Gotay vs. Green
I did not get a chance to really go over the last at-bat of Wednesday's games, but Willie's choice of Green was a curious one. At the time Green entered the game, the booth was split. Gary was quite shocked with Willie calling Green's # and Keith sided with Willie and preferred the veteran. The top line belongs to Gotay and the bottom line belongs to Green.
Flyball: 23.8% | Groundball: 49.2% | Strikeout: 27.0% | GIDP: 1.6%
Flyball: 26.7% | Groundball: 55.0% | Strikeout: 18.3% | GIDP: 4.0%
Now at first look it seems kind of logical since contact was needed there, but that will not quite show you the entire picture. In 27 at-bats as a righty, Gotay was struck out ten times, or 37% of the time. As a righty he is batting .222/.290/.220 but as a lefty he is batting .344/.378/.516 which kind of skews his overall stats.
As a pinch hitter he is batting .280/.300/.360, which is not great, but good and he has proven he has the ability and the 'chops' (Willie's word, not mine) to be a pinch hitter. Also, I'll ignore the .390/.420/.530 line with runners on and the .400/.440/.550 line with runners in scoring position because we have talked about the myth of clutch hitter here before.
As for Green, he is batting .280/.330/.410 at the plate overall and .310/.360/.460 against righties. Also worth noting is that Shawn Green is batting .091/.130/.227 against Brett Myers in 22 at-bats and Shawn Green has also pinch hit only once prior to Wednesday night during this season and only ten times from '04 to '06 (though with six hits).
Given Green's propensity for hitting into double plays, lack of pinch hitting this season, and lack of success against Myers, I cannot see any conceivable reason why Gotay was not in there. Gotay at the plate does not guarantee success obviously and we will never know, but the move just did not add up from the start. It is this vexing fixation with crusty veterans that disturbs me and it is not just Willie.
It is a lot of managers that have the same problem but this specific instance is even more bizarre. Gotay has come up big for this Met team a lot this season and if he did not earn Willie's trust yet, then what does he have to do? If Willie was simply putting Greenie (as I'm sure he calls him) in to try and find him a role or get him an at-bat, then that is ridiculous as well. I am all fine with experimenting, but not in a crucial spot in the game.
Overall, I do think the Mets could have taken one of those two close games they lost with more efficient managing. Of course Willie makes the right call a lot of times, but a lot of times it simply does not work out. It seems to be he is making a lot of guesses (or using his gut as he calls it) rather then making calculated decisions as there are a lot of inconsistencies in what he does. From mind melds with starters with them telling him he is done without a conversation happening to eschewing stats to taking starters out after he sends them back out in the 7th after 1.5 pitches to whatever else, the guy is not consistent. Being predicatable is not exactly great, but Willie takes it to the next level.
"He didn't exactly say why he was out," Randolph said of his conversation with Bucknor. "Obviously, he thought there was some type of obstruction or something, I guess. I said it to him very plainly, 'Marlon has his feet on the base.'
"It was a good hard slide. It's baseball. I think it's because we're not used to seeing good aggressive baseball anymore."
Anderson said: "Every time I play the game, no matter if it's the first inning or the ninth inning, when I go into second base, I go with a purpose, and that's to not let the guy turn the double play.
"I played second base in this league for years, and guys would come in much harder than that and nothing is said."
First, the point was not whether Marlon could actually touch the bag. There is nobody contending he could not touch the bag. The problem was the blatant use of his hands and arms to go out of his way to push/slap the second basemen. Was it extremely hard? Probably not.
"We were very fortunate he was right on top of the play," Iguchi said. "He used his hands at the very end. That made it obvious."
I'm sure guys come in much harder, but they do not have outstretched arms blatantly pushing someone as Anderson did. His slide is certainly not the norm. Now if he kept his arms in or simply had them extended during the entire slide rather than slapping/pushing at the end, it probably ends differently.
In related news, Phil Humber and Mike Pelfrey will be called up when the rosters expand.
I might suggest taking a look at what the customers who viewed the tank also viewed and I also suggest reading the first review/comment.
Rough, rough, rough series. It will not get a whole lot easier with Hudson and Smoltz going this weekend with Pelfrey's start sandwiched in between.