A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Friday, August 31, 2007

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.

* * *

  • The now emaciated and strangely hipster/emo looking Dayn Perry echoes what we already know. The Mets defense is tighter than Mother Mary's....nevermind. It was pretty impressive to see him pen that article as well since fielding metrics are not really popular.

  • The Mets are not happy with Bucknor's call on Anderson's slide into the second base.

    "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.

  • Omar cannot find any relievers.

    In related news, Phil Humber and Mike Pelfrey will be called up when the rosters expand.

  • Good stuff.

    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.

  • The Mets capped off the Philly series with yet another demoralizing loss. I loved the fact Wagner came in during the 8th and it is good to see Willie use him like that, but the results just were not good.

    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.
  • 18 Comments:

    Anonymous DG said...

    I copped out with the Mets down 8-5 last night (my night as I'm back to my safe cable home). Just knew they were going to tank. They did, which is not a relief.

    But I will say that all these last few weeks listening on my car radio with the cicadas & co fighting the broadcast when the lightening wasn't, I have just grown to desire scotch, cigarettes, oxycontin, anything when Wagner comes out to "save" a game. Reasonable speculation would make you wonder if he's hurt. I've heard nothing about his mechanics, but ouch, man, just plain fucking ouch! Worst time for this to happen.

    Anderson obstructed. That simple, so Gotay or Green means nothing to me. Green was in the process of getting the job done. With Willie, your career means more than your recent production unless you have been burning the shit so strong that the fumes just happen to tickle his olfactory. (Then he gets high and uses you too much!) I know, I know, I have major reservations about NY's co-Subway spokesman, and there's ammunition here if I want it, but in the end Green vs Gotay doesn't mean much. Marlon lost that one.

    No reason to go with Pelfrey this weekend. Yes, it's an improvement on Lawrence, but when was that ever saying much? I like the idea of Pelfrey's heat in the pen for the month of September, and Humber deserves his turn. But subtext of all this is that the Mets have apparently soured on Humber as evidenced by their intent to trade him for Chad Cordero earlier this summer. While Cordero sounds better right about now, he's not worth Humber (and certainly not Humber and another prospect!).

    My guess is the Mets still win the playoffs and then lose in the first round. Then again, the Phillies have to be shedding testosterone in their earwax at the moment. You can feel the momentum swing. Lose this series to Atlanta, and we might as well start thinking free agents.

    1:25 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Eh, I just don't see the furor over Green vs. Gotay. The SNY booth was split. If you like Gotay instead, that's fine. But it's a coin toss. Gotay has been slumping badly (2 for his last 17 at that point) versus a hotter hitter in Green (7 for his last 18 at that point). It all matters what stats you look at. Personally, I wanted Green up there.

    I guess, at the end of the day, I have two separate feelings. I *like* Gotay better than Green. I root for him more. I want him to do better as he actually has (or might have) a future with the Mets. I'm happier when he's in the game. But, if I want to win the game, I have to put those feelings aside - or at least try. And in this case, I think Green gave you a better chance than Gotay.

    Otherwise, I agree with dg - doesn't matter. Anderson screwed it up by obstructing on a play he didn't need to. A good hard slide, not using his arms, and Green beats that throw. I think. Anderson's got to do a better job.

    Otherwise, I have to admit I liked the way Willie managed the series, particularly Thurs' game. No holds barred. Pinch hit for El Duque after 4 innings. Brought Wagner in the 8th to face the heart of the Phillie lineup. Too bad his team didn't step up (other than Wright, who has clinched MVP of the Mets this year). That, and the flukey luck the Phillies enjoyed the whole series, are the stories from this disaster...

    -ube

    1:42 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    DG,

    Well said….

    I do agree Willie got the job done and that’s not to say he will never succeed, but there clearly was a better option.

    Scotch & cigars are goooooood.

    But subtext of all this is that the Mets have apparently soured on Humber as evidenced by their intent to trade him for Chad Cordero earlier this summer. While Cordero sounds better right about now, he's not worth Humber (and certainly not Humber and another prospect!).

    Perhaps. The buzz is from K Law that is curveball does not have the same bite pre surgery.

    Ube…I do see the other side of the argument. I mean, there definitely is reasoning for either side, but Gotay makes more consistently hard contact. Plain and simple and having a guy on first is just a great time for him to rip a liner/grounder through the hole which is pretty much what he does 90% of time he makes contact. I just like the spot for him.

    I did like the Wagner move though some people didn’t. The quick hook was a good choice too, but he seems to really flounder when it comes to deciding when to take a pitcher out and all to often leaves them in a touch to long.

    2:12 PM

     
    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Mike, i appreciate you providing us with all these stats and numbers between Gotay and Green but the truth is, It's Friday and I'm over it. I will admit though that Green has been taking some nice swings recently and when he's made contact there's a little "umph" in there. When he swings and misses? It's embarassing.
    I am over the Phillies series, its all about now, and tonight the Mets play the Braves. The Mets should be able to beat them and the odds of them getting swept while the Phillies sweeping thier team are very low.
    I don't see the Mets trailing by the time they get to Cincinnatti.

    Dayn Perry lost wieght and looks depressed he can't have any donuts.

    I like fielding statistics but I can't take them "serious". Serious in the sense that there are different systems to rate teams/players and there's alot of difference in regards to who's good or and who's not. With that said, when there is consistancy in regards to the different measures of the stats, I guess it does say something.

    I'll accept Pelfrey getting the start on Saturday if it means Phil Humber is strictly in the bullpen and can pull a K-Rod/Joba Chamberlain to impress enough to stick in the post-season roster, where Aaron Sele will be USELESS and not used in the slightest.
    These September promotions are probably the best thing to happen to that over-used and tired bullpen, they need some rest...

