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Marlins winning the replay game; Jeff Baker's unique hitting streak & more

HOUSTON -- When it comes to overturning calls using baseball's new replay rules, no team is doing it better than the Marlins. The Marlins have been successful on 17 of their 21 challenges this season, giving them an 80 percent success rate that is tops in the majors.

[The folks at baseballsavant.com have all it broken down here.]

So far this season, 657 calls have been challenged in the majors, with 345 -- or 52.5 percent -- getting overturned. The Marlins, clearly, are doing much better than the average. Their 17 overturns are also tied for first with the Royals and Giants. By contrast, the Cardinals have had only two correct challenges (out of 13 attempts) while the Reds are just three for nine.

If one assumes that the number of close plays from one team to the next equals out over the course of a 162-game season, it's clear some teams are doing a much better job of it than others. In the name of Don Denkinger, how in the world have the Cardinals only managed to get two calls overturned this season when the league average is 11.5?

"I think it's become a big weapon," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of the new review system.

In Pat Shine, the Marlins have someone who is focused on the job. And it's not an easy one. During games, Shine sits inside the clubhouse carefully scrutinizing not just every single play, but anywhere from 12 to 15 camera angles on each and every one. Whenever there's a close play, Shine doesn't have a lot of time to a) examine the replay, oftentimes more than once; b) determine whether a challenge is in order and c) call the information up to the dugout.

"He's done a great job of seeing those plays and making a 15-second judgment," Redmond said. "It's not easy. He's been a huge weapon for us, for sure. We buy him as much time as we possibly can. But, still, he's got to be in on every play, and he's got 10 or 15 seconds to make a judgment, safe or out."

One night after getting a call at first overturned in Atlanta, the Marlins challenged a safe call on Jose Altuve's stolen base in Houston. Replays showed Donovan Solano had made a swipe tag on Altuve, who was ultimately ruled to be out.

"He's been all over it and really become a big part of the team," Redmond said of Shine. "When he gets them right, it fires everybody up, too. You think back to the one in San Francisco when (Brandon Hicks) missed first base, that was all him."


Jeff Baker has a 10-game hitting streak, which might not sound like a big deal. But not only is it the longest hitting streak of Baker's career, he's done it the hard way.

Baker came through with pinch-hits in four of those games, which puts him one away from matching the Marlins' franchise record for consecutive pinch-hits, shared by Wes Helms (2008) and Greg Briley (1993).

"Obviously, the first month of the season for me was extremely rough," Baker said. "But just staying with my approach, not trying to change and do too much because the stats aren't exactly where you wnted them..."


Though he's worked in five of the past six games, earning saves in each, Steve Cishek said he'll be available again Saturday.

"You doubting me?" Cishek asked.

After a rough patch, Cishek said he's made a couple of minor adjustments to get back on track.

"It's just one little adjustment that I had to make, which was driving the ball down in the zone," he said. "Everything I threw in those other games were bad pitches, especially against Oakland. Everything was up. It wasn't so much the approach as much as it was the location and execution of the pitch. Just battled to get that feel back. I'm sure it won't be the last time I struggle."


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Whoopee!!! Marlins are finally #1 at something good.


Today I'll publicly eat my words about the FO making a bad decision on Morris. In his 23 games with the Marlins, he has been a solid addition, and part of the reason for many of the games won in July. Then let's hope the FO will manage to find the fifth starter the team so badly needs (if it is not going to be Turner). We are still missing a good SP to fill a spot Fernandez had wonderfully executed. Unfortunately, it does not seem that SP is available yet from the Minors.

Lou Vales

Al, Is anyone else concerned with this "offensive" offense?


The FO is scouring all the garbage dumps around,looking for players they dont have to pay for.


Not me, Lou.
Except for Stanton during July, with a few others like Salty and Ozuna not always clicking, the Marlins offense is not terrible. They are tied for 4th in runs for the NL, but the pitching has also given up the 4th most runs in the NL.

Lou Vales

Re there more than 10 people who give a damn. So Sad!! Maybe there is a reason he doesn't spend money as he realizes the apathy this time may not be reversed.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Lou, it's not a question of why he does or does not spend money... the issue is that he lied and continues to lie about it.

Lou Vales

DT, I understand that and even though there is no justification for it and even if you and I would not do it, I can at least understand HIS thinking.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Before there was a replay rule, the common school of thought was that umps' calls even out in the end. I have yet to see anything with the replay rule that changes that imo. And in the thousands upon thousands of games that have been played this season, has there been even ONE game that was decided by an overturned call? I would think it would have received headline coverage, and I haven't seen any. There have been plenty of instances, I'm sure, where someone said that the game "turned" on a replay call or that the proverbial momentum shifted, etc. etc. But the same can also be said with an untimely bad hop or a key pitching change or any one of a hundred different moments within each game. That is the nature of baseball.

But to say that it's a big weapon is a gross overstatement. In my estimation, and I watch many games, it has (1) caused delays on many relatively inconsequential delays, (2) has brought the manager out of the dugout much more often (thus involving them more directly in plays... DEFINITELY NOT an enhancement imo!), and (3) as it's currently used, detracts from the best parts of the game... its symmetry and true critical components (i.e. pitching, hitting, defense).

On the last point, what is lost on most sabermetricians as well as those who advocate replays any other technology is this: you cannot apply statistics or linear logic to human behavior... It. Does. Not. Work. Only the greatest minds in science and psychology, like Einstein and Jung, have been able to come to this realization, but it seems lost on most of the population, including some otherwise very intelligent people.

Human foibles are the best part of sports (and life), it is the one true element that makes a sports contest interesting, and to diminish its impact is impossible, illogical, and idiotic.

Sabermetrics and statistics, as examples, has definite value and have a role in the game, but only as springboards. But if you make it a panacea, the "be-all, end-all," then you're missing the big picture. Same applies to the replay rule, which needs to be tweaked.

If the goal is to eliminate all the human factors, then we should make robots to play the game. It'll be cheaper, while reducing salaries, injuries, and errors.

Redmond's statement that replay has become a big weapon? Listen up, baldy: a 95 mph fastball that paints the black on the outside corner - THAT is a weapon... a runner with the speed to go from first to third on a single to RF or a outfielder with a cannon for an arm to cut down a runner - THAT is a weapon. But a camera lens is NOT a weapon (except in divorces and blackmail). And any rule that brings YOU out of the dugout on a daily basis? That is definitely NOT a weapon, unless boring me or sending me to the fridge for another beer is your ultimate goal.

Lou Vales

5 comments!!! for a team that has won 7 out of 8 and are 5 1/2 out of the Wild Card with their ace pitcher shut out most of the year and their superstar garnering the Golden Sombrero as he continues to equate plate adjustments with the Ebola Virus.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Typo above... many inconsequential "PLAYS"

Lou, you want to understand the Gargoyle-faced Pig Virus's thinking? You should have said so!

Greed, hubris, dishonesty.

That's it. That's his thinking. Nothing more, nothing less.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Lou, a win is a win and the Marlins seemed back on track with the Braves, but you DO realize that it was the Houston "20 games under .500" Astros that we just swept, right?


Indeed, DT!
Let's not get too excited about a team that is very unlikely to play that well against the Nationals, or even overtake 5 other teams to earn a wild card. All we can hope for are better players in future years, with spending on quality players instead of cheap misfits. I'll be very surprised if the FO manages to find a good SP to shore up the rotation this year.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Upon further review review of the replay rule (phrasing intended!), the part that I believe needs to be tweaked and WILL be tweaked this coming offseason is the part highlighted in Clark's post above, involving the delay that's currently given to teams to decide if they even WANT to contest the call. Look at football... the coach has NO opportunity to delay the game while he makes up his mind. It would reduce the incidence of replays if you eliminate just that part of it. Designate someone like the first- or third-base coach to call for a replay, which will keep bald headed managers in the dugout where they belong. And, no time outs or delays, you have only until the next pitch to decide, similar to football. The way it's currently constructed, delays are actually encouraged., which I find patently absurd.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Actually, using my suggestion, bald-headed managers would be come an asset. Remaining in the dugout, they can borrow from Paul Revere... flash their shiny pate once for yes (to contest), twice for no.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Apparently, I am fixating on hair today...

Memo to Manny "The Sweatshirt" Navarro: I always knew there was something oddly familiar but uncomfortable about your appearance in that photo above, but I could never quite put a finger on what it was. Naturally, and as you're already aware, I just assumed it was your proclivity for sweatshirts. But over this past weekend, I came across something that finally, once and for all, defined what it is. It's your haircut!!! Ad to be more specific...


Stan M

The team is playing well and much can be said. And much has been said. I want to change the subject to what comes next. We will now play Washington, then Cincinnati and no doubt pay the price. Should we break even, it would be significant in my opinion. But where is this team going? The outfield and 3rd base are solid. I don't give a damn what the cyber heads say, we can win with Hech at SS. But can this team win with Jones, Salty, and a cavalcade of thousands at 2B? Right now 2B is trending well, but who knows for how long. 1st base is a graveyard of mediocrity and the catching situation is, if anything worse. What can be done? If Stanton would bring, not another string of prospects, but a serviceable second baseman and a catcher, even if Salty was moved in the transaction, I'd do it. That would move Marisnick to CF and Yelich to 1B. The conundrum is, would Yelich's superior hitting at 1B and a better 2nd baseman's output, along with at least a better fielding catcher with potential, overcome, or come close to overcoming Stanton's departure. I say yes. What would be happening essentially, is a transfer of Marisnick's output and defense for Jones. Can the guy be much worse? He can field better, run far better, and is 9 years younger and a few million cheaper.
To keep Stanton for future years will require a salary of well over 20 million a year. What would happen to the rest of this team, if 1/3 of it's payroll is tied to our KO champ? We'd soon have nothing left. I say move him, but not for prospects, we've got enough of them. And as I said yesterday, if no Stanton trade, move some of our prospects for a 2nd baseman. I'd love to have Murphy of the Mets.

Lou Vales

Let's start small Mike Dunn to the Tigers for Hernan Perez(your new 2B) and a guy I would need to approve of because I know the talent better than Mr Weak Chin(Dave Dombrowski)

Lou Vales

"and a guy" meant an additional player. Won't be that good because Perez is pretty damn good. Blocked by Kinsler

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