The Mad Wizard made Barry Bonds raise his eyebrow

Posted: May 10, 2016 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
Tags: , , , , ,

No this is not a weird fantasy world this is 2016 Major League baseball but it is kind of interesting to think of Barry Bonds as a Barbarian Berserker amped up on some crazy potion.

This is actually more about the way Joe Madden treated Bryce Harper in this past series. So why did the title mention Barry Bonds? Hold your horses I’m gonna get there.

Joe Madden the Mad Wizard at the helm of the seemingly unstoppable ship that is the Chicago Cubs decided that if he cut off the head of the snake the rest would die. That’s exactly what he did and it worked.

Madden figured the best way to beat the Nationals in a 4 game series was to not let Bryce Harper hit the ball. Some how he figured out that if Bryce Harper does not hit the ball the rest of the Nationals lineup couldn’t muster enough offense to win. Simply put it worked and worked really well.

Bryce Harper in 4 games went 19 plate appearances with 4 actual At Bats. Now for those that are looking at that line and saying ‘Uh…’ let me help. A plate appearance is anytime you get to step up to the plate for your at bat. However if you get hit by a pitch or walked it doesn’t count as an At Bat but still counts as a plate appearance(also sacrifice flys or bunts don’t count as an At Bat either). Bryce got up to bat 19 times in 4 games of those 19 times he had 1 hit and 2 stikeouts.

Want to know the best stats? 13 walks and 1 bit by a pitch.

19 Plate appearances = 1 hit + 2 strikeouts + 13 walks + 1 HBP + 1 Sac Fly + 1 Ground out

  • Game 1 – 4 PA’s, 1 At Bat, 1 Hit, 1 Run, and 3 Walks
  • Game 2 – 4 PA’s, 3 At Bats, 1 Walk, and 2 strikeouts
  • Game 3 – 4 PA’s, 0 At Bats, 1 RBI, 3 Walks, and 1 Sac Fly
  • Game 4(this game went 13 innings) – 7 PA’s, 0 At Bats, 6 Walks, and 1 HBP

This was not only unconventional it was insane and genius. Oh yeah BTW the Cubs won all 4 games.

The first two games where nothing too much out of the ordinary even though Bryce got 3 walks in the first game but the next two wow. This is where the Barry Bonds tie in comes in, see I told you I would get there.

First 7 PA’s without an official At Bat is a MLB Record, no one has done that (or had that done to them) before. Barry had a streak of 7 consecutive walks in three games, 5 in just one game in the middle(He is tied with 4 others for the most with the same 7 consecutive times). Bryce unfortunately got hit by a hitch after 5 consecutive walks so he didn’t get to tie or break that record. (He had 5 walks then HBP and then 3 more walks so theoretically he could have broken that record.) I’m sure you remember the 232 walks to Barry Bonds in the 2004 season, every time he stepped up to the bat he either walked or hit a homerun it seemed. It all started with that first team saying ‘Okay lets make the other players beat up, walk him’ and then everyone else followed suit. So does this put Harper in the same spot as Bonds, is he primed to come close or even break that single season walks record. At first glance you would say no this was a one off, but hang on. Everything is subject to copy-cats, hell look at shifts or building a team off just sabremetrics. Everyone is doing it now not just the one team with a crazy GM. So will other teams follow suit until the rest of the Nationals lineup shows they can take advantage of it? If you don’t think so look at the Angels the reason Mike Trout doesn’t get walked constantly is Albert Pujols. Even in his later years he will hurt you so you have to pitch to Trout to a point.

When questioned Joe Madden said yes it was the strategy, make the rest of the team beat you just not him.

It worked plain and simple. The better question is now will the rest of the league follow suit?

SD Signature

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Comments
  1. Is he the Mad Wizard….or the Wizard that made Bryce Mad….? After his antics last night…one could never be too sure⁉️

    Liked by 1 person

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