Chris Ellis did his job tonight for the Baltimore Orioles. He put the team in a position to win. However he was lifted in the fifth inning by manager Brandon Hyde, presumably due to analytics telling him that Ellis was no longer the right guy in the game. And the bullpen proceeded to blow it. Ellis’ line: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.
Ryan Mountcastle smacked a solo homer in the first to give Ellis the lead before he even took the mound. And Ellis was strong tonight against Toronto. Guerrero’s fourth inning solo homer is the only run he gave up. And it tied the game at 1.
Mountcastle would give the Orioles the lead back briefly with an RBI-single in the sixth. But Bichette would follow suit in the last of the sixth with an RBI-single to tie the game back up. Hernandez’s two-RBI double later in the sixth would give Toronto a 4-2 lead.
Guerrero would break the game wide open in the seventh with a three-run homer. And the O’s dropped game one of the series at Rogers Centre, despite Pedro Severino’s RBI/m-single in the ninth. But the question remains; are the Orioles overusing analytics?
There’s a place for analytics in baseball. And really in all sports. But you still have to have a feel for the game. Major league managers (including Brandon Hyde) have forgotten more baseball than I’ll ever know. BUT…
…I feel like it’s misguided to lift a starter who’s pitching a great game (in the middle innings) because a computer suggests the match up isn’t ideal. Wouldn’t you rather trust your gut than a computer or a book in a game like baseball?
Again, there’s a place for analytics in the game. But games should be called primarily based on the feel for the game. And if you overlook that, you deserve to lose.