GameDay, MLB.TV, and Instant Replay
The new MLB gameday and mlb.tv are unreal. MLBAM unveiled GameDay Premium, which will cost $20 for the season , but I’ll be sure to make the investment for the comprehensive pitch f/x data presentations including hot/cold zones velocity charts, pitch type charts movement charts, and release point charts. Now that Josh Kalk took his player cards down, the only two sources left for real-time pitch f/x graphs and data are brooksbaseball and mlb gameday.
MLB.tv offered every game’s home, away, and radio broadcasts, and the DVR as well as “jump to inning” functions will be useful later on when I’m not watching games live. The option of displaying four games at once is awesome. Unfortunately, MLB’s archaic zoning laws prevents friend of mine who lives in Pennsylvania from watching Mets, Yankees, Pirates, and Phillies games due to blackout restrictions.
As for actual baseball, It looks like the closer’s job in St. Louis may still be up for grabs. Jason Motte entered the ninth inning with a two run lead and immediately brought the heat. His first pitch was a fastball in, and a hitter as experienced as Freddy Sanchez knew what to do, raking it for a double. Motte got the next two batters out before he unraveled. Motte was too predictable, as Adam LaRoche, Eric Hinske, and Jack Wilson all sat dead red. He challenged LaRoche with three fastballs, and LaRoche picked up his second hit of the game. Hinske pounded the first-pitch fastball for a double. Finally, Motte loaded the bases with two outs up one when he challenged Jack Wilson. Wilson was overmatched, swinging through the first-pitch fastball he knew was coming. He was able to foul off the second, but then went to the well once too often as Wilson caught up with a letter-high fastball for a game-winning three-run double. In all, Motte threw 22 fastballs in the 95-98 MPH range, but he might want to use his slider more often when he’s ahead in the count.
I already saw a couple contested home run calls for which replay wasn’t used. I think it was Yunel Escobar who hit a shot to center in the Sunday night that might or might not have cleared the wall. The hit ruled a double in spite of a fan’s protest that the ball had hit him in the chest. The next day Cesar Izturis lifted a ball to deep left which Johnny Damon had a beat on, but as he jumped at the wall a fan reached over and interfered with his arm, allowing the ball to travel into the stands. Is replay only going to be used during the playoffs or are we going to take this tool seriously?