Hello and happy Wednesday.
Yesterday I wrote about how the San Francisco Giants catchers had committed four catcher’s interferences already in 2020, which is more than Buster Posey has committed in his entire career.
Today it’s time to be fair, and cover the other side of the coin.
It’s not coincidence or poor habits that are leading to that stat; it’s strategy. Mind you, committing catcher’s interference isn’t the strategy, it’s just a side effect that the team was likely prepared for.
The coaching staff has been instructing catchers to scoot a little bit closer when receiving pitches. The hope is that, by catching the ball a little bit earlier, they can give the appearance that breaking balls are a little closer to the zone, and sway the minds of a few umps.
It might seem like a very trivial advantage to be chasing, but it’s working. Even though Chadwick Tromp and Tyler Heineman appear to have subpar framing skills, the Giants entered Tuesday’s game having stolen more strikes than any other team in baseball. And it’s not close.
The Athletic’s Eno Sarris has the math:
Right now, no team has gotten more balls called strikes than the Giants. 88 for the Giants, compared to 52 for the Nationals.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) August 12, 2020
That’s ... very significant. And it’s an advantage I’d never even thought of.
Nice one, Giants.
Did Barry Bonds hit a home run today?
What a silly question.
August 12, 2003: Against the New York Mets, Bonds hit 2 solo home runs. A 3rd-run blast off of Aaron Heilman cut the Giants deficit to 3-1, and a 9th-inning shot off of David Weathers made the deficit 5-4, which was the final score. They were his 36th and 37th homers of the year.
Old, random MCC article for you to read
How Jonathan Sanchez controls the world (Oct. 24, 2014 — Grant Brisbee)
- Grant Brisbee on how the Giants defense will keep being bad, even if the errors go away (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Maria Guardado on how Austin Slater is beginning to shed the platoon label (MLB)
- Dalton Johnson on Farhan Zaidi’s explanation of the worst-case scenario if the team called up Joey Bart (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Andrew Baggarly on Donovan Solano, one of the biggest surprises in baseball (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Mark W. Sanchez on what’s wrong with the Giants defense (KNBR)
- Alex Pavlovic on how Austin Slater might be breaking out (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Curtis Pashelka on what Kai Correa is doing to help the struggling defense (Mercury News)
- Jessica Kleinschmidt on Barry Bonds’ final home run ball being up for sale (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- John Shea on the Giants defense not being good enough (SF Chronicle)
- Ali Thanawalla on how Kamala Harris is a Giants fan (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Jake Montero on the inconsistency that Mike Krukow has noticed with Gabe Kapler’s pitcher management (KNBR)
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone.