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Additional Thoughts on Last Night's Game

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I have no idea what Gabe Kapler is doing on the basepaths. The only thing I can think of is that he thought the inning was over as he rounded third. That doesn't excuse the play, but it makes it a bit less boneheaded, if still unaware. Kapler's made some silly gaffes on the paths thus far, but I'm pretty sure he's not going to do this every other game.

So far, Lance Cormier has given us exactly what we expected. His velocity is sitting just shy of 90 as he uses that cut-fastball prominently, which has been a central part of a 7.4% swinging strike rate. Of the 11 batters who put balls into play, 7 have been of the ground variety - that's about 64%. Cormier lacks the record of accomplishment and quirkiness of Chad Bradford, but so far, so good.

Speaking of expectations, Pat Burrell has yet to do much. He's seen exactly five balls in the inner half of the zone this season, and put three in play. Teams are attacking him away, away, and more away as well as out of zone. Give credit to his eye and to the idea that right now he's just missing these pitches despite getting ahead. Here's a look at the pitches he's put into play and the count:

0-0:

0-1

0-1

1-1

2-0

2-0

1-2

3-1

0-0

3-1

3-2

Of those 11, you're looking at four hitters counts, two first pitchers, one clear pitcher count, and a full count. Burrell is hitting a decent amount of liners given the small sample size as well, although obviously I would like a few of those grounders to the left side to turn into liners down the line.

Ben Zobrist's self-turned double play is one of the most unlikely events of the season. The effort ultimately went for naught, but it was pretty fantastic.

Tommy talked about it last night, but the triple attempt by Crawford really had a bigger impact than you would expect. A man on second with one out presents a run expectancy of 0.70 - not a sure thing, but with Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena due up, odds are one of them could drive him in. Getting swiped at third lowered the run expectancy to 0.11. That's more than a half of an expected run gone over the course of 90 feet. Credit the Orioles defense.

Highest leveraged at-bat of the entire game was Jason Bartlett's second inning at-bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Unfortunately, Bartlett couldn't come through in what's likely his last leadoff hitting assignment for a while.

Also credit their defense for being vastly improved. Some people will joke about the analogy, but the Rays could become to defense what the A's were to on-base percentage. For a team like Baltimore, acquiring Adam Jones and Felix Pie shows the processes of buying low as well as knowing when to cash your chips in. That outfield defense is going to rival the Rays as the best in the division for the next few years, and that's a scary proposition.