Tuesday, May 7, 2013

On Harper, Kaline and Werth

Associated Press
Bryce Harper leaves the field Sunday after being ejected.
Before we turn our attention to tonight's opener of an odd, two-game, interleague series with the Tigers, one final look back at the controversial moment from Sunday's game in Pittsburgh.

There's been plenty of debate about Bryce Harper's ejection following a check-swing call by John Hirschbeck in the top of the first inning, whether Harper actually did enough to warrant getting tossed and whether Hirschbeck provoked the whole thing with his response to Harper's initial reaction.

Well, check out this video clip of the play in question from the Pirates' TV broadcast (and posted on Twitter last night by follower @rocket1124)...



Two things immediately stand out:

1) Hirschbeck throws his arms out and starts yapping barely a split-second after Harper questions the call, a remarkably quick response from an umpire who almost appears as though he was trying to get into an argument.

2) Hirschbeck later told a pool reporter he ejected Harper only after he "slammed" his bat and helmet to the ground: "I was actually just being nice. Even the hands up in the air is showing me up, to me. I could have ejected him right then. I was nice enough to leave him in the game. And then he slammed his bat down. And then on top of that, he slammed his helmet. I had no other recourse, really." I defy anyone to watch that replay and claim that what Harper did to his bat or his helmet fits the definition of "slammed." ...

OK, onto a more positive item about Harper. Barring a truly bizarre turn of events, he'll be in the Nationals' lineup tonight in his familiar No. 3 spot. That will mark the 32nd time Harper has hit third for the Nats this season, all but the one game he missed in Miami while battling the flu.

What you may not realize — I certainly didn't realize it until reading this excellent piece by John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press — is that Harper will most likely become only the second 20-year-old in baseball history to bat third for at least 100 games.

The other 20-year-old to do it: Al Kaline, the Tigers Hall of Famer who in 1955 won the AL batting title with a .340 average while homering 27 times and driving in 102 runs.

Kaline has become quite a Bryce Harper fan, as he explained to Lowe in that piece. "I watch him every chance I get. I'm a big fan of his — the way he plays the game, the all-out effort he puts in." ...

Harper figures to be in the Nationals lineup tonight, but there's a good chance Jayson Werth won't be joining him. Even though the veteran right fielder says his hamstring feels much better than it did Thursday night when he was forced out of the series finale in Atlanta, Davey Johnson suggested he'll hold Werth out again for the first game of the Detroit series.

"I don't know if he'll be ready," the manager said after Sunday's win. "Hamstring's not something I mess around with. If you just go back, [the Dodgers' Matt] Kemp came back early from a hamstring and he went down again. And that's something, I'm going to make sure we're completely by. I've had my fingers crossed with [Wilson] Ramos that it wouldn't be any repercussions, and today he was fine from two games [in a row]. He ran the bases real good and hopefully we're by him. But we've got to be real cautious on JW." ...

As much as the Nationals would like to have Werth back, it might be a blessing in disguise if he misses tonight's game. Why? Because of the man on the mound for the Tigers: Anibal Sanchez, who has owned Werth over their respective careers.

Werth's numbers against the right-hander: 5-for-30 with one homer, one walk and 19 strikeouts. Yikes.

Then again, Sanchez pretty much owns anybody who steps to the plate wearing a Nationals uniform. In 19 career starts against them, he's 8-0 with a 1.97 ERA.

Who'd have thought the Nats might actually be upset they're missing Justin Verlander during this series?

101 comments:

baseballswami said...

This weather does not look promising for tonight. Especially with all the sore hamstrings, feet and rib cages. Hopefully the last day or so helped some guys heal up a little.

Doc said...

Hirschbeck needs to grab some Prozac, and take a course in anger management!

People pay big bucks to get into a big league ballpark to see Harper, not some clown dressed in black.

Kaline came into the league much like Harper. As young teenager, he played on a lot of what we now refer to as 'travel teams'. Be great to see a picture of them together!

alexva said...

thanks for the added video Mark. also, glad Harper chose not to engage in a war of words afterward.

NCNatsie said...

Power corrupts, and Hirschbeck used his power corruptly -- that is, to satisfy some personal purpose rather than to see that the laws (rules of the game) are fairly enforced.

