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Ben and Sam answer listener emails about batter-pitcher matchups, curious outfield alignments, where to put a player who can't play defense, and what baseball would be like without innings.

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ncarter1
4/10
Enjoyed Ben tip-toeing into the dangerous world of cricket today. The argument about the team batting second because they know how many runs they are chasing is spot on.

Best book on comparing the two sports is 'Playing Hard Ball' by Ed Smith, an English cricketer who visited the Piazza-era Mets in Spring Training. He is now a writer for The (London) Times and a radio commentator on cricket.

I suspect any discussion on comparing the two sports would take you well beyond Sam's preferred 20 minute episodes, however.
bornyank1
4/10
Sam brought an end to my cricket discussion as quickly as he brings an end to actual crickets.

One thing I didn't mention is the advantage the team that bats first in cricket has: cricket, at least in some forms, takes so long that the field (pitch?) deteriorates as the game (match?) goes on. Evidently that makes it harder for the second team to score. Probably not a big factor in 27-out baseball.
ncarter1
4/10
Yes that is true, especially in the long form of the game when each team has 2 innings (with 10 outs per innings), and the game goes into a fourth or fifth day.

By that stage the pitch (or 'wicket') will be drier enabling the slow bowlers to spin the ball as it bounces off the wicket or to try to pitch the ball into bowler's used footmarks, resulting in uneven bounce or vicious turn.

Pitching into footmarks, or bouncing the ball off the ground are clearly not factors in baseball ... except for the 27th out of closely-fought Rays-Rangers games.