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Articles Tagged Pinch-hitting 

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September 5, 2014 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Short Lifespan of a Pinch-Hit AB

3

R.J. Anderson

What's so different about pinch-hitting?

Baseball is a game of countless axioms. You can never have enough pitching, you shouldn't make the first or third out at third base, and good things will happen if you throw strikes. Much of this wisdom has been challenged over the years, some of it verified. One self-evident truth is tested more in September, with its expanded rosters and flabby lineup cards, than in any other month: pinch-hitting and starting aren't the same. Considering their rarity—particularly in the American League—it's impressive that any truism about pinch-hitters could tally considerable mileage, yet one does. To wit:

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June 12, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Wisdom of Pinch-Hitting with Pitchers

1

Zachary Levine

An underused tactic that requires some courage.

You could say that the most Sergio Romo save of Sergio Romo’s 2014 season was his 17th, a wobbly six-batter adventure against the Cardinals in which he entered with a two-run lead and held on for a one-run victory in this sequence.

RHB Jhonny Peralta: Strikeout swinging (slider, slider, sinker, slider)
LHB Jon Jay: Infield single
RHB Peter Bourjos: Infield popup (slider, slider)
LHB Daniel Descalso: Walk
LHB Matt Carpenter: RBI single

RHB Shane Robinson Infield popup (slider, slider, slider, slider, slider)






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Ben and Sam discuss Joe Girardi's decision(s) not to pinch-hit for any of his left-handed hitters late in Game Three of the ALCS.

Ben and Sam discuss Joe Girardi's decision(s) not to pinch-hit for any of his left-handed hitters late in Game Three of the ALCS.

Episode 64: "Should Joe Girardi Have Pinch-Hit in Game Three?"

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Looking for examples of a similarly strange managerial move.

Last Sunday, Bobby Valentine pinch-hit for Jose Iglesias with two outs and a 2-2 count in the seventh inning of a scoreless game against the Blue Jays. Iglesias wasn’t hurt. Toronto hadn’t changed pitchers. However, the situation had changed slightly: on the last pitch Iglesias saw, Pedro Ciriaco stole second. Iglesias is a weak hitter (at that point, he was 2-for-28 on the season), so with a runner in scoring position, Valentine called for Daniel Nava to drive him in. Had Ciriaco not stolen second, Valentine would have left Iglesias in to play defense. Maybe he wished he had after Nava grounded out on the next pitch.

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You might not know it from watching the World Series, but it often makes sense for a manager to pinch hit for his starter before the late innings.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Mitchel Lichtman, or MGL, has been doing sabermetric research and writing for over 20 years. He is one of the authors of The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, and co-hosts The Book blog, www.insidethebook.com. He consulted for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2004 to 2006, as well as other major-league teams. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Nevada Boyd School of Law. Most of the time these days you can find him on the golf course.


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August 4, 2011 9:00 am

Spinning Yarn: Counsell for the Defense

6

Mike Fast

Dissecting Craig Counsell's 45-at-bat hitless streak

Craig Counsell has been in a bit of a slump lately. Okay, maybe that undersells it a little. Counsell is 0 for his last 45 at-bats. His last hit came a couple months back, on June 10. Another hitless at-bat will tie him with Bill Bergen of the 1909 Brooklyn Superbas for the longest known streak of hitless at-bats by a position player.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the lost art of pinch running, past, present, and future.

With the help of Mat Kovach and Retrosheet, pinch running statistics in the last 50 years have now been compiled, along with leaderboards for seasons, lifetime, and most times removed, along with team and manager statistics. (E-mail me if you want this.) In compiling all this information, a few things jump out from the statistics, and so here are the highlights of pinch running statistics.

Motorin': The Best of the Best

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March 8, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Using Your Leverage

0

Dan Fox

Dan explores different applications of Leverage, a metric that describes changes in win probability.

- former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda on what are today known as "high-leverage" situations

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Constructing a playoff roster is a critical part of advancing through the postseason. Christina breaks down the eight teams.

Bench Assets: If Jim Leyland pinch-runs for Pudge late in a game, Vance Wilson's a thoroughly useful backup catcher. Omar Infante is the Tigers' best reserve, hitting .277/.325/.415, and he's good enough to spot at four different positions. After that, you get into the "why are they here?" players, where only Leyland sees value, and only the opposition wants to see them on the field.

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Is pinch hitting good or bad? Guest writer Andy Dolphin uses the 2005 Phillies as a point of departure and takes a closer look.

A strong bench would seem to be one of those indispensable elements of a successful team. After all, if you need to generate some offense late in a game, you need players on the bench you can count on. (Not to mention, of course, the need to give players a break and have replacements for injuries. For this article I'm just looking at pinch hitting.)

The 2005 Phillies seemed to have just what they needed, in the form of four quality outfielders: Bobby Abreu (.286/.405/.474) in right, Pat Burrell (.281/.389/.504) in left, and Kenny Lofton (.335/.392/.420) and Jason Michaels (.304/.399/.415) sharing time in center. This must have been a manager's dream, right? Lofton or Michaels on the bench, able to come in and get on base to keep a rally going? Let's see how it worked out.

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September 17, 2004 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: August 30-September 15

0

Christina Kahrl

Chris Kahrl has all the roster expansion and early-September movings and shakings in this supersized edition of Transaction Analysis.

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