Morgan Ensberg had some really nice years for the Houston Astros. And now he’s got a really nice little baseball blog on the web that he writes on. Today’s topic was how he could have prevented Brad Lidge from giving up that epic Salami to Albert Pujols in the NLCS back in 2005. Ensberg says he was in the wrong spot.
Eckstein’s hit in the “5–6″ hole was the difference in the game. I was not positioned properly at third base.
If Eckstein get’s on base, Lidge had to face the lefty Edmonds. In 2004 and 2005, Edmonds hit 4 home runs into the left field Crawford Boxes. Behind Edmonds is Pujols, the best hitter the game has ever seen.
And there’s more:
Position is vital in baseball. The key is to align your fielders according to the spray chart. If the pitcher’s plan does not line up with the defense, the batter has a greater chance to get a hit in that vacated spot.
This is a spray chart from 2005 (put in 2005 and Minute Maid Park) showing every location Eckstein hit a baseball at Minute Maid Park. With the Cardinals down 2 runs, we are certain that he will take a strike (I will explain that reason another day) because even if he hits a hr, they are still down by 1 run. Sometimes power hitters are allowed to “swing away” if a hr can tie a game. That means that Eckstein will be working with just 2 strikes against a closer throwing close to 100 mph. Knowing that, his swing will be shorter and he will be trying to make contact which lessens his chances of pulling a ball down the line.
If you want to get inside the mind of a big leaguer, there might not be any better blog read on the entire net. Check out Morgan Ensberg’s Baseball IQ sometime. And you think some of these guys aren’t worth every penny? They have it down to an absolute science.