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 Post subject: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 4:39 am 
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I like the way the team is hitting, and since the pitching on a nightly basis has keep the team in pretty much every game, i think being on the winning side, could be somewhat better if the manager would throw away the BOOK, now and then.

This mans insistence on giving up outs for bases is just a little too much for me to handle.

Why , would you have Andy La Roche bunting,(and yes, i know the result), when , a, he is suppose to supply power and produce runs, and b, that is not what the team needs him to do. Leave the bunting for the guys who CAN , and are expected to bunt, La Roche should not be EVER required to lay one down. I don't know An Laroches track record on sac bunts, but i do read about his track record with the bat, and that's to pop the ball to the outfield, and have a selective eye at the plate. Yes, monday, the play worked, but in the long run, do you want to give up an out, to move up runners, with your 8th place hitter batting(and yes, i know Jack was 4 for 4, but how many times you think that scenario is going to be repeated on a consistent basis. I just think that is 1 stupid trait of Russsel's that has to be held ACCOUNTABLE for, and needs to change it. In short, play for the big inning once in awhile, and let your run producers produce.

My second rant is why the hell would he bring Capps in to begin the 9th with a 6 run lead?. The weather didn't look that great, the guy has had arm pain recently which made him virtually a batting practice pitcher surrounded by the 4 or 5 day lay off he had to take.
Now, i am sure he will not be available for tuesday, when with the extra day of rest, would have his pitches clock more in the 90's with CONTROL, than 80's and all over the place, that i saw tonight.

He had Veal ,Burnett, (maybe Meek) all down there, and an inning by any of them(even if they got touched up a little) would have probably got the job done.
Washington quit, there was going to be no comeback by them.

Just some stuff this guy is doing , and i can't figure out why.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:41 am 
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just one other thing pertaining to our beloved manager.

How in the world does he not come out of the dugout, and at least ask for some kind of clarification on how that check swing 3rd strike to Dunn was not called, and what the home plate ump was doing with his hands. You gotta go out and at the LEAST make these 2 umps have a conference to figure out if the guy swung, was called out, or should have even had to appeal the play.
On the other hand, with a 6 run lead, i think , on sunday, he comes out to question a bang bang play to 3rd base, after your team has pretty much put the game away.
Just don't know what he is thinking, or why he is not thinking.
Gotta realize the situation, tonight's call was worth coming out and questioning, sunday's , at that point in the game was not.


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 Post subject: Pitching Capps
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:08 am 
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I disagree. I think this was another good game, like the one the other day, to get Capps back out there to regain his "stuff". With a big lead, Capps did not need to be perfect. I liked using him there personally.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 8:07 am 
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Capps needs to be out there to figure out how he used to be able to pitch.

As far as the Dunn check swing, Russell possibly didn't even get a good look at that.

I agree that, because of how many runs we had just scored, it didn't make a lot of sense to argue when Hinske got called out at third, even though he was actually safe.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:25 pm 
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The call on Dunn was simply bizarre. He went so far that the home plate umpire should have rung him up. You don't need to appeal on a swing that goes that far.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Could it possibly be that JR and Jim Tracey are step brothers or related somehow? Because your all right, Not much difference,or even as much of a spark under either one of them. Same thing game after game. oh, I mean year after year.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Andy LaRoche is supposed to supply power to the lineup, however, he has not proven that he can do that yet. You are better off, with one out or less, giving up an out to move runners into scoring position. Percentage-wise, a runner on second and third will be more likely to score opposed to having a runner on first and second.

Now, if Andy had struck out, or grounded into a DP, a lot of people would be bashing him and/or JR for not making the decision to bunt the runners over and put them into scoring position.

As for Capps, he spent some time last week working with Kerrigan on his mechanics. I would, as some others have already said, rather have Capps come into a game situation with a very comfortable 6 run lead opposed to a much less comfortable 2 or 3 run lead. That way, he can continue to work on mechanics in a "real life" situation. And, if he gives up one or two runs, no harm except to his ERA.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:28 pm 
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cappscrew138 wrote:
You are better off, with one out or less, giving up an out to move runners into scoring position. Percentage-wise, a runner on second and third will be more likely to score opposed to having a runner on first and second.



While a runner on third is more likely to score than a runner on second, and a runner on second is more likely to score than a runner on 1st, I'm not sure that is what you are comparing, because you are also adding an out.

For instance, I believe that a runner on 1st with no outs is actually more likely to score than a runner on second with 1 out, so it doesn't make sense to give up an out to move him over. I don't have those percentages at hand, but I'm certain someone will share them. Not sure what those numbers are for runners on 1st and 2nd vs 2nd and 3rd.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Me, the unabashed advocate of situational bunting, found myself disagreeing with Russell on that call last night but it had nothing to do with statistics. However, I completely understand the thought process and - although I would have had LaRoche swinging away - can't say that I find the strategy to be lacking in logic.