Kiterp said...

that's a clown ejection, bro

Gonat said...

Did Hirshbeck see Bryce Begins? Maybe he should.

Here's my issue. Was Hirshbeck waiting for his 1 opportunity in the series to "get" Bryce? I think Bryce held up his swing. Bryce definitely thought he held up his swing. It's as if Hirshbeck set a trap and was waiting for it.

sjm308 said...

Swami is right - this is not the kind of weather you want to play your first game back from a hamstring strain. I just hope we get these both in. This is where those 2 game series are going to really mess with the schedule. Its not like the Mets vs. Braves where they have multiple times to get another game in. From a selfish standpoint, while I want tomorrow to be bright and sunny, I see what is being forcast and I just hope they are wrong.

Go Nats!!!

sjm308 said...

Will MLB announce if they have fined Mr. Hirshbeck? I am sure it has been reviewed and I understand they have a supervisor. As the chief of that crew he really has all the power. I can't imagine having two worse umpires on the same crew. You are either going to have a balk or an ejection chance in any game they work. I guess it makes sense to keep a crew together the entire season but the next time we draw them will certainly have more then just a little attention.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Davey has alreasy said Werth is out today, no matter what.

I just don't want weather to mess with a Jordan Zimmermann start.

Dave said...

I'm going tonight, worried about the rain. I hope they can start it on time and I hope they get a window of rain-free to play the game in.

Joe Seamhead said...

I liked Bozwell's take in this morning's Wash Post, "Bryce Harper plays the game the right way. John Hirschbeck umpires the game the wrong way."
It really seemed that the ump had made up his mind that he was going to throw Harper out, maybe even before he got to the park.I also agree with Boz that it would be best if Bryce was on his best behavior for at least the next month.
This is the third time in the last couple of years that the umpire has had questionable calls in ejecting Nats players. Harper didn't deserve it last year on the play at first, in my opinion. The other very bad one was when Joe West threw Ryan Zimmerman out for tossing his helmet after West had called him out on a very bad 3rd strike call.

Theophilus T. S. said...

When the umpires went on strike (OK, de-certified and 60 of them resigned), MLB accepted 13 of the resignations; as part of the settlement they rescinded ten of the acceptances. That was the last time baseball made a meaningful effort to improve the quality of the umpiring staff.

SCNatsFan said...

irshbeck got what he wanted, media exposure. Like all trolls let the argument die off and hopefully his ego will too.

Joe Seamhead said...

SCNatsFan, I actually hope that MLB makes a statement by suspending him. Joe West has calmed significantly over the past year. I wonder if something wasn't said to him? I take my young Bryce-crazy grandsons to a game, and like has been stated many times, I take them to see the players, not the umps. Some of these guys are better suited to be referees in pro wrestling than ML Baseball umpires.

UNTERP said...

To be fair, I was at the Pittsburgh game and although Mr. Hirshbeck could have walked away, Bryce not only threw up his bat and other arm, he stared at Mr. Hirshbeck for several counts afterwards, then snap (not threw) his bat and helmet to to ground. Bryce clearly showed him up and Mr. Hirshbeck took umbrage to it...

Muddy said...

Hirshbeck was clearly out of line; umpiring, as was said, the wrong way. He should've made his call and turned AWAY from the player instead of aggressively walking toward him, jawing the whole way, then there's no ejection. Anyway, many thanks to Mark for the blog and the video.

ehay2k said...

Why wasn't Wandy tossed when he questioned the balk, and drew a line in the dirt with his foot?

Double standard.

Candide said...

Joe Seamhead said...
It really seemed that the ump had made up his mind that he was going to throw Harper out, maybe even before he got to the park.


I've read that in many places, and the video seems to confirm it. The moment Harper reacted to the call, Hirschbeck started yelling at him and walking towards him. If he had simply turned around and walked away, Harper would have, at best, had to simply go back to the dugout, and, at worst, stood there at the plate looking like a clown. Either way, end of scene. Hirschbeck was clearly looking for an excuse to toss Harper.

But WHY??? What did Harper ever do to him? I don't recall him ever badmouthing umpires in general or Hirschbeck in particular.

