• Bonnie Young

The Changeup Wed 10/21: A-Lowe Him To Regress to His Mean, Lowe Goes Deep Twice in WS Game 2

Updated: Oct 25


TB beats LAD 6-4 (World Series Tied 1-1)


Tampa Bay knows how to battle back. In Game 1 when Tampa was losing 8-1 in the 6th, I said they should just let that game go and look forward towards Game 2. Mentally, I think that was the correct approach. Tampa Bay indeed came back in Game 2 revived and ready to go. They came out swinging (for the fences). 


The Infield Heroes. The Rays' infield defense has been questionable this postseason, but the infielders were the heroes today with their bats. For the Rays, all 6 RBI came from 2 players: second baseman Brandon Lowe (3) and third baseman Joey Wendle (3).


Botched Pickoff Throw. In Top 6, the Dodgers botched a pickoff throw that wasn’t really worth it. LAD Joe Kelly fired 2 pickoff throws in a row to 1st to keep Manny Margot close to the bag. On the second pickoff throw, Kelly threw it wide and 1B Muncy let the ball get past him. The error was charged to Muncy. Margot advanced to second, but luckily for the Dodgers, he got stranded so it didn't end up mattering.


Lowe Strikes Back. Brandon Lowe was the Rays’ hottest bat in the regular season: 37 RBI and 14 HRs in just 56 games. Before this game, he was underperforming in the postseason and was going a disappointing 6 for 56. In Game 2, his great outing was his “let me regress to my mean” day.

 

How Lowe Can You Go. Lowe pronounces his surname “Lau” as opposed to the more common “Low”. When asked why he pronounces that way, he said “I guess I don’t really know. My family has just always said it that way.” His family is originally from South Carolina. 



Brandon Lowe Hits 2 Opposite Field Bombs

Top 1, Solo Homer. Brandon hit an opposite field home run to left center on a Gonsolin 95 mph fastball. The pitch was right down the middle. It was not a great 3-1 pitch and I'm not sure if Gonsolin meant to throw it right in the zone like that. I love home runs like this one Lowe hit. It was a line drive shot and never got up too high. It landed about 5 rows deep into the stands. 


Top 4, 2-Run Homer. Lowe’s second homer was another opposite field homer to left off a Dustin May 86 mph hanging curveball. That was a breaking ball that never broke. This homer really looked like the first one he hit location wise and just made it a few feet over the wall.


Opposite field HRs have always intrigued me. They are rare because the hitter needs to generate a lot of power even if he's a little late on the ball and the ball is hit off the end of his bat.



The Moneyball Effect

Regardless of the outcome of this Series, I’m happy that the Tampa Bay players are getting good screen time. The whole team is outperforming its shoestring budget. All these players will be able to demand more money for their next contracts. Unfortunately, that offer probably won’t come from the Rays. The Oakland A’s Moneyball effect will come into play, meaning players will get too valuable and the Rays won't be able to afford retaining them. Players will get poached by one of the Top 10 rich teams for bigger bucks. Tampa Bay will need to go back to the drawing board and find new undervalued players. That will involve scrolling many hundreds of rows down their “Players We Can Afford” excel spreadsheet run by a Jonah Hill lookalike Analyst.

About the Author

Bonnie Young runs the Amplified blog. She shares her insights on market trends from US to Asia and interviews founders shaking up the tech scene. She has been passionate about baseball since the age of 13 and regularly attended A's games before the pandemic. Bonnie is currently looking for a growth equity or VC role in the Bay Area. You can reach her at bonnieyoung@berkeley.edu

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