Tom Tango was nice enough to let me take part in The Book Blog’s World Series Game 2 chat this evening, where we discussed such important matters as bullpen management, if a T-Rex could be an effective pitcher, and the use of personal catchers. Also, whether Kirk or Picard would be the better pitcher (I went with Picard, myself). It was fun. Feel free to check it out here. Additionally, I put up a post at MLB Notebook during the game about how Molina’s pick-off in the third compared to the drop-off in offensive potential from Posada. Full post here, with an excerpt below.
“Werth had led off with a single, and Molina threw behind Raul Ibanez at the plate to nab him. Since Girardi knew Molina would pick a guy off, that one play justified putting him in there. Using Baseball Prospectus’ run expectancy matrix for 2009, a team with a runner on first with no outs (on average) has an expected run value of 0.8834. After Werth was picked off, the run expectancy went down to 0.27785. That’s a drop of 0.60455 runs. (FanGraphs had it at 0.64 runs. Had I looked there first, I would have made my life easier.)
Offensively, Posada was 18.3 runs above average this season in 438 plate appearances – that’s 0.041781 runs per PA. Molina was -8.7 runs in 155 PA, which is -0.05613 runs per PA. That’s a difference of 0.09719 runs per PA, or 0.39139 runs over the course of a game (4 plate appearances). So Jose Molina picking off Jayson Werth was more valuable than the drop-off in hitting from Posada to Molina. Like I said; Girardi’s a genius*.
* Seriously, not really.”