Joe Seamhead said...

An umpire can have an awful lot of power deciding a game's result by tossing a player. In this case, it worked out OK for the Nats in spite of the fact that it left Johnson short 2 outfielders with Werth already out. A tip of the hat to the bench for coming through.

Meanwhile down on the farm, Maya had one of his better games last night with the Chiefs: 7.2 shutout innings, 9K's. beating a pretty good Durham team 5-0.

LoveDaNats said...

I think Hirschbeck tossed him for the same reason Hamels hit him with a pitch. Kind of a "I've heard the hype about you and I'm not impressed. How do you like that, punk".
Just watched Bryce Begins last night. The most poignant part to me was when his dad choked up saying Nats fans cheered his son, that he'd been booed most other times. Bryce will have to learn some people will try to go after him just for who he is.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Joe Seamhead said...
Meanwhile down on the farm, Maya had one of his better games last night with the Chiefs: 7.2 shutout innings, 9K's. beating a pretty good Durham team 5-0.


How do you like that, but can it last. Rizzo certainly needs 1 pitcher to step up from the group with all the AAAA talent there. At some point this year you have to think that the Nats will need a 6th pitcher.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

From Byron Kerr: Potomac Nationals right-hander A.J. Cole has been named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 29-May 5, 2013.

Cole notched his first win of the season this week, going six innings with a season-high nine strikeouts. He allowed only four singles, no earned runs and walked none.

The 21-year old returned to the Nationals from the Oakland A's in the tree-way trade with Seattle that sent outfielder Michael Morse to the Mariners.

Cole is now 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA in six starts with 34 strikeouts and six walks.


That is big, real big. It's only High A ball but it's a start for a pitcher that had to work on his mechanics.

Candide said...

LoveDaNats said...
I think Hirschbeck tossed him for the same reason Hamels hit him with a pitch. Kind of a "I've heard the hype about you and I'm not impressed. How do you like that, punk".


Except that:

1) Hamels was on the opposing team. Though it was wrong to hit Harper, there was a purpose behind it - intimidation - to help his team win. Hirschbeck is an ump, and is supposed to be an impartial judge.

2) Without looking it up, I'm sure this isn't the first Nats game Hirschbeck has umped where Harper was a starter. So, the "I've heard the hype" explanation doesn't seem to hold water. He must have heard it before, but didn't blow up then. Why now?

3) And in any case, the hype doesn't come from Harper. He hasn't been Muhammad Ali, calling himself "the greatest," or anything like that. If anything, he's kept his head down, knowing the target is on his back, because of the hype surrounding him. You can't seriously claim he's been arrogant or boastful, a guy whose attitude needs to be brought down a peg.

So I don't understand what Hirschbeck's beef is.

Dominats Vobiscum said...

LoveDaNats said...

I think Hirschbeck tossed him for the same reason Hamels hit him with a pitch. Kind of a "I've heard the hype about you and I'm not impressed. How do you like that, punk".


Interesting theory. The Hamels HBP occurred on May 6th last year. The Hirschbeck ejection occurred on May 5th. A Cinco de Mayo thing?

Eric said...

"that he'd been booed most other times. "

Really? In LA? In the minors?

"Bryce clearly showed him up"

If Hirshbeck really felt "showed up" by a 20 year old questioning his call, I feel sorry for the guy. I mean, seriously? He thinks Bryce's goal was to make him look stupid or embarrass him?

Give me a break. Is Hirshbeck stuck in a high school hallway between classes?

Rabbit34 said...

Hey UNTERP.....I think Hirshbeck should take umbrage to my boot.......!! The one with the pointed toe! Haha.

D'Gourds said...

Can't wait to give it to Balkin' Bob and Heavum Hirchbeck when they come to Nats Park next. What friggin losers! Huge inferiority complexes there. I sit right behind the visiting dugout and they can hear me very well. In fact I once gave it to Balkin' Bob so much, he stopped the game and walked in my direction to see who was yelling at him. He's the only ump in history to ever throw a fan out of a game. So I shut up when he approached! http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2010/09/08/sports/doc4c87a11193bc8803068175.txt
The best umps are never noticed. I wish mlb would do something about these rogue umps. They just suck and lessen the game.

