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Defensive positioning last night


rferry

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Well managed game by Girardi last night. But I have a few questions about the 7th. In the bottom of the 7th when the Nats were threatening with men on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out. Frank Robinson pinch-hit Escobar in for Church to gain the platoon advantage against Tankersley. The entire infield shortened up to possibly throw out the runner at home. All but Uggla who was playing on the grass. With a righthander at the plate, shouldn't it have been Ramirez to have played deep? Bear in mind I have no illusions that a play at the plate would have been the least bit likely, or that Uggla has the reaction time to make a play from a shallow depth. But it was a very curious decision for one to make. If the ball was going to be tagged deep in the hole anywhere, it would have been in the shortstop's direction, not the secondbaseman's.

And why not walk Escobar when he got 2 or 3 balls, to put on the force back in play and regain the platoon advantage?

 

BTW, I like that Tank pitched 2 innings instead 1. Messenger and Herges are now available for the rest of the series. And with Willis starting today, Washington won't have many, let alone a series of left-handed batters, out there today so the need of a LOOGY appearance is minimal. Most will be coming off the bench if/when Willis comes out. Surely Pinto or one of our righthanders can handle a rusty pinch-hitter or two if need be.

 

Also the hit and run with Hanley and Hermida was excellent. And while a very appropriate call, I think the baserunners going on Uggla's at bat in the 6th distracted him.

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maybe escobar hits the ball the other way a lot...that may be why uggla was playing deep instead of hanley

 

Alex Escobar has always been known as a pull hitter.

Not the best sample size, but the best I can produce in 5 minutes between working, he has hit a groundball to the right side in all of 1 time in 15 at bats against the Marlins.

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Hanley plays up FOR the reason that Escobar pulls the ball a lot. If Hanley plays back, then the amount of time it takes for the ball to get to him gives the runner at 3rd a chance to score. If Hanley plays in, any tappers to short can be fielded and force the runner to stay at 3rd.

 

It's not like Escobar is known for scorching line drives like Miguel Cabrera here.

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Then what excuse for Uggla to play back? If he's likely to hit a soft grounder while pulling the ball, what type of mistake will be coming Uggla's way?

 

Because playing in Hanley is a risk, obvioulsy--if the ball is hit hard it could go past the shifted Hanley...And with your earlier stat in mind, nobody really expects him to go oppo, so keep Uggla back to get the 'sure' out in case it does come to him.

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OK, that makes sense. But combined with the unlikihood the ball ever comes to Uggla and for Ramirez to throw out the runner and that the crucial run was at 2B not 3B, it makes the decision suspect. It's not an one-run situation, so if you're going to play it safe to, do so with the player in the direction the ball is most likely to go to.

 

Another thought is that Uggla may have been sent back to prevent any groundball or line drive to the right, however unlikely, from reaching RF where Kearns could have beat a throw to the plate from.

 

Another thing from last night: Nolasco's focus on Soriano. He knew he made a mistake putting the leadoff runner on. He couldn't get settled. So he threw pickoff after pickoff after pickoff (and a ball or strike or two too) and eventually cancelled out his mistake a batter later. Thus allowing him to pitch a successful game.

 

OK, maybe that's more from a fan's perspective, but that 6.60 first inning ERA was on my mind that entire first and second inning.

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I can't remember the last time that there's been a thread started and filled only with just good 'ol baseball talk. A good opening question and comment, and good follow-up. This must be what the Cardinals board is like a lot of the time.

.

.Oh, and in my opinion, Nolasco hit Soriano on purpose. And throwing over to first many times again was part of the plan. Nolasco pulled off his plan well. Certainly didn't look like a rookie.

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