This is what Russell was probably thinking: With runners on first and second, the double play remains a possibility. LaRoche has decent speed but is a double play candidate. With Adam LaRoche on second base and Robinzon Diaz on first base, a base hit by Andy LaRoach would likely have to find a gap to score a run. Pretty much looking at station-to-station baseball with Adam LaRoche leading the charge.

So . . . move LaRoche and Diaz up a base. With Adam LaRoche on third base and Diaz on second base, most base hits will tie the game because Diaz has much better wheels than LaRoche. Jack handles the bat well and the Nats would likely concede a run to get an out. So . . . good bet that - even if Jack makes an out - one run is in. That leaves Moss at the plate to tie the game and he's on fire.

I wouldn't have played it that way . . . I would have been inclined to give Andy the chance to swing away but with the explicit direction to be initially looking to the opposite field. But, just because I see it a different way doesn't mean that there isn't a method to what some consider madness.

And, oh yeah, if it would have been Robinzon Diaz on second base, Andy LaRoche on first with no outs and Jack coming to the plate, I would have definitely bunted Jack to let Moss and Young have the chance to drive in the tying runs.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:00 pm 
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I'm sure if you listen to Extra Innings, Rocco would have those percentages.

I guess in that situation, I'd view giving up an out to move runners along the same lines as giving up a run to get a sure out.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:02 pm 
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palushock wrote:
I like the way the team is hitting, and since the pitching on a nightly basis has keep the team in pretty much every game, i think being on the winning side, could be somewhat better if the manager would throw away the BOOK, now and then.

This mans insistence on giving up outs for bases is just a little too much for me to handle.


According to MLB.com, the Buccos have 17 sacrifice bunts this year. 2 by Morgan, 2 by L'il LaRoche, 1 by Morgan, 1 by Robinzon and 11 by pitchers. 38 games and 5 sac bunts by positional players.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:15 pm 
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I'm not real sure about the pitchers that Russell had available last night. I have serious doubts that Burnett (3 innings, 46 pitches on Saturday) and Meek (2 innings, 37 pitches on Sunday) were available last night. I was shocked that Gorzo was only used for 5 pitches with a 3 run lead (when he was pinch hit for)...especially with a lefty (Grabow) brought in behind him.

With Grabow having thrown 33 last night...I have doubts that he's available, although Burnett and Meek should be ready. Capps...I'd say only if REALLY needed. Don't know what the situation would be with Gorzo...as I can't imagine he is used to being used multiple days in a row.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:54 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
palushock wrote:
I like the way the team is hitting, and since the pitching on a nightly basis has keep the team in pretty much every game, i think being on the winning side, could be somewhat better if the manager would throw away the BOOK, now and then.

This mans insistence on giving up outs for bases is just a little too much for me to handle.


According to MLB.com, the Buccos have 17 sacrifice bunts this year. 2 by Morgan, 2 by L'il LaRoche, 1 by Morgan, 1 by Robinzon and 11 by pitchers. 38 games and 5 sac bunts by positional players.


So what is your point using the mlb stat, i am not sure what you are getting at.
You think the team(position players) bunt too much, or too little?.
I just don't remember NH bringing up the fact that La roche is a good man to have up there when you need to lay down a sac bunt.
I have heard that he is a run producer, has a good eye at the plate, and can hit the ball to All fields with power.
That's the kind of guy i want up there with 2 on and no outs.
Not to give his Ab away just so the other 2 slow footed guys can move up in scoring position, for the 8th place hitter in the lineup. Only thing worse would be to bunt the 8th place hitter to let the pitcher take a shot at the rbi
There are players who work on the ART of bunting, and some who just drop a couple down as a preamble to batting practice. An Laroche is not here to bunt, he doesn't seem comfortable doing it, so why the hell is he asked to lay one down, when his mental concentration is probably peaking with the prospect of really coming up with a big hit. I just don't get russell's reasoning sometimes.

Let the freaking guy hit, play for the big inning, he k's or hits into a dp, wellknow what, if it doesn't happen now, it will surely happen somewhere down the road, so deal with it then.
He doesn't seem to take in the variables, and the main one was the crappy nationals relief corp and the DEFENSE.







Not gonna get a chance to face a low level staff like that when you are playing division games(except maybe for Cincy), you gotta take a shot, and get the bats thumping, ALL OF EM.
You got to knock these guys around when you get the chance. It's just not agressive baseball, besides the fact the washington Defense is worst in the majors. Russell MO is always play it safe , and by the EFFIN Book, and play small ball.

Last night the Pirates gave up 7 runs, most of the time doing that will result in a loss any how.
This team is finally, after 2 and 1/2 weeks starting to lace the ball, and score runs, and he wants to just play in the safety first routine, which usually backfires, due to a strikeout(usually la Roche, take your pick), at the wrong time.
I just hope this team can finally turn it around soon, also hoping that Russell is not another albatross thats gonna hold them back.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 1:19 am 
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palushock wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
palushock wrote:
I like the way the team is hitting, and since the pitching on a nightly basis has keep the team in pretty much every game, i think being on the winning side, could be somewhat better if the manager would throw away the BOOK, now and then.

