Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Morning Hot Links

Yesterday was a whole bunch of dumb. Jim Joyce is dumb. The rest of his umpiring crew: Chad Fairchild, James Hoye, and Marvin Hudson are also dumb. Possibly incompetent. I can understand that Jim Joyce might not have been able to see the ball carom off Chisenhall's bat. But what was 3B umpire Marvin Hudson watching? It was right in front of him. Did that cost the Astros the game? I don't know. Two runs scored, and the Astros lost by three. But did that shift momentum? Heads in the game? Stupid loss in a stupid game in which the rotation is starting to feel the effects of a long season, injuries, and the piecemeal nature of the roster at the moment.

And why couldn't it be reviewed? Because apparently whether the ball actually hit the bat was a judgment call. There was no rule infraction (other than the umpires didn't know how to enforce the rules), so no review was available, even though the umpires consulted replay review to see if it could be reviewed. I made none of this up.

Here's the play:
*A.J. Hinch got tossed for trying to figure out what happened, and Mean Mr. Mustard didn't like it. On-field reactions:

Trevor Bauer: That was a big inning for us. I'm glad it turned out that way. I still don't really know what happened there, but I'm glad it worked out for us.

I think everybody in the ballpark saw the play as it was, except for the four guys that make the call...That type of game, this type of situation, common sense loses again, because it's really a situation we can't do anything about. 

I will say, [Jim Joyce] gives you as good an effort and is as conscientious as any umpire I've ever been around. 

I went to each crew member and asked them the same thing. If any of them had it hitting the bat, I would have turned around and called a foul ball. My partners couldn't help me on it. Since I called timeout, I scored two runs and put the other guy on second. 

*More Joyce:
I've got Jason (Castro), he jumped in front of me. I don't even see the bat, I don't hear the ball hit the bat. I have not seen the play yet. I will be looking at it tonight, you can bank on that. 

*Here comes the Sporting News saying it's not the umpires' fault, it's MLB's review system.
There is no reason for something that is black-and-white to not be eligible for video confirmation or reversal. A bat hitting a ball (or glove) is a lot cleaner of a call, in fact, than some plays that can be reviewed, such as whether a runner's foot comes a millimeter off a base while being tagged.


Hinch, on the series:
We come in here and get a split. You feel really good about it, except how it happened. We win the first two and lose the back two. Psychologically you're going to be a mess about it, because you feel like there's an opportunity lost. 

*David Paulino continued the Astros' starters streak of not getting to the 6th inning to eight games.

*Bad time for a couple of losses. The Yankees and Mariners won but the Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, and Royals were all off. The loss dropped the Astros' Playoff Odds to 16.3%.

*Alex Bregman is MLBPipeline's Hitter of the Year. Since August 6 he's hitting .328/.375/.608.

*Yulieski Gurriel is looking forward to seeing fellow Cuban Aroldis Chapman this weekend.

*Could Derek Fisher find his way into the outfield in 2017?

*The Villar-to-Milwaukee trade is Jon Heyman's 8th-best trade of the last two seasons.

*CSN Chicago: By passing on Kris Bryant, the Astros handed the Cubs a superstar. These are always fun. Bryant, on the draft process:
Honestly, I don't remember having any conversations with the Astros or sitting down with them. I feel like they had their mind up way in advance. 

*Corpus was on the verge of getting eliminated and then rattled off the last five runs of the game - all in the 8th and 9th - and walked it off in Game 2 of the Texas League playoffs:

*Lancaster staved off elimination with a...hmmm...17-11 win over Rancho Cucamonga in the most Lancaster game to ever be played.

*You can read about the historic home run surge of MLB's middle infielders here.

*The rebirth of Justin Verlander.