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August 5, 2014

What You Need to Know

August 5, 2014

by Chris Mosch


The Monday TakeawayPablo Sandoval came through in big spots for the Giants on more than one occasion during a Monday matinee against the Mets that was highlighted by one-upmanship from the clubs' center fielders.

Daniel Murphy opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run blast off Tim Hudson, who—as Daniel Rathman mentioned in yesterday’s WYNTK—was making his first start at Citi Field since last year’s gruesome ankle injury.

The Mets looked to build on that lead in the second inning as Juan Lagares jump-started the offense with a one-out single. Moments later, Ruben Tejada laced a single of his own to center and an aggressive Lagares tried going first-to-third. Since coming into the league, Lagares has been among the league leaders in outfield assists, and playing a fairly shallow center field has allowed him to limit opposing baserunners' option of taking the extra base. This time however, it was Gregor Blanco who gave Lagares a taste of his own medicine.

The Mets failed to score and allowed the Giants to pull even the next inning when Sandoval ripped a two-run double to the right-center gap off Dillon Gee.

The Mets pushed a run across in the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead, which they held until the Giants rallied against Jeurys Familia in the seventh. Familia let a 2-1 slider to Hunter Pence catch too much of the plate, and the outfielder lifted the pitch to the warning track in left-center field. Miscommunication between Lagares and Chris Young led to a near collision as they leaped into the wall, with the ball ultimately bouncing off Young’s glove and allowing Pence to hustle into third for a leadoff triple.

Next up was Blanco, who drew a walk. The tying run scored shortly thereafter when when Familia spiked a 97 mph fastball in front of the plate. It also allowed Blanco to move into scoring position. Two batters later, Sandoval came through again, this time with a single up the middle. Blanco—representing the go-ahead run—was thinking home all the way, but Lagares returned the favor by nailing him at the plate with a perfect strike from shallow center field.

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3 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Schere

Something weird in that play, Norris' single. The SS gets a terrible break on the ball, and Balfour is pissed. Maybe pissed about the shift that has the SS so far over than the 8-hopper makes it through, or maybe unhappy with the SS's play?

Aug 05, 2014 08:53 AM
rating: 1
 
flyingdutchman

SS had no chance, whether he got a decent jump or not. The shift is what did it.

Aug 05, 2014 11:20 AM
rating: 0
 
Bryan Cole

Interesting point about the shift.

Here's Norris' spray charts from FanGraphs:
http://www.fangraphs.com/spraycharts.aspx?playerid=6867&position=C&type=battedball&pid2=6867&ss1=2012&se1=2013&ss2=2014&se2=2014&cht1=battedball&cht2=battedball&vs1=R&vs2=R
There's a bunch of ground balls where Escobar was playing, but we're still only talking about, what, 30 balls over three seasons?

I wonder how many balls it takes to establish a definite tendency? We know how long it takes, say, OBP to stabilize, but how many balls hit towards the shortstop are required before you can say with any certainty, "He hits the ball between short and third more than most hitters."

Aug 05, 2014 11:30 AM
rating: 0
 
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