    I liked the Billy Wagner in the 8th inning decision as well.

    3:17 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    With all credit to Metsblog - you see, Coop, I gave credit to Metsblog! - follow this link and lsten to Joe & Evan's Opening Monologue (8/31) on WFAN call out the co-Subway spokesman formerly known as Willie and then spread the love! Hilarious and (sadly) on point.

    http://www.wfan.com/pages/744514.php

    5:12 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A classic rant. Lee Elia is smiling.

    I usually don't agree with mic jockeys, but the fellow who sounds like a Brooklyn garbage man was really on point.

    Emad

    6:14 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    mr. met - I was actually thinking that Wagner might pitch the 8th and Heilman the 9th (just because Utley and Howard were batting in the 8th). But for some reason, once Wagner gave up the HR to Burrell, I didn't feel comfortable with Heilman anymore. Nor with Wagner. Really, I kind of had this sinking feeling it was over by that point. Very depressing.

    Sorry, I tried to listen to the Beningo link. I really did. I just can't take 5 mins of that guy. He's like that horrible fan from Major League 2, but with his own radio show. Unbearable...

    I really need a win today. Or a 4 HR day from someone on the farm. Or signing that Sallerdo kid. Or just something to be happy about. Please guys???

    -ube

    6:22 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    mr. met - I was actually thinking that Wagner might pitch the 8th and Heilman the 9th (just because Utley and Howard were batting in the 8th).

    And wouldn't that be brilliant? I wanted to get a post out about this.

    Yes...please sign Sallerdo. Five tool short stop and the Mets spent less on the first ten rounds then they have spent on the first pick alone in 04 and 05.

    6:29 PM

     
    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    The only thing I didn't like about the raging lunatic is that everytime the reasonable guy would ask him "okay, then what would you do different? How does that make the team better?"
    The psycho would simply say "2*)! I DONT KNOW!" I don't like when people criticize and then can't explain how they would improve the situation. Its stupid.
    I will admit though, listening to that felt good.

    6:35 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    ube....you meant Edward Salcedo, right?

    9:28 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nice to see the two XBH's from Jose.

    Maine really needs to cut out the walks.

    Emad

    9:32 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    mr. met - yeah, sorry. Didn't have time verify his name before I posted, but I did mean Edward Salcedo. He's the best player left on the international market, even if we don't really need a shortstop. Plus his demands have been Boras-ized.

    emad - ever notice that Maine kinda loses the strike zone all at once for a batter or two once or twice a game? Then gets it back just as quick. Weird.

    Anyway, thank you Mets, for that win. My sanity desparately needed it. And thank you John Maine for a big-time start. Nice job...

    -ube

    11:57 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    I didn’t see the game but I understand Maine stopped the bleeding while pitching an exceptional game. Tomorrow’s game is on Fox which is always bad news for our heroes. Hopefully Pelfrey will get his 1st victory.

    There is something about Pelfrey’s motion and mannerism on the mound that bothers me. He looks like the big, gangly, raw country kid we used to hear scouts talk about. Perhaps he should study Tom Seaver’s pitching mechanics. It was one of the best I have ever seen.

    12:43 AM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    The buzz is from K Law that is curveball does not have the same bite pre surgery.

    Most people think the surgery is a slam dunk but it is not. Jae Seo had a 95 mph fastball before his elbow surgery.

    1:26 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ube, the walks are MADDENING. THEY MUST STOP.

    I think Maine struggles starting innings and when he goes into the stretch due to the very nature of his delivery. He's tall, has a very long, whippy arm action, and, consequently, struggles to find his release point at times.

    Maine threw his slider far more than he usually does. It was nice to see. He's more effective when he can throw it consistently for strikes.

    Emad

    1:54 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Emad - I know he threw a lot of sliders (which has really become a good pitch), but did he mix in a lot of changes as well? The Braves announcers - who are so,so,so bad - kept calling everything offspeed and down a change.

    Otherwise, I agree on the walks - I was merely commenting on their occurrences, not dismissing them. I don't know if it's the stretch, but I do think it's mechanics. Sometimes he comes out to start an inning and you know he's just not going to find the strike zone for 10-15 pitches. I really think it's those stretches that stand between Maine being in the running for the CY Young this year. When his mechanics have been right, he's been as good as anyone in the NL.

    Back to the Braves announcers, someone needs to remind them they are NOT the defending champs anymore, and they ARE in third place. I couldn't believe they said last night that "the Mets lost something by running away with the division last year and not getting to prove they could beat the Braves." Nearly choked up my dinner on that one...

    -ube

    3:23 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    He did throw changeups, but not disproportionately. The McCann DP and Chipper K were two good ones, but he also hung a few... one to Johnson, I believe. Maine needs to throw more sliders to lefties and changes to righties, but he doesn't have enough command to do that yet.

    I understand they seem to come out of nowhere, but Maine is still refining his secondary stuff. He's also got less than 300 innings of experience in the bigs. He went through a stretch of seven starts this year where he walked only six. As he matures, he'll walk fewer batters. Improvements in command are to be expected. Now, if we're still bemoaning this proclivity in two years, then its probably part of his style and something we have to grow to accept.

    I find myself complaining about Cohen all the time... then I listen to the Marlins announcers and realize how great we have it.

    Emad

    6:45 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Believe it....if you ever get down on our own guys, take a listen around the league. Shit...just tune into the Yankees.

    We are in good shape.

    12:23 PM

     

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