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  1. #1
    Frobby is offline Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Big ball trumps small ball -- at least for one day

    When the Rays pushed 2 runs across in the bottom of the 6th, I really felt like the baseball gods were teaching us a lesson. The O's had failed to get runners in or over with the bases loaded and one out, and twice with a leadoff runner on 2B. So when the Rays executed a sacrifice to get a runner from 2nd to 3rd with one out, and then hit a perfect sac fly to score the go-ahead run, it just felt like the Orioles were getting what they deserved. I was getting all prepared for a depressing Opening Day loss where the Rays out-executed us on the so-called "fundamentals."

    Then two big clutch hits -- Jones' 2-run double and Davis' 3-run homer -- and small ball became irrelevant.

    I have a feeling that there will be many days where I lament that this team isn't very good at making "productive outs," and where I'll be jealous of the teams that are good at it. But hopefully, those days will be outnumbered by the times where the Orioles come up with a couple of big blows out of several opportunities, that will render the small ball failures unimportant.


  2. #2
    LayzieDES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobby View Post
    When the Rays pushed 2 runs across in the bottom of the 6th, I really felt like the baseball gods were teaching us a lesson. The O's had failed to get runners in or over with the bases loaded and one out, and twice with a leadoff runner on 2B. So when the Rays executed a sacrifice to get a runner from 2nd to 3rd with one out, and then hit a perfect sac fly to score the go-ahead run, it just felt like the Orioles were getting what they deserved. I was getting all prepared for a depressing Opening Day loss where the Rays out-executed us on the so-called "fundamentals."

    Then two big clutch hits -- Jones' 2-run double and Davis' 3-run homer -- and small ball became irrelevant.

    I have a feeling that there will be many days where I lament that this team isn't very good at making "productive outs," and where I'll be jealous of the teams that are good at it. But hopefully, those days will be outnumbered by the times where the Orioles come up with a couple of big blows out of several opportunities, that will render the small ball failures unimportant.
    I felt exactly the same way (though most of my thoughts were screamed at the tv...& I was at work). The Rays yet again proved better fundamentally, but I came away with thinking that they just don't have the bats to compete with that Oriole lineup. I think you're dead on in thinking that the O's can hit their way out of several small ball failures. Just imagine what this team will be like if they ever become fundamentally sound.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LayzieDES View Post
    I felt exactly the same way (though most of my thoughts were screamed at the tv...& I was at work). The Rays yet again proved better fundamentally, but I came away with thinking that they just don't have the bats to compete with that Oriole lineup. I think you're dead on in thinking that they can hit their way out of several small ball failures. Just imagine what this team will be like if they every become fundamentally sound.
    I think the nature of their lineup just doesn't lend itself to small ball much. A guy like Chris Davis is never going to be adept at moving runners over, and you're better off not distracting him from trying to do what he's good at. It's also pretty tough to do with RH pull hitters like Jones, Hardy, Reimold and Pearce (and Wieters when hitting RH). Those guys can go to RF on occasion, but it's never going to be their forte, and in most cases, you're better off letting them swing away and hoping for extra bases.

  4. #4
    LayzieDES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobby View Post
    I think the nature of their lineup just doesn't lend itself to small ball much. A guy like Chris Davis is never going to be adept at moving runners over, and you're better off not distracting him from trying to do what he's good at. It's also pretty tough to do with RH pull hitters like Jones, Hardy, Reimold and Pearce (and Wieters when hitting RH). Those guys can go to RF on occasion, but it's never going to be their forte, and in most cases, you're better off letting them swing away and hoping for extra bases.
    It's more reasonable to take that bunt sacrifice to move the runners, but give me the 3 run homer instead any day. Mostly because I'm unreasonable.

  5. #5
    DrungoHazewood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LayzieDES View Post
    It's more reasonable to take that bunt sacrifice to move the runners, but give me the 3 run homer instead any day. Mostly because I'm unreasonable.
    Yes, if you have runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth. Otherwise, not so much.

