Conclusion: Livan Hernandez WAS Screwed…
…because he didn’t have great control anyway.
Last night I scrambled to my laptop as the Colorado-Diamondbacks game was about to start to break the news to the world (more like to have it in writing in case the game was decided on an umpire’s call) that the home plate umpire, Larry Vanover, has the stingiest inside (for righties) side of the plate out of all MLB umpires.
Here are the results from the pitch data for last night. It’s not as glaring as it might be because Hernandez really didn’t test that side of the plate very much- but when he did, Vanover wouldn’t give it to him. He nibbled at the other side for called strikes and Larry was much nicer. (Keep in mind this chart is from the batter’s perspective).
What was more significant was that he didn’t do such a great job of staying away from the middle of the plate. I’m surprised he didn’t get hit harder because a lot of his pitches were up, and half the Rockies hits came on balls thrown absolutely, 100%, gift wrapped down the freaking middle. Torrealba’s home run came off a pitch that was a little low but at 82 mph (about where Hernandez’s fastball was all night) that might as well be on a tee. That hit data from the first chart is incomplete- here’s the real thing:
On the other hand Fogg had a really nice start, painted corners and had the Diamondbacks looking at low strikes all night:
Unfortunately, I did not also deem it worthy to transcribe possible the pre-game kibitzing between me and Mulliniks, which went like this:
Mulliniks: If I was Arizona, I’d be happy just to get 5 innings out of Hernandez.
ME: He’s the kind of guy who will lose it before you really know it.
Mulliniks: Yep, a walk, bloop, and BOOM the game is over.
We are totally available to manage any big league clubs that may require our services. Except Washington.
Final thoughts: congratulations to Troy Tulowitzki for kicking the bag really, really hard on the way in a perfectly timed turn of a double play. It’s insanely stupid that he has to do that, but he proved that the shortstop could touch the bag on those plays, even though he’s going to get kneecapped eventually.
Also check out the inevitable “they have to bunt to score more runs” article about the Diamondbacks. Among the highlights:
- Even though Arizona would have needed 3 runs to tie in two of the games, they were “tight affairs possibly swung by some early scoring”. So maybe a bunt would have magical powers to prevent the runs that would have beaten you anyway from ever happening!!!!
- Eric Byrnes, the biggest weapon the D-Backs have, absolutely rips the ball and almost kills the pitcher. But it turns out badly, so he should really bunt in that spot.
- Augie Ojeda, hitting .274 this year, should apparently have given himself up to give Livan a chance to drive in a few runs with 2 out. Because Hernandez is WOW 1-2, A .500 hitter!!!
Such novel ideas! This is not at all a panic suggestion from some hack who has no clue about how baseball works or runs are scored! I’m sure the diamondbacks will win 4 straight games if they can just find ways to bunt at least twice in every one of them!!