Tag: Jose Tabata

Jose Tabata

Pirates designate Jose Tabata for assignment


Just week since he helped the Pirates avoid getting perfect-gamed by Max Scherzer and the Nationals, outfielder Jose Tabata has been designated for assignment, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. It sounds like pitcher Chris Volstad is on his way out as well, while Steve Lombardozzi and Gorkys Hernandez are coming up from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Tabata, 26, hit .289/.341/.289 with four RBI in 41 plate appearances for the Pirates this season. Once a top prospect in the Yankees’ system, Tabata has yet to match expectations. He joined the Pirates in July 2008 along with Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, and Daniel McCutchen when the Pirates sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Bronx in a trade.

Though Tabata has utility and is only 26, he’s unlikely to be claimed on waivers as he’s owed the remainder of his $4.167 million salary plus $4.5 million next season and a $250,000 buyout for any of the 2017-19 seasons.

Max Scherzer has a non-zero chance of pulling a Vander Meer

Max Scherzer

Johnny Vander Meer is the only pitcher in baseball history to throw back-to-back no-hitters, doing so on June 11 and 15 during the 1938 season for the Cincinnati Reds. Long have we thought someone would eventually join Vander Meer, only to be disappointed each and every time.

Max Scherzer no-hit the Pirates on Saturday, a comparatively disappointing result as he was one strike away from a perfect game before he hit Jose Tabata with an errant slider. If ever someone was going to pull a Vander Meer, it’s Scherzer, considering his upcoming match-up. He’s on schedule to open a series in Philadelphia against the lowly Phillies on Friday.

The Phillies entered play Sunday averaging 2.5 runs per game over their last 25 games and rank last or close to last in the league in a slew of offensive categories. Last in batting average (.236), last in on-base percentage (.287), last in slugging percentage (.348), last in home runs (41), third-worst in walks (157). They did manage to score nine runs to beat the Cardinals on Sunday, but it marked only the fourth time all year that they had scored more than six runs. The Phillies are still the worst-hitting team in the league and are among the worst teams of this millennium:

Regardless of how bad the Phillies are, the odds are still overwhelmingly in favor of Scherzer not throwing a no-hitter his next time out. According to the math, he has over a 99 percent chance to give up at least one hit. But this is the best confluence of variables that Scherzer — and we, fans of baseball rarities — could ask for. His next start on Friday in Philly will be must-see TV.

No, the Nationals didn’t throw at Jose Tabata for breaking up Max Scherzer’s perfect game

Jose Tabata

On Saturday, Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata controversially broke up Max Scherzer’s perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning when he was hit by a two-strike slider. Some argued that Tabata intentionally leaned into the pitch. Others argued he should have at least made more of an effort to get out of the way of the pitch. Members of both groups suggested the Nationals should throw at Tabata in his first at-bat on Sunday.

Tabata took his place in the batter’s box in the second inning of Sunday afternoon’s series finale in Washington, D.C. against Gio Gonzalez, treated to a chorus of boos from the home crowd. Gonzalez’s first pitch to Tabata was a 91 MPH fastball over the middle of the plate.

Gonzalez would have been in the wrong for throwing at Tabata. For one, that would simply make him a bad human being, as a batter’s career can end in an instant if he’s hit by a pitch in the wrong area. Moreover, Tabata did nothing wrong in getting hit on Saturday when he faced Scherzer. The logic that getting hit by a pitch to break up Scherzer’s perfect game is “bush league” — as many argued yesterday — is as silly as thinking that Yankees reliever Jose De Paula was bush league for not throwing a meatball to J.D. Martinez this afternoon when he came to the plate in the seventh inning with an opportunity to have a four-homer game. He flew out to right field instead. Should the Tigers have thrown at one of the Yankees? Or maybe Bryan Holaday — who hit directly behind Martinez — should have kicked a clump of dirt around home plate into Yankees catcher Brian McCann’s face?

Unwritten rules are dumb, you guys.

Watch all 27 outs of Max Scherzer’s no-hitter

Max Scherzer, Wilson Ramos

MLB.com has spliced together video showing all 27 outs of Max Schezer’s no-hitter Saturday against the Pirates. You’ll also see Max hit Jose Tabata on the elbow, which cost him a perfect game …

Scherzer now has a 1.76 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 123/14 K/BB ratio over his first 102 1/3 innings with the Nationals. $210 million seemed like a crazy amount of money for any pitcher, but he’s on his way to justifying that contract. Scherzer’s next start is against the Phillies. Putting out a preemptive perfect game watch.

Jose Tabata is at no fault for ending Max Scherzer’s bid for a perfect game

Jose Tabata

Jose Tabata pinch-hit for Pirates reliever Vance Worley with two outs in the ninth inning, the only man standing between Max Scherzer and the 24th perfect game in baseball history. Scherzer was absolutely dealing and Tabata didn’t look like he was having any fun trying to make contact. He fouled off the first two pitches, worked the count back to 2-2, weakly fouled off three more pitches, and then was hit on his left elbow by a slider.

The video below shows what happened:

Rule 6.08b says:

The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when —


(b) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;
If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.

Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy thinks Tabata wasn’t at fault, tweeting, “looked like a totally normal reaction from a hitter to an inside breaking ball- why the hate?”

Scherzer threw an 86 MPH slider. At 60 feet, six inches, a batter has less than a half-second with which to react. Considering how much movement Scherzer’s slider has, and how far away the pitch actually was from the strike zone, it’s perfectly reasonable that Tabata would get hit by it and not appear to have made much of an effort in getting out of the way.

But let’s play devil’s advocate here. Let’s say that Tabata intentionally leaned into the pitch to ruin Scherzer’s perfect game. He did it and got away with it, as home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski didn’t interject. How is that any different than a catcher framing a ball outside of the strike zone to increase the probability of a strike call? Both players are attempting to exploit a gray area in order to maximize their teams’ odds of winning.

Some have argued that Tabata should have been up at the plate with the intent of breaking up Scherzer’s perfect game with a hit. Why? Perfect games are special because they’re so hard to attain; they would start to lose their luster if we pressure players into ending them in only certain, approved ways. There have been 24 in baseball history, only a slightly more common occurrence than a four-homer game. If a player has hit three home runs and takes his next at-bat, do we expect the pitcher to throw him a meatball to make his attempt to make baseball history easier? No, the pitcher goes at the hitter with everything he has.

Furthermore, the game was not a done deal. In 999,999 of 1,000,000 iterations of the game state after Tabata was hit — two outs, one on, down by six — the Pirates lose, but Tabata should still have been trying to play for a win irrespective of Scherzer’s bid for a perfect game. His job is to get on base. If that includes getting hit by a pitch at the expense of Scherzer’s perfect game, so be it.

Some have advocated the Nationals throw at Tabata in Sunday’s series finale. Tabata did nothing wrong. That disappointment should be directed at more deserving targets, such as Scherzer for making a poor pitch.

Tabata talks about ending Scherzer’s perfect game:

Scherzer says he doesn’t fault Tabata and would have done the same thing in his position.