This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.
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"So what George Springer did in the fifth inning was important both to winning a baseball game, and winning an argument. With second and third and one out, and the Rays positioning three infielders on the left side of second base, Springer slapped a 1-0 sinker that Diego Castillo left up through the huge hole right of the bag, scoring two runs and setting the Astros on their way to a 7-4 win that tied the ALCS at three games apiece. You don’t need rules that ban the shift. You just need players trying to beat it. Springer’s ball, per MLB, becomes a hit 19% of the time; it’s a lot higher when you hit it where they ain’t."