubt this will matter.

Of course, Bad management can have bigger effects. Paging Grady Little...

At 5:10 PM, June 29, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

Oh, and as Dennis noted in an email (to me and Ted), one plate appearance doesn't cost you a game, so the Pinch Hitting/Pinch running decisions Chris made are basically cost-free (and correct, IMO).

At 11:02 PM, June 29, 2007, Blogger Jonathan W. said...

So, does Milton Bradley being injured at bat in the first inning on my 2nd game vs Ted count as an appearance for him? Since he only had one plate appearance.

At 1:47 PM, June 30, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Brian: Thanks for the input on strat-o-strategy.

Chris: No worries. The in-game decisions are sparse, and I have no doubt you acted in good faith.

Plus, it's in everyone's best interest to keep the league moving along.

Baseball is a game of stats, and in a short league of 16 games anything can happen.


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