Originally posted by PeterStorkThat's what Ron Washington was playing this postseason. Nothing against him, but maybe he should have had more practice actually having to think about strategy.
Yes, and if his normally rock-solid closer gets one more strike on multiple occasions, or if multiple Cardinals hitters are a nanosecond early or late on a swing in Game 6 we're talking about how Tony LaRussa overmanaged his team right to defeat.
As far as La Russa, part of the turnaround the Cardinals had was 1.) having the right pieces and 2.) using them properly.
Or the turnaround was because 1.) in September his pitching staff had one of their two best months of the year, with his starters having lights out months (Carpenter 2.15 ERA, Garcia 2.64 ERA, Lohse 1.37 ERA) and 2.)His offense having multiple guys with huge Septembers (Allen Craig 1056 OPS, Pujols 954, Berkman 941, Molina 921). Perhaps it is LaRussa's ineffable genius that led them hit 189, 58, and 130 points higher in September than they did from Apr-Aug. Also he should have spread his magic pixie dust over Berkman since went down a handful of OPS points that month.
Using those matchups, La Russa disabled Braun and Fielder in the last part of the NLCS; Braun couldn't hit Dotel if his life depended on it.
I give you Dotel had great success against Braun. But then Dotel had been quite good all year. Is "using one of your best relievers in close games" a unique skill?
That great Rangers lineup...what happened to it? The Cardinals bullpen, pitching more innings than the starters, did.
Well for one thing one of their best hitters was injured the entire series and another one was injured during the series. Two things that could greatly impact a very small sample size like a 7 game series.
That said, the Rangers were held under 4 runs 34% of the time during the regular season. The 3 out of 7 games it happened in the World Series is not really that unexpected, especially given the small number of games played and the fact that pitching staffs in the World Series tend to be better than the aggregate of all the teams faced during the season. There are no #5 starters or last man in the pen guys to tee off on.
And that long ass game he manages still manages to finish in less time than a DH-laden slugfest where pitching changes can be made far more willy-nilly.
Well when you have a handful of near automatic outs every game it keeps things moving.
And, yes, the fact that you might have to pull a starter to create offense is a dilemma that adds intrigue and suspense to the game, something you don't have with the DH. God forbid we don't allow a weak hitting infielder that's not much better at the plate than some pitchers the opportunity to hit ninth! That certainly couldn't be construed as an "essentially wasted at-bat."
Batting line for pitchers in 2011:142/177/184/361 AL #9 non-pitcher batters OPS'd over 300 points higher than that.
When looking at the stat line though I think I understand something. In the 5,611 times a pitcher went to the plate last year, they sacrificed over 10% of the time. When there were men on base that went up to over 25% of the time. They had nearly as many intentional outs as they did hits. And goodness knows the sacrifice is among the most beloved of plays for the old-school fan. El Nastio used the word "pure" to describe the pitcher hitting, and I see how dismissive I was of the emotional context involved.
I still think the notion of a manager being any sort of great intangible is absolute malarkey and have yet to ever see any numbers to back that up. But the concept of no-DH and the way it ties into "the way the game should be" is probably something that exists in a space where numbers really don't apply.
One of the few places where a sacrifice bunt makes sense is when you are going to get an out in any case.
i.e. a bunt is better than a strike-out.
The other argument against a DH is that you can't hide a bad defensive player. Every player batting regularly has to help with his bat, glove and arm. (Admittedly some positions get involved in defensive plays less than other positions, but they are all greater than zero.)
Originally posted by spfYes, and if his normally rock-solid closer gets one more strike on multiple occasions, or if multiple Cardinals hitters are a nanosecond early or late on a swing in Game 6 we're talking about how Tony LaRussa overmanaged his team right to defeat.
We are if we want to ignore the actual reasons for the loss...which would either be the inability to reach off the Rangers bullpen or runs given up early in game six, per your examples. Game five would loom large, but would be just one game out of four lost, and Lynn's entry in six wasn't exactly a head shaker.
Originally posted by spf...crossing their fingers and hoping for the best...
Originally posted by spfIs "using one of your best relievers in close games" a unique skill
Which is it? Guessing game or smart match-ups? I know the truth probably lies in the middle, but you can't scoff at someone and say they're just guessing and then turn around and critique a smart move as "well, duh."
Originally posted by spfleading to 4 hour marathons of 11th men in the bullpen crossing their fingers and hoping for the best?
Originally posted by spfWell when you have a handful of near automatic outs every game it keeps things moving.
P. funny they're introducing 1 more playoff team on the heels of a regular season that ended with arguably the single most exciting day in major league history. If this was in place last season, the Red Sox & Braves make it in, and none of those games meant anything.
Originally posted by Spaceman SpiffIf this was in place last season, the Red Sox & Braves make it in, and none of those games meant anything.
...and if the wild card had been around nobody in 1993 it wouldn't have mattered that the Braves and Giants were the top two teams in the NL but they had to fight to the last day for the division championship because they were both over 100 wins.
The rules package doesn't dictate the outcome, the performance of the teams does. Some years there will a couple of teams battling for the last wild card spot, some years there will be seven or eight teams shuffling closely around the five playoff positions, and some years there will be five clearly playoff-bound teams with three weeks to go in the season. That's going to happen no matter what the rules are.
Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....
Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass. -- The Guinness. to Cerebus
I think that's the whole problem with a system that rewards a .500 team for not losing more than half their games played. Even by the criteria of exceeding expectations, except for Pena, I don't see how any of the AL's top 4 managers have done that.