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April 10, 2014

What You Need to Know

Ervin Arrives

by Daniel Rathman


The Wednesday Takeaway
Strike, strike, strike, strike… okay, fine, I’ll spare you the next 16. But that’s how Ervin Santana began his Braves career: with 20 consecutive strikes, and 28 of them in his first 29 pitches.

The right-hander was handed a 1-0 lead on a leadoff homer by Jason Heyward, and that was all he needed to keep the Braves on top through eight. He allowed only two singles and a Daniel Murphy double. Juan Lagares, who grounded out to begin the fifth, was the only Mets batter who worked a three-ball count.

Santana looked nothing like the erratic pitcher who took the mound for Triple-A Gwinnett in his lone minor-league tune-up. He needed 93 pitches just to complete 5 1/3 innings in that assignment, in which he issued four walks and uncorked a wild pitch. On Wednesday, Santana had pinpoint command of his fastball and relentlessly pounded the lower half of the zone:

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

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montanabowers

Stop this insanity! This catch/no catch obsession by the league and its umpires is horse manure and it's not good for the game. Zobrist, Hamilton, et al were all catches - period. I'm yelling at my TV over umpire calls that I see on MLB Network. This is pure lunacy! Help!

Apr 10, 2014 06:39 AM
rating: 6
 
gjhardy

I have to agree. Stop the madness!
There is no question about Johnson's catch, regardless of how you twist the rulebook. Caught it, took several steps, hit the wall, still had the ball…and then drop it out of his throwing hand.

Apr 10, 2014 08:58 AM
rating: 1
 
carltondavis

Men on first and second with one out - Can a player make a catch in the outfield, run to third base, "invoulntarily" drop the ball on a transfer, and then begin a double play?

Just curious...

Apr 10, 2014 10:18 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Heh, I think we're stretching the definition here. It'd be tough to prove an "involuntary" release in that case.

Apr 10, 2014 10:25 AM
 
lheiman

OK, same game situation, with a fly ball hit to the LF. The ball is caught with the glove but not "controlled" because we cannot see into the glove, "fumbled" on transfer to the bare hand, and then quickly picked up and thrown to 3B to start the old 7-6-4 DP.
If we cannot "see" control of the ball in the glove on every play in order to establish whether a drop is voluntary or involuntary, and apparently can't assume any catch as a result, then there are many scenarios just like this. THAT's how stupid this new interpretation is.

Apr 10, 2014 11:47 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

No argument from me on the silliness of the interpretation.

Apr 10, 2014 12:03 PM
 
lheiman

Just to set the record straight, since his "lost" at the plate comment on Saturday, Harper's spot in the order was:
Sunday: out of the lineup, day off for several regulars
Monday: off day
Tuesday: batting 2nd, against a righty
Wednesday: batting 7th, against a lefty
Today: batting 6th, against a righty
For the season: 5th, 6th (Ramos on DL or it's 7th), 2nd, 6th (Ramos on DL or it's 7th), 2nd, DNP, 2nd, 7th, 6th. Can the "demotion" talk; Matt Williams is moving multiple hitters around the lineup every game based on matchups.

Apr 10, 2014 11:29 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Demotion may not have been the right word, but I believe it's the first time that Harper has hit that low in the order since June 2012. You're right to point out that Matt Williams has shuffled up the order a lot more than Davey Johnson did, though; thanks for mentioning it.

Apr 10, 2014 11:46 AM
 
BurrRutledge

So funny the discussion of catch/no catch. When I first read the rule (like actually read it in the rule book), my first thought was the fumbled transfer on a sac fly. The outfielder is making that transfer so quickly that it has to be considered a no catch, because of point 2, but I felt it was rarely ruled that way.

But if you've taken a couple steps or banged into a wall, that's got to be demonstrating control. A dropped transfer after that point is definitely a voluntary release, just not released into the intended target: the throwing hand.

Apr 10, 2014 17:06 PM
rating: 0
 
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