UNTERP said...

Eric said...

Let me clarify, in Mr. Hirshbeck mind, Bryce clearly showed him up. I think Bryce clearly showed him up too. Doesn't excuse Mr. Hirshbeck for overreacting. But to make a slight analogy, drivers have been pulled over for going 1 mile over the speed limit. This is a none issue to me, but it was unnecessary for Bryce to throw up his arm and bat in the first place. He didn't get the call. You don't protest an ump like him from a distance with the body language Bryce displayed. Respect his call and go back to the dugout...

Jomolungma said...

It's actually pretty clear from that video that before the camera cuts to Hirshbeck, Bryce throws his arms up in the air. Bryce shouldn't have done that and Hirshbeck is right, he could've tossed him just for that. However, where Hirshbeck and other umps constantly get into trouble is that the embellish the facts - even though it's all on tape - to make a stronger case for themselves. Bryce clearly did not slam his bat or his helmet on the ground. What happened was that Bryce threw his arms up, Hirshbeck missed the chance to throw him out - he should've done it immediately instead of going back and forth with Harper - and then when he changed his mind and tossed Bryce he needed a new reason to do so, hence the fib. I'd have more respect for umps if they showed some backbone and some consistency.

A DC Wonk said...

Totally off topic -- I took Wonkling, my 18-year old daughter, to see "42" last night. She enjoyed it.

But on the way home, she turned to me and said: "I wish there had been more on-the-field baseball action in the movie. I could have spent the whole time watching a game of his."

Her comment almost brought a tear to dear old dad!!

UNTERP said...

Jomolungma said...

that's what I said, Bryce snapped his bat an helmet to the ground (not threw it). Hirshbeck was at fault for embellishing what Bryce did with the bat and helmet. I agree 100% here...

Eric said...

"You don't protest an ump like him..."

Aw, did poor Hirshbeck have his feelings assaulted by a 20 year old?

To be very clear, I know exactly where you're coming from. My scorn is entirely directed at Hirshbeck, not you. If there were any kind of consistency whatsoever to when umps take action, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But, there's not. Some players SCREAM at the umps and nothing happens. Harper raises his arms, drops them, stares for a couple seconds...and walks away.

IMO, what really set Hirshbeck off was that Harper turned his back on him while Hirshbeck was ranting at him.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Keep those stories comin', Wonk. I love 'em.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I heard some scouting on Zach Walters that is discouraging. He's trying to be a power hitting shortstop in an all or nothing approach.

I checked his stats and he's hit a bunch of home runs but striking out in bunches and not taking walks in a 9.67 K/BB ratio which is awful for a kid in AAA. On top of that he has made several fielding errors on groundballs.

Walters is a switch-hitter. When you check his stats, he has a .379 OBP batting right-handed and a .212 OBP batting left-handed. All of his HRs have been hit left-handed.

Sound familiar?

Eric said...

Also, to be clear, yes, ideally Harper would've sucked it up and walked off. I still think it's utterly absurd that he was ejected.

Eric said...

Now, in bizarro land, I'm thinking Harper needed a rest, but didn't want to ask for it, and Davey didn't want to bench him. So, they made a gentleman's agreement that Harper would provoke a known hothead ump and hope for the best ;).

Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa said...

"Totally off topic"

++

UNTERP said...

Eric said...

IMO, what really set Hirshbeck off was that Harper turned his back on him while Hirshbeck was ranting at him.

yeah, LOL... For this reason, I like what Harper did there. You are on point, that's why he threw him out. It's all good...

Theophilus T. S. said...

Hirschbeck was on the "DL" at least a part of last season, so it's possible this was his first opportunity to show Harper who's boss. No matter. In my opinion he's a recidivist jerk.

Don said...

Jeez, can we move-on laready? Harper deserved to get tossed; he (a guy with not one full season in the bigs) showed up the ump and was arguing balls/strikes. And it's long over.

A DC Wonk said...

NJ, Sofa -- thanks!

I just thought of something else she told me last night that blew me away.

She also said, after the movie: "do you know what happened one year ago today?"

I had no idea what she was driving at.

