Wednesday, July 27, 2022

9th inning pinch runner, defensive switch in Twins vs. Rays

 The Twins blasted the Rays 11-5 for a "sweep" in the opener, then the teams had a 9th inning of strategy that shows why baseball makes the best board games.

The Twins Emilio Pagan waled the Rays Mike Zununo to start the bottom of the 9th with the Twins clinging to a 3-3 lead.

The Rays replaced the Zununo with the speedy (obr-sp A-A) Brett Phillips at 1st base.

The Twins responded by replacing the weak defensive catcher Gary Sanchez (e3, cd2, TC) with the decent defensive catcher Ryan Jeffers (e2, cd3, TB).

Phillips attempted to steal and the random number was 55, which on the chart the runner is out stealing if the catcher is a TA but otherwise steals - so Jeffers defense was not enough and Phillips stole. Pagan then three a wild pitch on a 61, putting the speedy Phillips on 3rd with no outs and a tying run 90 feet away.

The infield played in, meaning even on a hard grounder, Phillips would have a 50-50 chance of scoring - unless the grounder was hit back to the pitcher. And that's exactly what happened twice in a row, with Diaz and Kiermeier hitting back to back grounders right back to Pagan.

Josh Lowe then came up and had an out - F2 - which is normally a foul out to catcher, but with our old 1978 out charts and 1st and 3rd would have fallen into the stands if Sanchez was still in the game (the cd1 and cd2 on the 1-5 scale counts as the old CD 0 on the old 0-2 scale), but was caught by Jeffers CD3 (a 3 sounds as cd1 on the old scale and a cd4 or 5 count as a cd2 on the old scale).

The defensive switch wasn't enough to stop the stolen base, but it was enough for the final catch and game over. At the end of 6 series for each team, the Twins are 19-17 and in 4th place of 10 teams.

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