Boy that first inning was awful.
First the non-catch at the wall by Jose Bautista, on Delino DeShields fly to start the game. As much as people keeptelling us that he's a Gold Glove in right, he isn't. I think he's much much better at going in on the ball than going back, but I'm sure you can say the same about almost all outfielders. And, hitting the wall at the same time as catching a ball does make it hard to hang onto a ball. Had things gone well after that, we really wouldn't be talking about it.
A single and DeShields scores.
Next batter hits one at Ryan Goins. We are so used to Goins making great plays, we expected him to make this one, but it was hit hard and there wasn't time to react to the bounce. I saw people saying he should have kept the ball on the infield. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen.
And then, the first ball hit to Chris Colabello. Though I do wish Chris had noticed he had plenty of time to step on first before throwing home, but I understand that it is asking a lot. What I do expect is Martin to move towards the baserunner caught in the rundown. And failing that, I expect Josh Donaldson to make that catch, I didn't think it was that bad a throw, but Josh maybe wasn't quite ready for it.
Colabello's play, to end the inning, was brilliant, other than he was a bit slow to get the out at first. He was very smart not to make a throw. Keep it in your glove run right at the player. I don't know why the player that moved up to third didn't start running back to second. That was the only way they could have gotten out of the double play.
The interesting moments (to me):
- Leaving Brett Cecil in to face Napoli, which MjwW already looked at. I'm with him, I'd rather bet on Cecil than anyone else in the pen.. I've had people on twitter saying that they should have intentionally walked Napoli. I wouldn't. I hate the intentional walk. I would hate it even more when it would put the go ahead runner on base. I really don't want to make it easier for the other team to go ahead. I also hate getting my picture to stop focus on the strike zone. I'll bet that the walk rate, after an intentional walk, is much higher than normal.
- LaTroy Hawkins coming into the game before Liam Hendriks. My theory on extra innings is you run through the relievers in order of how much you trust them. I that case I'd have Hendriks before Hawkins. But, when you are getting deeper into extras, at some point you have to decide which guy you want to have pitch, basically, as many innings as you need. The last guy in the pen is is going to finish out the game for you (unless the game goes so far that you want to use one of your starters). For me, that would be Hendriks. I see Hawkins as a one inning guy. If LaTroy got out of that inning, I would have used Hendriks for the next 3-4 innings, if necessary.