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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ervin Santana Bombs In Arlington: Rangers 7, Angels 1

The Angels' five-game winning streak thudded to a halt yesterday as Ervin Santana delivered a real stinker of a game. Now, granted, he posted three straight quality starts prior to yesterday, so an interruption of that trend wasn't entirely unexpected. Also, he has a history of getting shelled in Texas — he's hardly the first pitcher to do so — so yesterday's abuse was hardly unprecedented. Still, you do have to wonder how he'll fare once Josh Hamilton returns from the DL.

The real problem was that the Angels' offense never bothered to show up. Nine Angels struck out — predictably, Mark Trumbo did so twice, but unexpectedly, the other double-whiffer was Bobby Abreu. At least there was only one GIDP: Torii Hunter's, also somewhat of a surprise, though he seems to be doing that a fair amount this year. He's already got seven of the damn things this year, which would put him on a pace for an eye-popping 61 if extrapolated to the 646 plate appearances he made last year. This needs to stop, now.

ESPN BoxRecap

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Hunter grounding into double plays shouldn't be a surprise. He was fifth in the AL last season with 22 GIDP. He was also the worst baserunner in all of the MLB last season according to equivalent baserunning runs.
Wow, what a list that is -- littered with current (Hunter, Bobby Abreu) and recent ex-Angels (Vlad Guerrero, Casey Kotchman, Hideki Matsui, Juan Rivera) on the negative side of the ledger. Thanks for sharing.
umm, 100 base runners were worse than Bengie Molina? that doesn't pass the smell test.
Maybe other baserunners with negative value end up erasing themselves thanks to recklessness, where Bengie — though slow — is aware of his limitations. Torii, for instance, is still fast enough to think he can steal bases, but slow enough that catchers throw him out plenty.
That's exactly right. Bengie is slow, but isn't reckless.

Brian -- you're talking like someone you actually didn't watch Torii last year. And you can actually read up on how the metric is calculated before you criticize it.
To illustrate -- Bengie has not been caught stealing once in the past four years. All of his negative baserunning value is accumulated with the EqHAR component, which measures advancement on hits (first to third/home, second to home, etc), but he actually has non-zero positive value for coming home on sac flies, and advancing on wild pitches, passed balls, etc.

As a smart catcher, Bengie knows exactly when he can advance, and does so, and never tries to advance when he cannot. Meanwhile, a full 70% of Hunter's negative value came from trying to take a base when he could not. He erased himself 12 times last year with a CS, while only successfully swiping a base 9 times. He was simply ghastly, and he repeated his mistakes again and again.

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