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Game Twelve Reaction

2010/04/17

Fangraphs.com

Three up:
Alex Rios, +25.6% win probability added
Alexei Ramirez +9%
Jake Peavy +6.4%

Three Down:
Carlos “GIDP” Quentin -33.6%
Matt Thornton -27.3%
Andruw Jones -10.9%

Well that was no fun.

Jake Peavy finally threw a respectable game. After being criticized for not changing speeds enough, Jake threw 14.7% change-ups and 14.7% curves. They accounted for five of the six swinging strikes he drew against the Indians. The Tribe did not whiff on one of his sliders, nor on any of his fastballs. That low whiff rate is very un-Peavy like, which tells me he’s not out of the woods just yet, but he had command and did enough to keep hitters mostly off-balance. His fastball maxed out at 92 MPH, and he averaged around 91 MPH, an improvement over his last start where he was in the high 80’s. Here’s a fastball-by-pitch count velocity chart:

I have no idea why Peavy was called upon to work the 8th inning, other than for a favorable platoon match up, which is just dumb. Asdrubal Cabrera’s projected platoon splits is .335 versus LHP, .324 against RHP. That’s a .011 difference, no big whoop. And if Ozzie was going to bring in Matt Thornton, a destroyer of lefties and righties, there’s really nil advantage of trotting Peavy out there to face a few right-handed batters when his pitch count was already over 100.

Of course, Thornton was uncharacteristically bad today, making my point moot, but it was odd managing. Ozzie did the same thing when he intentionally walked Jhonny Peralta. The move worked out, but it increased the Indians run expectancy by 12%. On the other hand, Valbuena has a projected wOBA of .283 against lefties, so maybe it wasn’t such a terrible move.

Speaking of Valbuena, I can see why Jake went into an obsenity laced tirade in the 7th after walking him. He missed some close calls. Valbuena was later caught stealing, it was the first time A.J. caught a runner in nine attempts this year.

While Thornton was rather goat-like in his performance today, this one is on Carlos Quentin. With Beckham and Rios on the corners with one out in the sixth, Alexei Ramirez had tied the game and a big inning looked possible. Instead, Q grounded into a double-play to end the inning, for a net loss of 17.6% of win expectancy, a huge blow to the team’s chances.

Just a frustrating game all around,  at least Rios is starting to hit them where they ain’t. He’s been hitting the ball hard practically all season long. And yet oddly enough, he was moved down in the order today.

The Sox are dead last in the league in batting average on balls in play with .218. Ozzie can have his scapegoats, but sometimes teams just go through unlucky stretches.

Next week I’m going to be burning both ends of the candle between work and some church stuff, so the posting here wil be quite light, if there’s anything at all. After tomorrow, I’m not planning on doing any game recaps or much of anything until next Monday. I’m sure all fifteen of you will miss me. (I kid, readership has really spiked this past week. Thanks.)

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