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Monday, November 02, 2009
And That Happened: World SeriesYankees 7, Phillies 4: On the one hand, the double steal by Damon in the 9th doesn't really matter, right? He'd be on second base before the A-Rod hit and still would have scored, even if someone had thought to cover third. On the other hand, Brad Lidge was on the mound, and that guy is something less than grace under pressure. You know he was worked up about that play when he hit Teixeira, and you have to figure he was still thinking about it when he threw the pitch to A-Rod.
But that's boring post-hoc analysis. As it happened, all I could think was "WOW!" I have no horse in this race, but I stood up and shouted at my TV when Damon took off from second, just as amazed at what was happening as I was amazed at how quickly Damon reacted, realizing that there was no one at third and that he had the edge in the footrace. My next thought was "man, they've been playing baseball for more than 150 years, so you'd think everything that has happened could happen, and then something like THIS happens." I'm guessing some guy will dig deep somewhere today and find an account of this happening before, but the fact that he'll have to dig is testament enough to that play.
But maybe it hasn't happened. Think about the perfect storm of weirdness that has to occur for that play to happen: (1) the overshift has to be on with the third baseman covering the play, just, like they had on for Teixeira; (2) someone has to be stealing with an overshift on, which by definition means that someone is attempting a steal when a fierce pull hitting lefty is at the plate, which is usually a low-percentage play; and (3) a defensive brain fart, to the extent the pitcher not covering third on a stolen base -- something which doesn't come up too often -- can be considered a brain fart. If I had to guess, I'd say that someone got a double steal awarded to them on a bad scorer's call at some point, when an error really should have been recorded. My guess is that it happening like Damon did it has never happened before.
Anyway, it's 3-1 now, with Cliff Lee on tap. My Yankees in 6 pick looks reasonably safe right now. Unless things like momentum and statements and dramatic turning points and all of that mean anything, in which case New York takes it tonight.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 6:29am
James has provided the statistical evidence for not using the defensive over shift against extreme pull hitters so many times he’s bored with subject. Can’t say as I blame him.
Posted 11/02 at 11:59 AM
I think James reason behind it is that it will only take away singles from Ortiz, but if he gets a hold of one, the shift wont do them any good because it will be over everyones head.
Posted 11/02 at 12:49 PM
Jack Marshall said...
Damon, who I have been told by reliable sources is otherwise dumb as a box of hammers, made an astounding, brainy play—-you can only applaud. It is clear that baseball smarts and real world smarts are completely different things, and Johnny doesn’t need the former. He’s just a wonderful, entertaining player.(PS: the most amazing on-field quick-thinking I have witnessed in person was Bill Buckner intentionally taking a strike three swing at a pitch he instantly judged would be a wild one, and getting to first safely.)
Posted 11/02 at 02:54 PM
Kevin S. said...
You needed reliable sources to tell you that? I figured it out by listening to him speak a couple times.
Posted 11/02 at 03:14 PM