This mans insistence on giving up outs for bases is just a little too much for me to handle.


According to MLB.com, the Buccos have 17 sacrifice bunts this year. 2 by Morgan, 2 by L'il LaRoche, 1 by Morgan, 1 by Robinzon and 11 by pitchers. 38 games and 5 sac bunts by positional players.


So what is your point using the mlb stat, i am not sure what you are getting at.
You think the team(position players) bunt too much, or too little?.
I just don't remember NH bringing up the fact that La roche is a good man to have up there when you need to lay down a sac bunt.
I have heard that he is a run producer, has a good eye at the plate, and can hit the ball to All fields with power.
That's the kind of guy i want up there with 2 on and no outs.
Not to give his Ab away just so the other 2 slow footed guys can move up in scoring position, for the 8th place hitter in the lineup. Only thing worse would be to bunt the 8th place hitter to let the pitcher take a shot at the rbi
There are players who work on the ART of bunting, and some who just drop a couple down as a preamble to batting practice. An Laroche is not here to bunt, he doesn't seem comfortable doing it, so why the hell is he asked to lay one down, when his mental concentration is probably peaking with the prospect of really coming up with a big hit. I just don't get russell's reasoning sometimes.

Let the freaking guy hit, play for the big inning, he k's or hits into a dp, wellknow what, if it doesn't happen now, it will surely happen somewhere down the road, so deal with it then.
He doesn't seem to take in the variables, and the main one was the crappy nationals relief corp and the DEFENSE.







Not gonna get a chance to face a low level staff like that when you are playing division games(except maybe for Cincy), you gotta take a shot, and get the bats thumping, ALL OF EM.
You got to knock these guys around when you get the chance. It's just not agressive baseball, besides the fact the washington Defense is worst in the majors. Russell MO is always play it safe , and by the EFFIN Book, and play small ball.

Last night the Pirates gave up 7 runs, most of the time doing that will result in a loss any how.
This team is finally, after 2 and 1/2 weeks starting to lace the ball, and score runs, and he wants to just play in the safety first routine, which usually backfires, due to a strikeout(usually la Roche, take your pick), at the wrong time.
I just hope this team can finally turn it around soon, also hoping that Russell is not another albatross thats gonna hold them back.


You claim that Russell "insists" upon giving up outs for bases. I point out that in 38 games, the positional players have a total of 6 sacrifice bunts. That is less than once every six games. That is less than once every 54 innings. At least to me, that is pretty far from "insisting" upon giving up outs for bases. You are free to disagree but I just don't see any fascination or overuse of sacrifice bunts.

There are many reasons why this team is currently 18-21 as opposed to 26-13, 24-15 or even 22-17 and pretty far down on that list of reasons would be managerial decisions. The suggestion that John Russell is somehow holding this team back (or being an albatross as you put it) is - in my opinion - completely without merit.

As for Andy LaRoche, he's on the team to help them win. If helping the team win involves getting a big hit (like tonight's 2 run HR) or whether it involves moving runners along so that someone else can drive them in, it shouldn't matter. And, at least to me, he looked perfectly comfortable laying down the bunt on Monday. Not only that but he executed the play perfectly.

Again, I'll point out that I didn't agree with the move then and, if the same situation arose, I wouldn't call for LaRoche to bunt. But . . . that doesn't mean that there isn't logic or reason for taking the opposite approach. Reasonable people can disagree. People disagree with me all the time. Doesn't make them idiots and it doesn't make me an idiot.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell is turning into a real head scratcher.
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 4:18 am 
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A few things this thread reminded me of:

I don't like when Russell bunts with the pitcher with 1st and 3rd and 1 out. Especially if it's Maholm or Duke. I'd take my chances at scoring the 1 run without a hit from 1 of them and staying out of the double play then relying on Nyjer (or I think it was Young once) to have to get a base hit.

I watched the Astros rally back to tie the Cubs in the 9th the other day. Tied up, 1st and 2nd, 0 outs and Cecil Cooper's got Jason Michaels up there pinch-hitting swinging away. He flew out to center and they didn't score again. Why he didn't bunt there, I have no idea. In fact, I probably put my best bunting pitcher off the bench and save Michaels for later if it goes extras. Cubs scored in the bottom of the inning and won the game.

Anyone else getting tired of home plate umps making check-swing calls? The reason this bothers me isn't because they miss whether or not the batter swung alot. More often I'll see a good pitch called a ball because the home plate ump is watching the check swing to see if the hitter went around. It can still be a called strike if the batter holds up his swing, but the ump seems so preoccupied with the check.


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