Tuesday, October 25, 2011

 

Game Five Thoughts: Bring Out the Wacky

Okay, children, what did we learn from last night's game? If your answer is anything but that the hit and run play is an awful, antiquated, and thoroughly debunked baseball strategy that will kill you...well, you flunk Stankeye 101. Now go sit in the corner and wear a funny hat.

The hit and run stinks. I've angrily spoken out against its implementation for years, and for the sake of brevity I'll simply link to this piece I wrote for Bugs and Cranks instead of regurgitating that old rant again. I don't like the play under any circumstance, really, and I think the potential benefit (first and third, avoiding double play) is vastly outweighed by the potential for harm (making good hitters swing at bad pitches). Does it make sense to anybody, though, to employ the hit and run with Albert Pujols at the plate and a runner who has stolen five bases in 119 major league games breaking for second?

This happened not once, but twice, last night, and it absolutely killed the Cardinals. Pujols, obviously, is probably the best hitter in baseball, but Tony LaRussa effectively neutered him by sending Allen Craig in both of his at-bats. The first caught stealing effectively took the bat out of Pujols's hands, as the Rangers immediately walked him intentionally. The second forced him to swing at a bad pitch and strike out. There was some speculation that Pujols has the ability to call the hit and run himself and this is exactly what happened, but if he has the authority to make those kinds of decisions, why don't the Cardinals just make him manager?

--Some quick facts about Marc Rzepczynski.

1. His name is impossibly hard to spell.

2. He put up some amazing peripheral numbers in Toronto's minor league system, featuring more than a strikeout an inning and insanely low home run numbers. In 2008 at AA, he gave up just two homers in 121 innings, and struck out 124. These numbers led one Paulie Rice to believe he was the next great fantasy baseball find, and the ensuing waiver wire antics ensued.

Of course, it wasn't to be, as Rzepczynski's peripherals all took a dive when he got to the majors, and some truly bad mechanics led to his ouster from Toronto and an exile to seeming eternal LOOGYdom.

3. He should never, ever, ever, ever, ever be allowed to face a right-handed hitter in a bases loaded situation in a key spot in a World Series game. Whether it was just an epic brainfart on Tony LaRussa's part or if his bullpen really couldn't hear the call to get Motte up, leaving Rzepczynski in to face Mike Napoli last night was one of the worst blunders you'll ever see in a big game.

--One more reason to root against the Cardinals: Chris Carpenter is a giant, braying ass with a creepy neckbeard. I mean, what is this? Not to mention, it was likely directed at Stankeye fave Mike Napoli. Not cool, dude. Not cool.

Comments:
wait, you go all year without posting about the Giants, but all the sudden you are scribbling prolifically now that there is a Cards-Rangers WS that nobody cares about going on?
 
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