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huh-3 | September | 2005 Articles

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Bobby either wants the Phillies to win, or he read my earlier post and misunderstood it. In the bottom of the 8th of a scoreless game, the Braves had a runner at 3rd and 1 out. The starting pitcher who had a shutout going, Tim Hudson, was due up. Obviously, a lot of things can score the runner here. But your best option is to get the runner home is not the pitcher. If you score here, you take the lead with potentially 1 half inning left if you take the lead. The obvious option is to pinch-hit. This is what I wrote earlier: "Last year, the Braves had a very deep staff with a lot of decent pitchers. This year, theyíre more top-heavy. In the playoffs, this isnít as big of a deal. There are a lot of off-days, so the Braves can ride Smoltz, Hudson, Sosa, and Farnsworth if necessary. Most teams tend to rely on their top few pitchers to carry them throughout the playoffs. I wonder if Farnsworth could be effective pitching 2 innings. If necessary, the Braves could go to Reitsma, Ramirez, and Boyer to get some innings. (Ramirez only as a starter though in a 7 game series as a 4th starter). Could Reitsma and Boyer pitch 2 innings and still be effective?" The point I was making here is that in the regular season you have to use all your pitchers. In the playoffs, you can get away without using your mop-up pitchers, and you can stay with your best pitchers longer (Bullpen Included!). If you're in a scoreless game in a similar situation in the playoffs, you definitely pinch-hit in the 8th inning especially with a runner on 3rd w/ less than 2 outs. Then you'd bring in your ace reliever for 2 innings or so. Likewise, if a starting pitcher has a shutout for 6 innings and has a relatively low pitch count, you leave him in unless there's an obvious pinch-hitting situation in a tie game. I don't know why Bobby didn't pinch-hit there unless he was trying to let the Phillies win. The move cost them the game when the Braves didn't score, and when Hudson gave up 4 runs in the 9th. Recap to come this evening.

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