    Earl intuited it, and sabermetrics confirmed it: In modern baseball you're almost always better off using big ball than small ball as the basis for your offense. The lessons learned from 100 years ago, when players fielded .925 and soggy baseballs rarely flew 300 ft, took a long time to die.

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    The team didn't execute some small ball chances yesterday, but I was really impressed with the quality of their at bats. In that sense I thought the offfense looked very "fundamental". Much better than in years past (of course small sample size, etc.).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobby View Post
    I have a feeling that there will be many days where I lament that this team isn't very good at making "productive outs," and where I'll be jealous of the teams that are good at it. But hopefully, those days will be outnumbered by the times where the Orioles come up with a couple of big blows out of several opportunities, that will render the small ball failures unimportant.
    POFO (Productive Out For Orioles). I remember an article last year where one of the players mentioned POFO. At least they realize that a productive out is now. Truthfully, over the last 10 years, I'm pretty sure we had some players that didn't even realized there was such a thing as a productive out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonfaz View Post
    POFO (Productive Out For Orioles). I remember an article last year where one of the players mentioned POFO. At least they realize that a productive out is now. Truthfully, over the last 10 years, I'm pretty sure we had some players that didn't even realized there was such a thing as a productive out.
    I'm really hoping they know that a Productive Not-Making-An-Out For Orioles is always more Productive than a POFO.

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    The problem for the Rays, and it really will be their problem all year, is their lack of real "big ball" potential. Once you get past Zobrist and Longo that lineup has some massive holes in it. Zobrist accounted for most of the Rays' offense yesterday. They got three runs on three hits, and a walk. Its going to be like that most of the year.

    Meanwhile, The Orioles racked up the hits on Price, something that simply should not happen, who needed to be bailed out by some pretty stellar defense. If it were not for Zobrist and Longoria that game would have been a blowout by the fourth inning.

    But that is the difference between the O's and the Rays.

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    Yesterday's game was weird because as many good ABs we had against some darn good pitchers, we also were not very good with runners in scoring position. That was a big problem last year as well, so hopefully this is not more to come. We can hit the longball though and we won this game like we played last year. Decent starting pitching, homers, and solid relief.

  11. #11
    Frobby is offline Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony-OH View Post
    Yesterday's game was weird because as many good ABs we had against some darn good pitchers, we also were not very good with runners in scoring position. That was a big problem last year as well, so hopefully this is not more to come. We can hit the longball though and we won this game like we played last year. Decent starting pitching, homers, and solid relief.
    In typical MASN fashion, they mentioned that the O's .256 BA in RISP situations was 9th in the league in 2012. What they failed to mention was that our .772 OPS was 7th and .441 SLG was 1st. So, while we weren't great last year, we weren't quite as bad as MASN (Hunter, I think) implied.

    I wish MASN would start using slightly more modern metrics once in a while.

  12. #12
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    I dson't buy it. Take a way some phenomenal defense from Longoria and Fuld, and we don't have this thread because we would have scored 3-4 more runs early. Are we complaining because we didn't bunt with men in scoring position but hit hard shots to 3B instead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
    I dson't buy it. Take a way some phenomenal defense from Longoria and Fuld, and we don't have this thread because we would have scored 3-4 more runs early. Are we complaining because we didn't bunt with men in scoring position but hit hard shots to 3B instead?
    Longoria was a huge factor in the game for sure.

  14. #14
    Frobby is offline Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
    I dson't buy it. Take a way some phenomenal defense from Longoria and Fuld, and we don't have this thread because we would have scored 3-4 more runs early. Are we complaining because we didn't bunt with men in scoring position but hit hard shots to 3B instead?
    Seems to me you read the OP to say the exact opposite of what is says.

  15. #15
    El Gordo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobby View Post
    In typical MASN fashion, they mentioned that the O's .256 BA in RISP situations was 9th in the league in 2012. What they failed to mention was that our .772 OPS was 7th and .441 SLG was 1st. So, while we weren't great last year, we weren't quite as bad as MASN (Hunter, I think) implied.

    I wish MASN would start using slightly more modern metrics once in a while.
    Have to wait for Humpter and Dumpsey to retire and they get someone to replace them who understands them.

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