The Danks Theory, for those that don't troll Rays blogs, is the practice of starting pitch-sided batters (right handers against a righty) to negate the impact of a pitcher's best out pitch, often a change up. After Dallas Braden fly ball and changed up a standard righty versus lefty Rays lineup; Joe Maddon threw down a 2006 Malbec and got crazy. He put together a lineup of lefties to face White Sox change up master John Danks, going as far as to instruct his switch hitters (the Rays are lousy with'em) to hit left against the southpaw. The results, both against Marcum and Danks, are impressive.
I realize that a) not many managers have the sack (or the wherewithal) to ignore the book and load up their lineup with out-pitch neutralizing maniacs. But Marcum's change is his out pitch, without it he looks pretty ordinary.
During my liveblog of that game, I argued over and again with a commenter who insisted Marcum doesn't throw hard enough, that his fastball and change aren't usually 10mph different, apparently a magical key to victory. This, obviously, is ludicrous.
Marcum's strength is his ability to throw just about any pitch in just about any count. Should the opposition take away one of those pitches —the one most likely to miss your bat—has to swing the advantage slightly towards the hitter, doesn't it? It at least goes a long way to even the odds. Remove the best pitch from any pitcher and you
Hardly an original statement, but I think the Jays are getting extra, superduper boned by the interleague gods this year. It is bad enough when the teams the Jays are "competing" against in their "push to the playoffs" play a completely different set of teams, but when the Jays draw the Ubaldo and the Rockies on the road while the Yankees host the god-forsaken Astros, something ain't right.
Cruel blows by the schedule maker are one thing, being victimized by circumstance is another. Not only did the Jays have to stride into Coors to face the hottest pitcher in baseball, they got to do it on a terrible night. The rain, the sleet, the whatever should've put an end to the game long before it began. Except the Jays don't play the Rockies again this year. The two teams play at opposite ends of the continent, so scheduling a make up date is pretty much impossible. Playing a double header the next day doesn't work because of the Fox
So on the game went with a predictable result. The conditions were horseshit, the game only lasted six inning. It was terrible. If the Jays are hosting the Orioles, there is no way a single pitch is thrown Friday night. Let us band together and, if not end, then severely limit the amount of interleague forced upon the teams.
One road, one home series a year. That's it! The charade mustn't continue any longer. Especially since Tim Lincecum isn't scheduled to start in Toronto, making the entire Giants visit pointless. Man cannot live on Panda alone.
Hat tip to D-Rays Bay for the Danks Theory and some fancy-pants school of science for the image.