Splitting Hairs (and Hits)

I’m not generally one to get wrapped up in statistical and/or technical debates. There are phenomena in sports that simply garner far more praise than they deserve: This one is an arbitrary accomplishment at best; after all, isn’t 4-4 with 3 triples and a homer more deserving of praise? This one is pretty impressive; but isn’t 30-9-8 still an amazing basketball line?

Some accomplishments, though, merit celebration.  Among them, no doubt, rests baseball’s “no-hitter”. Especially in today’s major leagues, the thought of a pitcher surviving 9 innings without surrendering a single hit is nearly impossible.
Thus, today’s Brewers-Pirates game has left me feeling extremely frustrated.  The official scorer in the game made a horrendous call asserting that CC Sabathia’s barehand blunder did NOT amount to an error. Anyone who’s seen the video should agree that Sabathia’s hand touched the ball when the runner was no more than 50% to first base–which, as John Kruk points out, makes for a relatively routine putout, and hence should be scored as an error.
Again, Sabathia’s performance was dominating–period; it should be praised regardless of whether or not it was technically a no-hitter.  However, by the same token, it would be much more special for the hurler, and his team, to be able to rally around such a milestone performance.  Why not correct the mistake, and allow a playoff-contending to team to ride momentum into the stretch? 
If baseball is to use replay in the future, it may as well employ such technology in settling debates such as this.  Call the hit an error, and give CC his no-no. And, for what it’s worth, I think he should win the NL Cy Young–no questions asked.

13 Responses to Splitting Hairs (and Hits)

  1. mao says:

    I saw the replay of that play and I agree, it should totally have been an error. It’s an error in most games, I don’t know what they were thinking.

    I have to say though, you can’t give Sabathia the Cy Young. As much as I like the guy from his Cleveland days, Brandon Webb has been unstoppable and Sabathia has only been in the league for half the year. Yes, it’s been the most dominating half of a season I’ve ever seen, but I just can’t see it happening.

  2. Brizz says:

    I agree that it should’ve been a no-hitter. I’m just wondering if anybody else thinks Ned Yost is as insane as I do. While it’s more than likely that Sabathia is just a two month rental it’s obvious the Brewers should make the playoffs. That being said, why is Yost pitching Sabathia into the ground? Wasn’t this last outing his fifth or sixth complete game? As much of a hoss as the guy is if you’re gearing up for a playoff run you should probably give him some time to rest. I know you can make the argument that Yost is doing this to either save the bullpen or save the game by not allowing his bullpen to pitch, but you have to think that throwing so many innings is going to have an effect on Sabathia down the road. As amazing as CC has been every pitcher is due for a bad start or two, and you’d hate it (if you’re a Brewers fan) if that happens in October. Rich Harden, on the other hand, is pitching as well as Sabathia but Sweet Lou hasn’t let him pitch more than 7 innings thus far, usually pulling him after 5 or 6. I have to say that I think Lou’s logic is a bit more sound than Yost’s.

  3. mao says:

    I agree, but I guess Yost is counting on Sabathia being such a beast that it won’t matter. We’ll see…

  4. Brizz says:

    As amazing as he is I just don’t see it happening. In 11 starts for the Brewers he’s thrown 88 innings. Combined with his number from Cleveland that’s already 210 innings already this season. The Brew Crew have 25 games left, so you have to figure he gets at least four more starts, if not five or six. Say Yost continues on this path and he throws 5 more games of 8 innings or more and you’re looking at 250 innings for the season. I don’t see how anyone can continue to produce at that level without experiencing some sort of fatigue and getting absolutely shelled. Just look at what happened last year. He was lights out in the regular season but totally bombed in the playoffs. If I were Yost I would take a lesson from that.

  5. mao says:

    Yeah, I forgot about how much he ended up having trouble in the playoffs last season. I guess that’s a working model to use for this year. Still, they kind of need him to finish out the regular season strong, so I bet Yost doesn’t change a thing.

  6. Brizz says:

    I just read this quote from Ned Yost regarding his reason for pulling Ben Sheets after five innings yesterday:

    “He’s one of our top pitchers,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said of Sheets. “Do you wanna take a chance of losing him? I don’t. I take no chances with starting pitchers this time of year. ”

    I beg to differ Ned.

    I would also like to point out the utter insanity of me arguing for resting CC Sabathia, as the Brewers are arguably the biggest hindrance to Cubs success in the NL playoffs.

  7. mao says:

    Haha, but you’re arguing for what is right, so it makes sense. Yost’s comments are pretty much completely contradictory to what he’s doing with Sabathia. Makes it even more clear to me that they have no intention of trying to resign him over the winter. He may as well be trying on pinstripes right now.

  8. Brizz says:

    Please don’t say such things Mike. I’m fully hoping that we can revel in the misery of the Yankees for at least two more seasons.

  9. mao says:

    I’d love to see that too, and maybe he’ll struggle back in the American League as he did to start this year off, but there is no way Milwaukee is going to get him back. Maybe the Mets will throw big money at him and pair him at the top with Santana.

  10. Brizz says:

    What if the Cubs sign him? Even though there’s absolutely no chance of that happening can you imagine the havoc that would be wrought by the Zambrano-Sabathia-Harden-Dempster combo? That almost makes me drool.

  11. mao says:

    Haha, that would be a heinous front line. But like you said, they can’t possibly afford him.

  12. Brian says:

    I’d like to take credit for the CC for NL Cy bandwagon that I theoritcally started over month ago.

  13. mao says:

    Haha, no way you’re getting credit for that. He’s not going to win it anyway.

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