She said, "that's when Harper got hit and then stole home!

Blow me away with a feather!

(She knew that, fwiw, because we were at that game)

Candide said...

UNTERP said... IMO, what really set Hirshbeck off was that Harper turned his back on him while Hirshbeck was ranting at him.

So Hirschbeck hadn't been "set off" yet when he was started towards Harper, yelling and waving his arms?

Hirschbeck was cool, calm, and collected right up until the moment Harper turned his back on him?

Really?

Theophilus T. S. said...

"Jeez can we move on?"

Yeah I suppose we can. But I'm not going to let go of the idea that there are a bunch of hacks out there spoiling the game (occasionally) for players and fans. There were three changes in the MLB umpiring roster this offseason: three crew chiefs retired and were replaced. No under-performers were dismissed. That means, among 65 umpires, (1) none were superannuated/out of shape and unable to fulfill the physical requirements of their position; (2) no one's skills had atrophied to the point of being substandard/unacceptable; (3) none of them was incompetent. It also means there were (except for the three replacements) no potential hires who would have, overall, improved the quality of the staff. Does anybody seriously believe that? That means that boneheads like Hirschbeck, Davidson, West, Hallion, Diaz -- to name only the most obvious -- are out there every day screwing things up for everyone else. Boo the umps. Play "Three Blind Mice" everytime they come out to get the lineup card.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I had not seen the video so I thought maybe Harper was a bit excited and got ejected. saw the video last night and umpire was at fault all the way.

anyways, I also noticed that harper's numbers against lefties are not impressive.

I was also excited about tonight's game, expecting a pitching duel and what not but then checked the forecast.

NCNatsie said...

Well, Don, I would have moved on, but now you've provoked me, because I think you're dead wrong in saying Harper deserved to get tossed because he's only "a guy with not one full season in the bigs" and "showed up the ump."

First of all, he's got more than a full season in the bigs now, and second -- and most important -- the rules should be appliled fairly to all players -- anything else is unacceptable.

UNTERP said...

yeah, I was agreeing with Eric. Hirshbeck was an ass, no question. Like Eric said above, and I agree with him, when Bryce turned his back to him (which is nothing wrong with that and a classy move by Bryce), that's why he tossed him. It wasn't throwing the bat and helmet because he didn't throw it, it was turning away from Hirshbeck. I agree with you Candide, Hirshbeck was already in a rant, but Bryce turning his back was the final straw. That's not a reason to toss him at that point. Major League Baseball needs to find away to curtail this kind of behavior by umpires. How's that...

Faraz Shaikh said...

Don, players have done much worse and not get ejected. I don't think Harper deserved that ejection.

A DC Wonk said...


Faraz Shaikh said...

Don, players have done much worse and not get ejected. I don't think Harper deserved that ejection.

That's true -- but -- players have done similarly and did get ejected.

The point is, in part, inconsistency -- which equals unfairness.

Eric said...

"So Hirschbeck hadn't been "set off" yet when he was started towards Harper, yelling and waving his arms?

Hirschbeck was cool, calm, and collected right up until the moment Harper turned his back on him?

Really?"

Replying since UNTERP was quoting me there. And, UNTERP covered my thinking well. But, in retrospect, since we're splitting hairs here, I suppose "what sent Hirshbeck over the edge and caused him to eject Harper" would've been more accurate than "set off".

JD said...


Here is the point:

A good umpire always strives to turn down the temperature when a conflict arises. A player should have a right to be genuinely frustrated and unless he swears or gets in the umpire's grill he should be left alone to cool down.

All too often you see umpires escalate the situation and pour gasoline on the fire and to me their only motivation is ego. I think that any umpire judged to have escalated an incident should be suspended without pay. no one pays to see umpires and if you know an umpires name it probably means he's doing a bad job.

Eric said...

Do umps ever engage in what might be reasonably considered "retribution"? Do they hold grudges? Are we sure Hirshbeck won't come back to haunt Harper/the Nats in future games? Particularly if the league takes action for his ejecting Harper.

Eric said...

Anyway, of far more import is this n00bish question: what happens to the rotation if we're rained out today and/or tomorrow? What happens to it if both games are rained out and we make up both with a doubleheader on Thursday?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Thank you Eric.

