Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A quickie to get started

First post, not gonna be long.  Last night, Cardinals @ Reds game.  The Cards have a 4-0 lead in the top of the 5th.  Homer Bailey just walked Carlos Beltran with one out on 6 pitches.  That brings up Matt Holliday, who hit a HR earlier in the game mind you, and he works the count full, including missing on the last 2 pitches (both fastballs).  Mike Matheny, what do you do?  You put the hit and run on.  What happens?  Holliday swings through a curveball and Beltran is thrown out at second base.  Inning over, 2 outs wasted.

Look, I fully understand wanting to keep out of the GIDP there.  But the hit and run is a terrible call when the guy at the plate has hit a ton of HR in his career, including one earlier that night, and just worked the count full by taking the last 2 pitches.  Luckily, the lead was already high and it didn't come back to bite them, but that play was still stupid.  Lance Berkman and David Freese were due up next and they are pretty good hitters themselves, so if Holliday takes that curveball for ball 4, you've got 2 on with 1 out for Berkman and a chance to drive the lead up (which is what you want to do with Jake Westbrook and his career 1.393 WHIP starting). Not to mention the fact that your run expectancy nearly doubles in that situation (from .504 to .902).

You should never force Matt Holliday, a man with a career line of 315/387/541 (137 OPS+) to swing the bat or alter his approach.  I think he knows what he's doing up there.

I'm not posting this to bash Matheny (Joe Girardi did it with A-Rod at the plate and two runners on and Jeter was caught stealing third on the same night), but I just hate seeing people run into outs like that.

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