October 20, 2012

Giants Win Game 5: Barry Zito, considered a major disappointment since coming to the Giants from the Athletics in 2007, gave up six hits an no runs while striking out 6 in 7 2/3 innings. The series returns to San Francisco for game 6 sunday.

posted by justgary to baseball at 09:01 AM - 11 comments

Congrats to Giant fans, well played but still have to win 2 more.

Should we now have a conversation on how this will effect the Tigers? In layoff terms and such?

I'm not a big baseball person I will admit, but I do enjoy the playoffs and world series (when they dont interfere with my college football). With no dog in this fight, I'm pulling for the Tigers cause I used to to love Magnum P.I. And that should be reason enough.

posted by Folkways at 09:35 AM on October 20, 2012

The World Series was already scheduled to start Wednesday, so the Tigers were facing a long layoff regardless of whether the Cardinals won.

I don't put too much stock in the time off having a major effect. If the Tigers do well it is easy to point to the layoff as time that allowed them to rest up. If they do poorly, the layoff made them rusty. I have a hard time buying the argument that a professional baseball team can't handle the time off.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:33 AM on October 20, 2012

I have a hard time buying the argument that a professional baseball team can't handle the time off.

Agree. It's a week, not a month, and pitchers typically are on pitch schedules and hitters hit and field every day. Your skills and drive don't erode that quickly, however it's a simple story that "journalists" can write where the outcomes match one or the other storyline. It's lazy.

posted by dfleming at 10:51 AM on October 20, 2012

I agree it's not a huge factor, but I think it does affect players who are either really hot or really cold. I'm sure Peralta and Jackson would rather be right back at it as opposed to hitting off tees and BP pitchers, while Fielder might use the few days to get his stroke grooved again.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:19 AM on October 20, 2012

Thanks yall, I was wondering we were finaly past hearing about a layoff between games being a factor in MLB or not. Agreed that it should not be a factor either way and "lazy journalism" perhaps answers my question.

posted by Folkways at 01:07 PM on October 20, 2012

But then there are things like Colorado in 2007 (?) where they burned through EVERYBODY in the end of the season and playoffs, then had to sit and wait until the WS started and got clobbered. I don't know if that's a team I would have wanted sitting still for any length of time.

posted by LionIndex at 01:37 PM on October 20, 2012

I think it's more of problem for hitters than for pitchers. Batting practice will keep your muscles from forgetting how to swing but there is nothing like seeing live pitches to keep your eyes and mind in good form. I'm not sure a week is a big deal but if I had to choose I would rather see live pitching every day.

posted by tron7 at 02:42 PM on October 20, 2012

Yeah, but seriously it can't matter for more than the first game back, and whatever negative effect on the hitters might overall be offset by the benefits of all your pitchers being well-rested, your rotation being in order, your bullpen fresh (Leyland rode Phil Coke pretty hard through the ALCS). I'd be curious to see how the cumulative game 1 stats of teams with a long layoff were compared to the rest of the series for them, or compared to their normal output that season. Let's look at the numbers: do offenses actually do worse in the first game or two back after a layoff, or is that a complete myth?

And honestly? If there were any evidence layoffs mattered, teams could easily take steps to address that (not that baseball is known as a sport filled with a lot of ingenuity or willingness to experiment and change, mind you). For example, a club like Detroit could have its best triple-A pitchers- since their season is over- come up and pitch "live" games against the players. The hitters get a chance to see something at or above replacement-level pitching, while the pitchers get a chance to informally audition for a future role on the big league club, so you know they'll bring their very best stuff. Better than batting-practice pitching, that's for sure!

Oh, and I've mentioned it before on this site, and I believe this is the one Rob Neyer referenced in an article a few years ago, but there are professional level pitching machines (like the Abner batting system) which combine not only a sophisticated pitching arm that can reproduce almost any pitch from any pitcher, but have an LCD/projected image of the pitcher doing their windup, so the hitter can practice against an uncanny replica of the pitcher's windup, delivery, and pitch motion. I can't think of any reason every single team wouldn't have this in their clubhouse, facing off against a virtual Justin Verlander before you face the real thing, learning to time your swings against his different pitches.

posted by hincandenza at 03:25 PM on October 20, 2012

Leyland has said they'll be having scrimmages against developmental league players over the layoff, and I'd imagine some of their minor-leaguers would be included...

posted by MeatSaber at 04:25 PM on October 20, 2012

oh, well...carry on then. :)

posted by hincandenza at 04:42 PM on October 20, 2012

Cards play as if they'd rather sight-see in San Francisco

posted by justgary at 08:05 PM on October 20, 2012

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