Short grouse about that last pitch

The Yankees were one out away from getting out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth inning. One more strike and they would have fought into extra innings with a chance to win the game. They never got the one strike as good old Mark Reynolds hit the ball into left-center for the game winning hit. Adam Warren threw the pitch and it might have been the worst 0-2 pitch in history.

First of all, Mark Reynolds had history against him. Reynolds had been in 0-2 counts 863 times in his career. After arriving at that count, Reynolds had struck out 512 times. It works out to a 59% strikeout rate in those situations. He had a .429 OPS in those situations. The odds were all in the Yankees’ favor.

Adam Warren had been throwing 95 MPH gas. A letter-high fastball would have worked. A low fastball would have worked. A fastball on the outside corner would have worked. Instead, whether it was Tony Pena or Joe Girardi or John Ryan Murphy–someone called for the slider. Not only was it the dumbest selection to throw to Reynolds, but it was as poorly executed as physically possible.

Sure, it is easy to second guess. Sure, it is easy to be a television manager. But this one got me steamed. Here, for your edification is the location of the pitch. A picture here does not paints a thousand words.

Warrens Pitch to Reynolds

 

The pitch looked like a fairly good one since it was down and out of the strike zone. But I watched it. The slider just rolled up there like some kind of dying  quail. Reynolds did not miss it because it was a poor pitch that should not have been called thrown at the worst possible time. Ballgame.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

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