Like I said earlier in this thread, I don't want weather to mess with a Jordan Zimmermann start.

Candide said...

UNTERP said...I agree with you Candide, Hirshbeck was already in a rant, but Bryce turning his back was the final straw.

UNTERP - and Eric (got my quotes messed up earlier, sorry), I'm still baffled as to what caused Hirschbeck to go off on a rant in the first place. I can't read lips; Did Harper yell something truly shocking at him? That's the only explanation that makes sense to me, but if he had, why would Hirschbeck later on say nothing about it, instead giving that line of baloney about Harper slamming his helmet and bat?

Something doesn't add up here. And that tells me there's something significant we don't know.

Eric said...

So, if today is rained out and we play tomorrow, Haren still takes the mound?

Yeah, that would be a bummer to miss a Zimm start.

EmDash said...

I'd guess (and it's just a guess) that the rotation stays the same for the Nationals and just gets pushed back a bit if the weather proves to be a problem? Wouldn't want to skip Zimm, and Haren is the type of pitcher who really needs to stay on as set a schedule as possible (a "feel" pitcher, I think they call it?) to stay sharp. The too-long rest before his first start was identified as one of the possible causes of his total meltdown, if I remember correctly.

Doc said...

Anyhoo, I think that we should take a survey of ML umps, including Hirschbeck, and see if any of them know what the word 'umbrage' means. LOL

Maybe Country Joe West could use it in one of his hlll-billy songs???

Eric said...

Candide, either Harper said something terrible or Hirshbeck was simply primed for a fight.

JD said...


Eric,

They won't skip Zim's start. I think what Nats Jack is worried about is if the game does go tonight but has several rain interruptions forcing Davie to waste a JZimm start.

In fairness Detroit has Anibal Sanchez going tonight and he has been lights out this year as well.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Gotcha, JD, thanks.

JD said...


I checked and Detroit and the Nats have an off day on Thursday and the weather looks a bit better for tomorrow so in the end they should get both games in.

Candide said...

Eric said...

Candide, either Harper said something terrible or Hirshbeck was simply primed for a fight.


Agree.

But if Harper said something really terrible, why didn't Hirschbeck immediately eject him? Harper said something ugly enough to get Hirschbeck yelling and waving his arms, but not ugly enough to get immediately tossed? Doesn't make sense.

So Hirschbeck was primed for a fight. For no reason? Again, doesn't make sense.

There's something significant we don't know about.

Eric said...

"The too-long rest before his first start was identified as one of the possible causes of his total meltdown, if I remember correctly."

That would actually argue *for* skipping Zimm if today is postponed and tomorrow gets played. Of course, in that case they might play a doubleheader tomorrow, in that case they'd probably pitch Zimm in the first game and Haren in the second.

Things will get really interesting if today AND tomorrow are rained out and they play a doubleheader on Thursday.

In any case, if we play both games by Thursday night, I think maintaining the rotation would be the best option...just curious if there's a SOP for this sort of thing.

Candide said...

Bo Jackson's college scouting report.

JD said...

Eric

'Candide, either Harper said something terrible or Hirshbeck was simply primed for a fight'

It's not a fair fight. Harper can't throw Hirshbeck out.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I would have loved to see JV against us. Not because anibal has done well in past, but JV that much more awesome and I like to see a good pitched game from one of the best pitchers in the league.

Eric said...

"There's something significant we don't know about."

Hrm...I think you overestimate people if you think some folks can't just be that egomaniacal ;)

But, who knows. Maybe Davey, Harper, and Hirshbeck hatched a plan to get an injured Harper on the bench with a little fanfare ;).

Candide said...

Faraz Shaikh said...

I would have loved to see JV against us. Not because anibal has done well in past, but JV that much more awesome and I like to see a good pitched game from one of the best pitchers in the league.


If you're really that excited about seeing Verlander, you can always go up to Baltimore May 31 - June 2...

UNTERP said...

Eric said...

But, who knows. Maybe Davey, Harper, and Hirshbeck hatched a plan to get an injured Harper on the bench with a little fanfare ;).


