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Baseball Told the Right WayIn-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!
Stop trying to be the hero.
Something that gets me is many managers insistence on pinch running late in the game. Grady Little did it all the time last year, usually running for Manny Ramirez with Damian Jackson late in the game. A number of times Damian Jackson would end up batting later in the game in a crucial situation, and I had the honor of watching him dribble one to second while Manny sat his $20M ass on the bench.
Art Howe did the same thing the other day pinch running for Piazza in only the 7th, with Mike Cameron who couldn't stay in the game anyways. So the Mets' best hitter was out of the game, and his replacement, Vance Wilson, (yes the Vance Wilson hitting .237 on the season) was in the on deck circle as the winning run in the 9th.
Same thing happened today between the Padres and Phillies, where Bruce Bochy went pinch hit/pinch run crazy. The Padres have five guys on the bench and Bochy had already used two pinch hitters. In the 8th, after a Ramon Hernandez single, down one run, Bochy pinch ran Kerry Robinson. Phil Nevin pinch hits, but it doesn't matter because Robinson is thrown out stealing to end the inning. Well, so much for that, except Robinson can't catch.
Needless to say, the very next innning, Tim Worrell proceeds to load the bases. The Padres are now down 3, and guess who is stepping to the plate with 2 outs? None other than career .180/.267/.267 "hitter" Adam Eaton. Granted, thats pretty decent for a pitcher but with the game on the line is this really the guy you want at the plate? Apparently, Tim Worrell is so suprised that he doesn't realize its actually a pitcher pinch hitting and proceeds to walk him.
But wait, next up is the fearsome last-man-on-the-bench Miguel Ojeda who came in for Robinson to catch. He proceeds to do what everyone was suprised Eaton didn't do: ground out weakly to short to end the game.
Pretty bizarre game, but I cant help thinking that if Ojeda bats for Eaton, and Hernandez hits for himself, the Padres have a better chance of winning this game. Even if its not that much greater, does the difference in speed from Ramon Hernandez to Kerry Robinson make up for it? More likely, Bochy wanted to pinch run Robinson so that he could steal 2nd. Most likely, he needed to use a guy on his bench who has absolutely no value outside of pinch running. Robinson is only on this team so Bochy can pull moves like this, using some kind of reverse logic to manage his team out of wins.
I wish Bochy was alone in this regard. You'd think a manager would be embarrassed the first time they had to send the pitcher to the plate to pinch hit, but it just keeps happening. Sometimes its just better for a manager to watch the game, instead of actually trying to take part.