MLB 2021 Playoffs

Indeed. It was an 0-2 pitch and Flores hadn’t exactly looked like he was comfortable at the plate against Scherzer. Although I thought it was a terrible call, particularly in that situation, I thought it just delayed the inevitable.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, attention to the playoffs was hijacked by the Cardinals, who unexpectedly fired manager Mike Shildt 5 hours before Thursday night’s game. Cardinals management said it had “philosophical differences” with Shildt, who had led the struggling team to a franchise-record 17-game winning streak and a one and done appearance in the playoffs.

Cardinal fans, many of whom had previously considered Shildt to be a lackey for the front office, immediately praised him for his principled independence.

The check swing in baseball remains an embarrassment. Consider

  1. There is no definition of a swing in the rulebook (really) and
  2. The accepted definition - that the bat’s angle breaks the plane of the front of the plate - is enforced by an ump who is not in a position to enforce it.

Imagine if tennis decided to enforce whether a ball was in or out of the baseline not by having a baseline judge, but by asking some guy a hundred feet away, sitting up in the stands on the other side of the court, to make the call. That is basically an analogous idea. Millions of dollars and championship rings are at stake, and they still let a vague rule be called by a person who cannot possibly call it accurately. It’s a disgrace.

As you stated, nobody knows exactly what constitutes a swing. It’s time that MLB determines what a swing is, and then subject the call to replay. If the definition is that the bat breaks the plane of the plate, then replay should be able to determine if that happened. If it’s too close for replay to decide, then stick with the original call.

They used to call it no swing if you didn’t break your wrists. But then some hitters can hit it into the upper deck without breaking their wrists, so they switched to “plane of the base.”

Let’s just add a rule that defines a swing as any time the fat end of the bat gets lower than the batter’s shoulders during a pitch in flight. Fuck all checked swings. They all count. That does away with most of the problem.

It does, however, raise a few new ones.

In my amateur umpire training, we were given the following guide to checked swings: if you can see the end of the bat, it was a swing (ie, the bat became parallel to the 1st base line (for a RH batter)).

Under that guideline, no way in hell did Flores swing. If Morales saw a swing, he was either hallucinating, or using a definition from the MSU* rulebook.

*making shit up.

I’ve never been sure what this means. The front edge of home plate?

By that interpretation, you would be able to see the end of the bat straight on and the swing would be about 135 degrees. You can start to see the end of the bat once the swing is 90 degrees (assuming you’re standing right on the foul line. That would make the bat point about 45 degrees away from parallel to the first base line and would correspond roughly to breaking the plane of the plate.

@jsc1953 gave a great definition:

Since the baseline is the edge of home plate, then the bat would break the home plate plane if the bat became parallel with the baseline.

Parallel to the base line? That is broadly generous.

How about this, “either parallel to the front edge of home plate, or the knob passes in front of the batter’s body”?

Yeah, as I understand it the baselines are not the measure, but rather this:

Baseline       Baseline
\                 /
 \               /
  \             /
   \           /
    \         /
     \       /
------=======----------checked swing line
      |Home |
      \     /
       \   /

But isn’t the ‘front edge of home plate’ also the baseline?

If you look at the official rules, on page 171, the layout of the diamond clearly shows home plate completely in fair territory, and the ‘edges’ are the first and third baselines.

What is up with them giving the Astro’s pitcher a half hour to warm up? They even pulled the players off the field.

Edit: looks like he could have used another half hour.

Well, 2 grand slams by one team in a playoff game had never happened before, until today.

Did the Astros have to pull their starter due to an injury? If so, a relief pitcher who comes in, in such a situation, usually is given considerably more time to warm up.

That was the the cited reason, that Garcia had some kind of injury.

Been an okay, but generally forgettable game in Atlanta.

Austin Riley begs to differ.

It’s frustrating being a fan of many teams, but is there a bigger tease than the Atlanta Braves? Put aside the 10 NLCS appearances (now 11) in the past thirty years with the lone WS championship to show for it. They’ve made the NLDS SIXTEEN times in the past 25 years. Brutal. I fully expect them to lose to the Dodgers because that’s what they do.

Chasing the starter early tonight in the 3rd!