Eric, I was disappointed that Bryce was tossed, but the first thought in my mind was good, he wasn't doing much anyway, he needed to sit a couple of games to heal, though I know his presence in the line-up matters...

Faraz Shaikh said...

Candide, I plan to if JV is pitching.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Complimentary Bo Jackson play

Dominats Vobiscum said...

"Eric said...

"The too-long rest before his first start was identified as one of the possible causes of his total meltdown, if I remember correctly."

That would actually argue *for* skipping Zimm if today is postponed and tomorrow gets played."

I don't follow the logic of skipping Jordan's start if today's game is played tomorrow so that he won't be starting on too long a rest. Wouldn't skipping his start mean he'd be on even longer rest for his next start?

Eric said...

"I don't follow the logic of skipping Jordan's start if today's game is played tomorrow so that he won't be starting on too long a rest. Wouldn't skipping his start mean he'd be on even longer rest for his next start?"

Oh, sorry, I thought EmDash were arguing that *Haren* shouldn't get too long of a rest. Skipping Zim would keep Haren's rest shorter.

Anyway, hopefully we'll get both Tigers' games in before Friday one way or another and the point will be moot

Dominats Vobiscum said...

"In any case, if we play both games by Thursday night, I think maintaining the rotation would be the best option...just curious if there's a SOP for this sort of thing."

If they end up playing a doubleheader on Thursday that would screw up the rotation going forward because one of the Thursday pitchers would have his next turn come up in four days rather than five. If they play on Wed and Thurs or play a doubleheader on Wed and take the Thurs off day, then there's no impact on the rotation going forward.

NatsLady said...

In the past Davey hasn't tinkered with the order of the rotation (except maybe after the All-Star break). Can't imagine him doing so now, JZ is our best pitcher at this point-- why would you "save" him for the Cubs when Det & co. should be able to do the job? Also, don't know about Haren, but of the others, I would trust JZ the most in chancy weather. Further, being ultra ultra competitive, I bet he's geared himself up for this start mentally, facing the best hitters. Give him the ball.

Eric said...

Good point Dominats. I think JZimm could handle it, though (he'd be the one getting only 4 days).

NatsLady, thanks, the insight into what Davey's done in the past is what I was after.

FWIW, I was only talking about skipping anyone in the context of postponement(s).

EmDash said...

I did mean Haren was better on shorter rest, you're right. :) Unfortunately Zimm is too - he's said he feels better pitching when his arm is more "tired," which is strange to me, but pitchers are weird. The only pitcher who does as well or better on longer rest is Detwiler, if I recall.

JD said...

NatsLady,

The thing I am most worried about in these situations is say we have a 1 hour rain delay after the 2nd inning or something or even a postponement without having an official game. Then you have wasted a starter and you may have to come back on Thursday with Duke and/or Stammen.

Eric said...
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NatsJack in Florida said...

Yep, JD....that's it. I don't want Jordan to get started than get caught in a delay that ruins his turn.

Eric said...

"Unfortunately Zimm is too - he's said he feels better pitching when his arm is more "tired," which is strange to me, but pitchers are weird. The only pitcher who does as well or better on longer rest is Detwiler, if I recall."

It does seem counterintuitive, but I get it. I think the most clarify example of how feeling "too strong" can be detrimental has to do with breaking balls. When pitchers feel "too strong", they might throw a breaking ball too hard, and the ball gets to the plate before it breaks, which can result in hanging curves, meatballs, etc.

With fastballs, I think the tendency to throw too hard can mess up release points and mechanics.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JZim only had 5 games last year where he gave up 4 or more runs. Of those 5 games, 4 of them were with 1 or 2 extra days rest.

He did have 8 other games with extra rest and pitched well.

Section 222 said...

I'd be shocked if a rainout did anything other than move everyone back a day. An extra day of rest isn't going to hurt anyone. And the way they all are pitching these days, no reason to skip anyone. The Tigers skipped Porcello when they had an off day, which is why we're not getting Verlander in this series. But Haren is improving so I'm sure Davey wants him to go -- tomorrow or Thursday.

