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October 7, 2012 / Nat Anacostia

Thoughts on NLDS game one

Gio Gonzalez was wild, but at least he wasn’t missing over the heart of the plate. I’m not too concerned about him pitching game five if it goes that far.

I know it’s something that can’t be changed, but I’ve long hated how the playing conditions of post-season baseball are so different, and usually worse, than in the regular season play. For the Nats-Cardinals series, it’s putting up with the late afternoon shadows so the Yankees can be allowed to play in the evening. Cold weather also doesn’t make for good baseball. Today’s 54 degree weather is cool, but as the post-season keeps getting pushed later and later, some games in late October/early November can involve wintry conditions that can be almost painful to watch.

I didn’t really understand why Davey Johnson sent Craig Stammen out in the seventh to pitch a second inning. I mean, during the regular season Johsnon often uses Stammen for multiple innings to save the rest of the bullpen. But right now, if anything the other pitchers in the bullpen could use the work to stay sharp. Fortunately, Ryan Mattheus was able to quickly get out of the jam that Stammen left him.

I’ve seen several comments on the call on Tyler Clippard’s third strike to Matt Carpenter to get out of the inning. But the strike zone was all over the place throughout the game, and I’ll bet that Wainwright got more breaks on the strike zone than all the Nats pitchers combined.  Since TBS is showing their “pitch track” box for almost every pitch, maybe next game I’ll start keeping count of the obvious misses. While I know that the boxes aren’t perfect, I’m sure they don’t make as many mistakes as most umpires, and the technology now can provide results very promptly. While I often read people write that they hope they don’t ever take the ball-strike call away from the umpires, I actually disagree. If the technology can be demonstrated to make accurate ball-strike calls in real time without delaying the game, I’m all in favor of using it.

It was great to see Tyler Moore come through with the clutch hit. While every post-season game matters a great deal, it’s especially true in the best-three-of-five division series. It was a really nice game with which to start the post season.


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