Vlad Jr. made his MLB debut. It was glorious.
However, I need to get something off my chest.
After Jr. hit a one out single in the 9th, Charlie Montoyo pinch ran with Vlad Jr. It was a tie game, at home.
I tweeted that it was a bad call and some dude guy slid into my mentions on Monday and argued, for hours, that I was wrong.
His argument included stuff about trying to win it in the 9th, not the 11th; not pulling Vlad for a pinch runner in the 9th is equivalent to Buck Showalter not using his closer in the 2016 Wild Card game; Montoyo telling Sportsnet that he pinch ran Alan Hanson because he is faster than Jr. was evidence that I was wrong, and rando dude was right. Then there was something about being relieved he didn’t ever try to win “my way” and then being mad I “wasn’t listening.”
George Carlin — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.'
Sorry, George. I argued.
Here it was:
A team should want to win it in the 9th, but if it was your number 5 hitter that hit the 1 out single, you have to consider that it may go into extras. You need bats in a tie game at home, in extras. You need bats because a big fly or a string of good hits will win you the game, and bail you out if your bullpen blows it.
Yes, Jr. is on the slower end, and it’s harder to score him from first, but he’s also one of the more likely hitters to score someone else from first.
A tie game at home is a different animal than a tie game on the road. Buck Showalter was widely criticized because he left his best arrow in the quiver. Montoyo had one of his best arrows and snapped it in half, taking it out of play. Both failed to maximize their resources.
And you could make the argument that you needed someone speedier than Jr. , but a guy on first with one out can be escaped if the pitcher can induce a DP. MLB pitchers are paid a lot of money to do that.
It’s hard for a lot of guys to score from first.
The rest of the 9th played out like this:
McKinney hits a grounds a force out. Hanson is out at second, McKinney is safe at first. It’s a man on first with two outs.
Drury hits a single, but a pinch hitting Freddy Galvis strikes out. So no runs scored, and Vlad Jr. is gone from the game.
As our friend Mr. Fairservice points out, Freddy Galvis is slower than Jr. Galvis also has a sore hamstring.
It turned out fine but my point is that it very easily could’ve been a loss. Losses in the 11th count the same as a loss in the 9th. The Jays really have the A’s number in 2019, but that won’t always be the case.
You need bats in extras at home.
Let Vlad Run.
Today’s Walk Up
Help keep the lights on.
Thank you. :)