Rock and a hard place
I begin this post by noting that whichever decision the Cards made in the situation I’m discussing, they might well have lost the game. I just really enjoy discussing tactics, and today’s game featured many interesting tactical questions.
None greater, in my mind, than the decision to walk Ronny Cedeno with runners on first and third in the 10th, and then to pitch to Phil Nevin with the bases loaded.
Here is TLR’s comment:
"It gives you a chance to get two guys out on one swing. Otherwiseyou have to get two guys out. If you get the ball on the ground, we’ve got a
chance to double up Nevin. We were in a tough position, so you just make the
I respectfully disagree with the decision. It’s certainly defensible, and I understand the logic. But I think there’s more to it.
There are a couple of additional considerations, mainly this one: Cedeno is much more likely to hit the ball on the ground than Nevin is. Nevin is much slower, but it’s not a great bet that he’ll hit a double-play ball so that it matters. Cedeno, on the other hand, is more likely to hit a grounder or something weak, even if you only get one out. They’re both excellent candidates for a strikeout, though Nevin Ks more often than Cedeno.
I just think the likelihood of Nevin doing
something to end the game — sac fly or base hit — is at least as high
as the likelihood of Cedeno poking a base hit or beating out a double
play. And if Nevin hits exactly the same ball with two outs, of course, Spiezio probably is playing in a position where he catches it. Then again, if Angel Pagan is out on his bunt, Spiezio is also playing at normal depth. But that’s neither here nor there.
Again, just to clarify, the point of this whole exercise is not to say that the decision caused the Cardinals to lose. Rather, I’m just curious as to how y’all looked at the situation. Thoughts?
Currently playing on the iPod: Uncle Tupelo, Anodyne.