Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Do past events predict future outcomes: Robertson pitching to Smoak on April 1, 2018.

In March 2018, IPBiz had a post titled The significance of the finding "patents with higher reverse citation counts are less likely to survive review "? which questioned the significance of the correlation between "many citations to earlier work in a patent" and the probability that PTAB would decide to institute a review of that patent. The authors of the study observed:

While one might expect institution to be negatively correlated with counts of such citations—e.g., on the theory that more diligent applicants and examiners will tend to find and review more prior art224—we actually find the opposite. We observe that never-instituted patents cited fewer pieces of prior art overall, had fewer prior art citations added by the examiner, and cited to fewer pieces of nonpatent prior.

But, correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Separately, as to using this result as a "guide" to predict future outcomes, some recent results in spring 2018 baseball are worth noting.

One game in question was the Yankees fourth of 2018, played on April 1. Sportsnet gives the background:

Leading 5-4 in the eighth inning, [Yankees manager] Boone ordered an intentional pass to Donaldson to load the bases [for Robertson to face Smoak] in an inning that began with a Russell Martin single and seemed destined to dry up when Devon Travis tapped out to the mound with two on for the second out of the inning.


Smoak was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts lifetime against Robertson. Donaldson was 3-for-8 with two home runs. But Smoak had homered in his previous at bat against right-hander reliever Tommy Kahnle, had singled before that, and was 3-for-4 with a double on Saturday. Donaldson was 2-for-13 with two walks and had been plagued in spring training by shoulder and leg issues.


Boone said that the matchup was something that had been pre-determined in staff meetings; that “we were kind of going with ‘Who do we like against each guy?’ It’s as simple as that.”

Asked whether he believed past or recent history was more important when dealing with admittedly small sample sizes, Boone said recent history matters less than many may think.


“We tried to match up skill set versus skill set,” he continued. “We liked his (Robertson’s) breaking ball better (against Smoak.)”

But the home run hit by Smoak was not off of a curve ball:

Smoak blasted his grand slam on the ninth pitch of the at bat, a 93 miles per hour four-seam fastball that was thrown after back to back curveballs, two of the six thrown by Robertson. The Yankees pitcher walked toward home plate after Robertson spoiled the eighth pitch, shaking his head and grinning as he accepted a new ball from home plate umpire David Rackley.

“He just kept fouling them off and was on me and I thought I could get a fastball by him,” said Robertson. “I didn’t want to throw him another curveball he’d already seen a lot of them. I thought it was the best I had at the time. I got him out a lot in the past but he got me today.

“It was frustrating, because I was one pitch away. He found a way to put a piece of the bat (on the curves) and stay with it.

The SportsNet story also discussed a similar strategic backfire of Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

In passing, the at-bat of Smoak can be compared to the famous confrontation between Adam Wainwright and Carlos Beltran in Game 7 of Mets/Cardinals in 2006. See the IPBiz post
Patent Law Confuses Application with Invention?

Also, in passing, from blawgsearch on 4 April 2018:

****UPDATE. May 18, 2018 as to an at-bat by Brandon Belt on April 22

Within the NYT article 21 Pitches, 16 Fouls, 12 Minutes: Brandon Belt’s Marathon At-Bat

Indeed, in his next at bat he forced Barria to throw eight pitches — fouling off four pitches with two strikes — before he singled. And when he homered in the fifth, it was after seeing nine pitches — three of which he fouled off with two strikes — from reliever Blake Parker.



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