2nd Guessing TLR

The game is tied, it’s the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded, there are two outs, and Strawberry is due to bat.  Even though Darryl has hit nine home runs, Burns sends him to the showers because Strawberry and the pitcher are both left-handed.  (“It’s called playing the percentages.”)  He sends Homer, a righty, to the plate instead.  Burns reviews the signals with Homer.  Burns’ explanation goes on and on, and Homer’s mind wanders.  “I wish I was home with a big bag of potato chips.  Mmm… potato chips…”

From the Simpson’s Episode Homer at the Bat.

Unlike the Simpsons episode, Juan wasn’t plunked in the head unconscious for a game-winning RBI. 8f13_1 In the last 7 days, Juan has been hitting .208 in 24 at bats, Dunc on the other hand-.563 with a .913 slugging % in 23 at bats and has been the teams hottest hitter. Duncan had already tied the game with a dramatic homerun earlier, but apparently Tony just had to prove he’s got the magic or something.

Now if you do look at Dunc’s minor league splits, it’s true that he doesn’t hit lefties well while Ohman has shut them down. But again, are you going to trust a struggling Juan or go with the hot hand? Duncan did hit a homer previously against Rheal Cormier not long ago during this hot streak, so it’s not like he hasn’t been there before.

Daryl_simpsons What is it about Dusty Baker that seems to bring the worst out in LaRussa? Is he trying to re-create a dramatic script for another 3 Nights in August? I don’t get it. Not to say LaRussa is a bad manager, obviously he’s far from that. I can see what he was trying to do by playing the numbers, but I think when most fans saw Encarnacion come to the plate in favor of Dunc, we all had that sinking feeling that things were shifting in the wrong direction.

It wasn’t just LaRussa to blame for today’s loss. Suppan’s wildness didn’t help either. Watching him trying to get together with Yadier on the signs was unbearable to witness. It’s like he was trying to find the right cord to pull to diffuse the ticking time-bomb. Jeff started the game great, working quick and challenging hitters. You hate to see a pitcher beat himself, and that’s exactly what Soup did.



  1. zach_robertson@hotmail.com

    i hate to say it but, i am tired of LaRussa. what’s wrong with letting players play ball. why didn’t he hit Wilson, if he felt he really had to pull Duncan for a righty

  2. Bruce

    Well, for one thing, Wilson had already been pulled from the game. If he was determined to use a righty in that spot, his only other alternative was Bennett, since Eckstein was unavailable. That said, it was still a bad move, but it’s not the sole reason they lost. Sup’s impression of Ankiel in the 4th, and the inability to drive in RISP for most of the day also factored into the loss.

  3. mslgx6@mizzou.edu

    I want to do an in depth analysis on this, but I haven’t been able to find a place that gives GB/LD/FB splits. The reason I want to see this is because I think duncan has a higher probability of hitting a sac fly than Enc in that situation.

  4. Erik

    Good point. Try fangraphs.com. Actually, from looking over there the percentage of batted balls that are fly balls by Juan is 37.6%. Dunc 32.8%. Not a huge difference, I would think you’d go with Dunc because he has more power. Both hit around the same percentage of grounders.

    I think here you don’t just go by the numbers here, you play the hot hand. And Dunc was certainly that.

  5. mslgx6@mizzou.edu

    I’ve checked all the normal websites, and haven’t found split stats for batted ball type. It’s hard to say since there has been so few at bats against lefties for Duncan (Why do managers do this? The dude obviously can hit lefties hard (460ish slugging) so I can’t say whether it was a good move or not. I agree about the hot bat, even though every bone in my statistically minded body disagrees with that 😉

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