Discuss: Tie-Game on the road

I like the discussion happening in the comments of this post…thought I’d post them on the main page.  In a nutshell, I would use K-Rod to try to keep the tie game going rather than hope the 5 man infield would.

Ceetar:

It’s mindboggling to me that a manager will sit there and insist he can’t use his best pitcher (closer designation or not, the guy is probably the ‘best’ pitcher) on the road unless it’s a save situation, and instead you have to use your second-best/8th inning guy. And then goes on to say the Mets don’t have an 8th inning guy (implying I guess that he doesn’t have anyone good enough for this role, yet isn’t going to use the guy that he knows is ‘better’ than that role). He’s going to stubbornly sit there and throw games away on the road because he wants to throw his temper tantrum at Omar until he gets another pitcher that has the Jerry stamp of approval. (omg..is he doing this because they sent Mejia down?) This is not the way of a professional, winning, manager.

Eric:

Couldn’t agree with you more Shannon. Seems like K Rod is a big baby about coming in during non-save situations, so I’m sure that doesn’t help. I love how relievers talk about needing to know their role… Um… you make millions of dollars a year to do nothing but pitch every few days. How about your role is when the manager needs you to pitch, whenever it is… you do so without bellyaching?

Brian:

disagree. this seems to be the one facet of baseball strategy people botch constantly. it’s the most easy to second guess, but it’s wrong. you need your closer to close the game when you’re on the road. that’s the guy you want for the last three outs. you’re already at a huge disadvantage playing in the bottom of the 9th and onward on the road and you want to have your bullet left to save the game. i’ve heard yankees fans complain about this with torre and rivera, mets fans about franco, benitez, looper, wagner, ayala and k-rod. you need to save your closer.

not to mention the fact that the offense scored one run. i mean…come on, guys. do you know many teams that win games consistently by scoring a single run? the offense didn’t hit. not every loss in on the manager.

Ceetar:

Answer me this then brian: Which is the more difficult (i.e. higher leverage) situation? Tie game, bottom 9th, or up 1+ runs in the bottom of the 10th?

The More AB you have in a game, the more likely you are to win. Pitching your best reliever in the 9th of a tie game gives you a better shot at those 3+ AB in the 10th.

Also, the home manager likely will use his closer in the 9th. So if you get to the 10th, you either got a more tired closer that’s been extended past what he usually does, or a lesser reliever to hit off of.

So wanna-be managers…what’s your strategy?  Discuss!


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2 Replies to “Discuss: Tie-Game on the road”

  1. Well, I can see not using K-Rod in that situation because if you score in the next inning you will need him to save a game. However I can see the other side of the coin too, saying if you don’t get out of the inning, there will be no scoring in the next inning. The one thing that annoys me is the fifth man infield. Suppose Zimm hits a soft fly ball to left. There is no one there to catch it. On top of that you are bringing a lefty fielding outfielder who isnt used to fielding hard grounders and making turns and short quick throws. Unless he was instructed to just throw home, it makes no sense. Theyve turned enough double plays this year without five infielders.

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