Tactics

We’re having a friendly disagreement in the press box tonight. Friendly, I reiterate — we enjoy talking ball up here, and, well, sometimes some trash is talked, but it’s all in good fun, I assure you all.

Anyway, here was the crux of it:

One Post-Dispatch writer — whom I shall not name here because I believe he expects to write on the topic for tomorrow and I don’t want to TOTALLY steal his thunder — felt that Phil Garner made absolutely the right move by walking Albert Pujols intentionally in the fifth inning. Personally, I believe it was the wrong move.

The Cards had a runner on second with two outs and Pujols at the plate. Scott Rolen was on deck. Rolen, as of that exact moment, was 7-for-20 against Andy Pettitte in his career, with two home runs and two doubles. More to the point, he had already homered and doubled in this game. Pujols, as of that exact moment, was 2-for-17 against Pettitte, without so much as an extra-base hit or a walk. Counting postseason games, it was still 7-for-20 for Rolen, but 3-for-22 (.136) for Pujols.

Of course, Pujols is Albert Pujols. But Rolen isn’t exactly Craig Paquette. Pujols is hitting .535 with runners in scoring position.

If it’s me, I pitch to Pujols. Garner walked him, and obviously it worked.

What would you have done?

-M.

6 Comments

I would’ve walked Pujols and pitched to Rolen like what Garner decided to do. Here’s why. Pujols is all powerful. He cannot be stopped, only delayed. haha. Yes Rolen did hit a home run in the game already, but the likelihood of Rolen pairing homers isn’t great. If you pitch to the league leader in home runs, regardless of Albert’s opposing Avg. versus Pettite, he will destroy everything. Even if Rolen had an RBI basehit…I would much prefer that than a two run homer from the baddest Dominican on the planet. Big Papi who? That’s right. haha. Ok so I’m in love Mr. Pujols. But who isn’t?

Normally I’m not a big fan of intentionally walking people, especially if it’s causing a guy to have over a 0.500 OBP, but I believe it was the right move there.
Why?

http://www.hardballtimes.com/thtstats/main/index.php?view=batting&league_filter%5B0%5D=2&orderBy=clutch&direction=DESC&page=1

Might actually be the reason.

On a side note Matthew, have you read “The Book” yet? It’s written by MGL,TanoTiger, and Andrew Dolphin, and goes into detailed stratagy and unwritten rules of baseball.

The Preface is actually on the IBB subject. Check it out and the previews for each chapter to see if it sounds interesting to you.

http://www.insidethebook.com/cp.shtml

Any news on how Eckstein’s wrist is?

Now knowing that Pujols was 2-17 against Pettitte, I would have pitched to him. Especially since it was the 5th inning. If it was later in the game, maybe I walk him.

Play the percentages. Tony does it all the time.

It’s Albert Freaking Pujols.. he’s finally starting to get the Barry Bonds treatment. I don’t care what his record against anyone is.. if the base is open, he’s probably getting the free pass unless the game is out of hand already.

I’m a little late, but here’s my thinking. If there is one guy who don’t want to beat you, as an Astros Manager, it’s AP.

Not only did he send your stud closer into rehab after last years playoffs, but this year he’s already put a whoopin’ on the ‘Stros.

Take your chances with Rolen and save the many sleepless nights that follow an AP thumping when you could easily have put up 4 fingers.

Btw, Mathew, since you’re the shameless plug expert…can I plug my interview Friday night at 10:20 pm eastern on MLB Radio’s Under The Lights?

Considering this could be my one and only time to plug anything, I thought I’d give it a shot.

JohnFromTexas

aka Johnny Archive

http://johnnyarchive.mlblogs.com/

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