Games » Houston AstrosJun17
The goal in baseball is to drive in more runs than you let in, so Scott Podsednik had a good night. He let in two runs when he misjudged a Hunter Pence line drive, (otherwise pitcher Anthony Lerew would’ve had an even better looking line), but Scott later made up for it with a three-run homer.
To be fair, it looked like the Pence line drive was right at Podsednik. Weirdly enough, those are the hardest ones to judge. When you can’t see the arc of the ball from the side, the one that’s going to land in front of you looks just like the one that’s going to land behind you. The rule of thumb is: better too deep (which makes the ball that drops a single), than too shallow (which makes the ball that drops a disaster).
When a ball is hit straight at you in the outfield, you need help from a teammate to know whether to break in or back. Podsednik broke back too late. When a player makes a mistake like this, it’s important to continue to play hard. Baseball will always give you a chance to do something good later, and the player who keeps his head up can take advantage of that.
David DeJesus made a long run to make a snow-cone catch (the ball sticking out of the very tip of the glove like a…well, you get the picture) deep in the gap, Alberto Callaspo speared a line drive that was headed for extra bases, and Yuniesky Betancourt used a lightning quick transfer to get the speedy Bourn in the eighth on a play that had to be made on the run.
Things to watch for …
Keep an eye on any pitcher who gives up a home run to see how they go after the next batter. Do they stay aggressive or begin to nibble? After Myers gave up the three-run shot to Podsednik, he walked Jason Kendall. That got Brad Mills out of the dugout and ended Myers’ night.
That’s what they call the move Mike Aviles makes while waiting for the pitch. Frankly, it looks more like a case of the dry heaves to me, but maybe that’s just my personal life showing through. Anyway, it actually serves a purpose.
Hitting coaches advise hitters to have some pre-swing motion. You can see hitters do all kinds of things: rock, wave their bats, move their fingers, it’s kind of like a rolling start in a car before you punch the gas. If your body is already in motion, it’s easier to keep it that way.
In the top of the ninth, the Astros got the tying run to the plate. If you had looked into the Royals’ dugout at that point, you probably would’ve seen a coach waving a hand behind his head. This is a sign to the outfield called “no doubles.”
It reminds the defense that the batter at the plate represents the important run and the outfielders have to keep the ball in front of them. No crazy dives, no long throws to the plate to get a meaningless run. If the batter gets a hit, the defense wants it to be a single, that way it will probably take two more hits to score the tying run.
Once again, Jose hustled down to help break up a double play. He also did a nice job in right field, saving the game with a difficult catch for the 27th out.
Most of us like simple, black and white conclusions (like the one I just made). Hell, my career as a cartoonist is dependent on simple, black and white conclusions (there are times they come in handy), but if you look at a subject closely, the storylines are usually a bit more complex.
Jose Guillen is a good example. The short version is that he’s a lazy ballplayer. The real answer is that sometimes he is and sometimes he isn’t. He does take plays off and that’s bad, but he also tries hard at times, and that needs to be acknowledged.
So I’m acknowledging it…but the people who run BP are still a bunch of lying jerks. (I just wanted to keep in shape for my other job.)