P2Daily: Wil Crowe, Yoshi Tsutsugo, and BABIP

A few days ago, Wil Crowe was bailed out by Yoshi Tsutsugo.

Crowe entered Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs in the sixth inning with two outs, and the Pirates leading by two runs.

The first batter he faced singled to center.

The second batter hit a grounder down the first base line that Tsutsugo fielded and flipped to Crowe to end the inning, rather than having either first and third in a two run game, or a runner on second in a one run game.

Two days ago, Tsutsugo didn’t offer the same help to Crowe.

Crowe entered the game in the seventh inning, with the Pirates leading the Brewers by one.

He gave up a single on a grounder that went past Tsutsugo’s backhand attempt. A more mobile first baseman probably would have made the play. Crowe followed with another single, putting runners at first and third.

What happened next was the opposite of Sunday’s game. Crowe got a hard grounder hit right to Tsutsugo, which should have started a double play. Instead, the ball went under Tsutsugo’s glove, leading to a run, which was followed by a second run on a single against the next batter.

BABIP giveth, BABIP taketh.

There’s a concerning small trend for Crowe over these outings. On Sunday, he entered the game and put two balls in play, getting bailed out on the second by Tsutsugo. Crowe pitched a second inning, giving up a double and a single, before getting a strikeout, foul pop out, and a lineout to end the inning.

Two days ago, Crowe allowed opponents to put the ball in play in the first four at-bats, leading to three hits and an error.

To this point, Crowe has been fortunate as far as BABIP goes. We might see more of these types of outings in the future, and that could be made worse long-term by Tsutsugo’s defense at first. I think we’re more likely to see a repeat of Wednesday than Sunday.

The positive is that Crowe has managed to show good stuff even in bad outings. He limited the damage on Wednesday with a key strikeout, a groundout to third, and a flyout to center. That’s very similar to how he got out of the second inning jam on Sunday.

Of course, he can’t expect to get himself out of every jam he puts himself in, which is why the early balls-in-play trend from the last two games is something to watch going forward.

Especially when Tsutsugo is at first base.

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