On Harper, it would have shown a very short fuse and we probably would have been pretty upset if he did it, but Hirschbeck could have thrown him out for his initial reaction of throwing up his arms. But once he didn't, his subsequent actions were completely unacceptable. Players "show up" umps in far, far worse ways that what Harp did after the intitial reaction. I hope MLB takes some action.

I'm almost certainly MLB won't take any action.

Dominats Vobiscum said...

With the way it's raining now and the forecast for tonight, I'd say it's a given that today's game will be called before game time. Rizzo will probably seek the Tigers' preference for playing two tomorrow or one tomorrow and one Thursday. The rain is supposed to let up by sometime tomorrow, so they'll still have the option of playing one or even two on Thursday if necessary. Given all that, I don't see why they'd start a game tonight or even tomorrow afternoon if the conditions are iffy.

Eric said...

And, of course, he's already getting an extra day's rest as it is.

Do they ever use pitchers with fewer than 5 days' rest (e.g., will they use him in his regular spot next week if we end up playing a double header on Thursday)?

Section 222 said...

Remember, they pitch every fifth day, which means four days of rest, not five. I can't think of a single time when Davey sent someone out on less than four days rest last year. Only deep in the playoffs would that be necessary.

Eric said...

"Remember, they pitch every fifth day, which means four days of rest, not five."

Right, I realized that right after posting. D'oh!

I hate when comment sections lack edit buttons ;).

Anyhoo, if JZimm pitches in a double header Thursday, his next start would be after only 3-days rest. Would be interesting to see how that would be handled. Is that the sort of thing that would lead to making up the game at a later date?

Dave said...

Does anybody know what happens with a season-ticket game on a RCR card if it's rained out? Obviously there's no paper rain-check. What will they do?

Theophilus T. S. said...

Do the Tiggers come to B'more later this year -- some occasion when they could squeeze in a game on an off day? The weather forecast for tomorrow is worse than today's. Would hate to see anybody stranded through a day-night DH like that farce against the Mets (Dodgers?) a couple of years ago, when one game got scrapped anyway.

NatsLady said...

Yes, they do, I looked into it yesterday. They come to Ballmer in June and they have a common off day with the Nats.

Section 222 said...

The Tigers play in Baltimore the last weekend of this month, followed by an off day on Monday,June 3, and play in TB on Tuesday night, June 4. The Nats are in Atlanta for a day game on Sunday June 2, with an off day on Monday before starting a home series on Tuesday against the Mets. So yes, a rescheduled game could take place.

Today's forecast is bad through the rest of the day, but tomorrow's isn't that bad. I think they are more likely to get this series in over the next three days than not.

Section 222 said...

Ooops, there's a drink for NL.

Section 222 said...

Pretty soon I'm going to lead the lead in drinks owed.

Eric, if there's a DH tomorrow, then the off day on Thursday allows everyone to get the proper rest when the rotation turns over. But if they play 2 on Thursday, I doubt very seriously they'd ask Znn to pitch on 3 days rest. Paging Zach Duke.

Or, under the new roster rules, they could call up Chris Young to pitch the second game, allowing Haren to start on Friday and pushing JZnn's next start back to Tuesday.

Section 222 said...

Dave, on your RCR question, this is just a guess, but I think they will load the makeup game onto your cards. If you wanted to use your rainchecks for another game, you can just exchange that makeup game under the future game exchange policy. There are some complications though so it will be interesting to see how they handle it.

Sec. 3, My Comfortability Sofa said...

Newer Post

Harpo said...
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Section 222 said...
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Ivan Tuski said...

John Hirschbeck and the league's growing umpire problem

http://www.overthemonster.com/2013/5/6/4304614/john-hirschbeck-bryce-harper-ejected-ejection-mlb-umpires

That last paragraph should wake up somebody

Steady Eddie said...

Dave -- they treat the game on the SPH card just like a ticket -- it's good for your regular seats to the game on the day it's postponed to, but if you don't want to or can't get to that game, you have the option of doing an exchange for a different game.

Dave said...

Thanks, Steady. I'll need to pay really close attention to when the rainout game is played.

Based on my recent (frustrating) experience with a game-swap,one would have to submit the exchange request before the made-up game; else the ticket would turn into RCR points, which, of course, wouldn't be worth nearly as much as the original ticket.

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