Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baseball Strategy

I had a real problem tonight during the Dodgers/Cubs game on ESPN (other than having to endure 8.5 innings of Rick Sutcliffe and Chris Berman announcing). I think it was the bottom of the third. Geovany Soto led off with a double. Ronny Cedeno grounded out to third, failing to move Soto over. Next comes the part I cannot comprehend. Sean Gallagher, the pitcher, squares up to bunt. How does this make sense? There is one out with Alfonso Soriano on deck. Why not let the pitcher swing away. There's little chance of a double play, and the pitcher may record a hit. Essentially, what is the difference between a runner at second with two out and your leadoff man up and a runner at third with two out and your leadoff man up? I understand in the latter situation, you open up the possibility of scoring on a wild pitch, a passed ball or maybe an infield hit. Who manages baseball in anticipation of a wild pitch, passed ball, or infield hit? With two outs, your runner should be going on contact...so he should be able to score from second on a base hit anyway...unless one of the Molina brothers is standing at second. To make a long story short, Gallagher fouled off the bunt attempt. He got a few words from third base coach Mike Quade and swung away at the next two pitches. All of this got me riled up, but (at least) left my sanity intact.

Just a side rant on Berman and Sutcliffe: Why do they sound like they are almost whispering at time during the broadcast? Berman has one of the biggest mouths in all of sports announcing. Why does he talk so low during parts of the broadcast. ...and what is Sutcliffe's obsession with Erin Andrews? OK, I know what his obsession with Erin Andrews is, but why does he always pose the question, "Erin, where are you?" He does this at the most awkward, out-of-place times and it seems a little creepy to me. I get the same feeling as when I go to a bar with one of my friends and he finds a girl there that will actually talk to him (usually the waitress). I know she's there to do a job, she knows she's there to do a job, but he thinks he has a legitimate shot at taking her home at the end of the night...so he brings his "game." In the end, it makes you feel weird because you know what he's doing, she knows what he's doing, and she knows that you know what he's doing. It's just uncomfortable.

1 comment:

Runningman said...

A couple of things here:
1. I was just thinking through a similar issue because I saw Dmitri Young chugging from 2nd to 3rd stretching a double into a triple. My first thought is why, why take the change on getting thrown out because there is not too much difference between 2nd and 3rd. I'm not saying doubles should never be stretched to triples but Dmitri Young should never do this. Plus, with a faster runner a single generally scores them. Slightly different than your post but same concept....

2. Chris Berman is horrible. Sutcliffe I don't mind too much.

3. Yeah, why have the pitcher bunt? I would even say there is a high percentage of the guy getting thrown out at third on the bunt or the bunt being in the air and the runner getting doubled off at 2nd.

4. I picked up Braden Looper for my fantasy team yesterday...for both fantasy teams and he tanked my team ERA and Whip for the week. Those are two categories I can count on not winning this week.