Two Observations, While at a Party, Watching the Game.


     Two managerial decisions that puzzled me while watching Game 3 of the World Series last night.  Both touched up on by ThePrinceofNewYork, in his daily blog. 


     Why not pinch hit for Gabe Gross in the ninth inning against JC Romero?  Gabe Gross is a lefty, JC Romero is a lefty.  At the time of this, I thought to myself that Baldelli should be pinch hitting.  But I didn’t have any numbers handy, even though I assumed that Baldelli against a lefty would make a lot more sense than Gross against a lefty.  Excuse me for not knowing Gabe Gross’ splits off the top of my head while away from my computer.  But I would have known this, and known it by heart, had I been managing the Rays last night.  This was a bad managerial miscue in my opinion. 


     Why walk two batters to load the bases?  I understand what they were trying to accomplish by walking the bases loaded.  But the downside to doing that is having nowhere for the hitter to go.  And “The Prince of New York” makes some good points as to why this may have been a poor idea.  My opinion?  Grant Balfour walked 24 hitters in 58 innings this season, which happens to be the only season worth mentioning.  His career numbers indicate that he has had more trouble allowing free passes than one would like.  But in the postseason, Balfour has eight walks in ten innings, and has displayed at times an inability to control where the ball is going.  Now, I don’t know that I agree with walking the bases loaded with anyone on the mound, especially someone who knows how to stike batters out.  But to make the decision to walk the bases loaded with a guy on the mound who may very well walk a batter on his own, may not have been the best decision.  But Balfour gave up a weak grounder that ended the game anyway.  However!  That weak grounder may not not have scored that run, because the runner on third was forced home, and would not have been forced home with no one occupying the other two bases.   


  1. hardballblog

    I agree, Gross should have been pinch hit for. Even if his numbers were good against lefties. A right handed batter as the advantage because he can see the ball clearer coming from a left handed pitcher than a left handed batter can. As for walking the bases loaded, that is just confusing. The idea had good intentions but overall was just plain dumb. I have never seen any team do that in my entire life. Maddon dropped the ball in that game.

  2. mikeeff

    i think it was a brilliant idea despite the fact that it failed. that little chopper easily could have led to an out at the the plate and a double play.

    and you walk them loaded to get the force everywhere- it’s obvious.

  3. joefromnewhampshire

    But with no outs the only force they care about is the one at home. A double play would work with one out, but not zero, unless it goes through home first. And there is still a way to simply throw the ball to home without having a force to get an out. At least the runner will have to think about going home without a force if the ball is hit on the ground. If he has to go when it is on the ground then he has a better chance of scoring (bases loaded). I understand both ways of doing it, but I don’t know that I like putting all this pressure on a guy like Balfour.

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