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Baltimore Series – Game 1 Recap – Roller Coasters and Umpire Help?

July 28, 2012

Quick Hit:

The A’s caused an emotional roller coasters and played a roller coaster of a game. Looks more like a topography map than a WPA chart.

Jarrod Parker’s start netted him a -.404 WPA with a pLI of .95. I’ll get into his start a bit later. Poor Cookie Monster (Ryan Cook for those who may not know his nickname) tossed one-third of an inning and was the biggest detractor by WPA with a whopping -.667 and a 4.29 pLI. Amazingly, Sean Doolittle added the most by WPA (.177) on a 2.80 pLI despite allowing two earned runs. Funny thing, that WPA sometimes.

Offensively, I am saying that Brandon Moss added the most by WPA. Even though his .031 does not compare to the others, his 5.07 pLI makes it pretty darn valuable. Seth Smith took the top spot by WPA, .360, with a pLI of 1.93. Derek Norris was not far behind with his .332 WPA.

Overall, the pitching staff did its hardest to give the game away (-.893 WPA) while the offense did everything to win the game (1.393 WPA).

The Comeback That Almost Wasn’t:

Jim Johnson is an All-Star reliever for a reason. Normally I would say the save stat is worthless, but Johnson’s 30 saves are legit. No smoke and mirrors there. So when he struggled, even with his control, in the ninth I was very surprised. And it was not the same reason that Cook struggled. Johnson had gotten a bit of work in the last game of the Rays series after a lengthy rest like Cook. Cook had not thrown, period. I do not know if he did a couple side sessions, but that still is no substitute for real game-like situations.

One of the problems, I felt, was that Johnson was getting squeezed. And it looks like I was fairly correct:

All those green squares are pitches that were called balls. Two of them are clearly strikes. There are five others, that by the typical zone called against RHH’s and LHH’s, are also strikes. Not saying the umpires gave the game to the A’s, but the A’s caught a break on this one. By comparison, Ryan Cook’s strikezone plot:

I can tell you, many of those outside strikes are nowhere near what Mike Fast has shown to be the typically called zone.

Jarrod Parker

As I mentioned in the game preview, I had serious trepidation about Parker going into this game, and sadly, I was right. He did show flashes of brilliance, but ultimately could not keep it in check. Going into tonight’s start Parker’s FB% was 31.4. League average? 28.6. His LD% was 28.6. League average? 17.9And we wonder why he can not pitch on the road. In a stadium like Oriole Park against batters like the O’s have, some of those line-drives can, and will, turn into home runs. And one did, when he hung a slider to Adam Jones.

Parker’s strikezone plot?
With pitch locations like that, it’s amazing it was not worse for him.

I would have liked to have seen him throw more changeups tonight. He obviously had the best control over it as that pitch produced the most whiff on the night (7).

The A’s and O’s do it all over again tomorrow. Colon v Hunter. I like this match up for the A’s a lot. Preview will be up tomorrow afternoon.

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