Saturday, May 12, 2018

Making your own luck

Mike Scioscia is in his 19th season as manager of the Angels. He's won 1,593 major league games and a World Series. He has, we can safely assume, a pretty solid notion of how to win games.

The "book" says you don't put the winning run on base. Scioscia violated that principle in the ninth inning, intentionally walking pinch-hitter Max Kepler to get at the weaker-hitting bottom of the Twins lineup. But Mitch Garver (pinch-hitting for Ehire Adrianaza) singled in the tying run, with Kepler taking third, and RBI machine Bobby Wilson got his second sac fly of the week.

Scioscia said after the game he preferred the matchups behind Kepler, and that's understandable. But intentionally walking the winning run is playing with matches and gasoline. On Friday, he got burned.


Wilson now has 10 career sacrifice flies (in 860 plate appearances). Question: Is that a lot?

Well, Miguel Sano has seven sac flies in 1,403 PA. Eddie Rosario, 14 in in 1,557 PA. I took a look at about a dozen Twins, past and present, and the only other one I encountered who averaged at least one sac fly per 100 trips to the plate was Gene Larkin (27 SF in 2,670 PA).

Larkin came to mind because his most famous plate appearance -- his game-winning single in Game Seven of the 1991 World Series -- was essentially a sac fly against a drawn-in outfield.

Hitting a fly ball on command isn't easy, and Wilson's apparent prowess is probably just a fluke.


The Fernando Rodney Experience was a lot of hard-hit balls for outs Friday.

Them's the breaks.


Another tweet:

To be blunt about it: Lance Lynn hasn't thrown enough strikes this year to deserve the breaks he compalins of not getting. He's walked 25 hitters in 34.1 innings. For a guy who throws almost nothing but fastballs, that's absurd.

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