Saturday, October 15, 2022

Stop. Batting. Judge. First


To pick up on something that Matt P. just wrote in the comments section:

Stop. Batting. Aaron. Judge. First.

Let me say it another way:


I thought this was always a bad idea, even during the Great Home Run Chase. But, okay, a case could be made for wanting to maximize his at-bats.

Now?  It's idiotic.  

In his 9 plate appearances through the first two games of the ALDS, Judge has batted with exactly ZERO baserunners.  

That's 0, nada, zilch. Nil-nil-nil-nil-nil-nil-nil-nil-nil, as they might say in England.

Unless he puts the ball in the seats, he has had ZERO RBI opportunities. That is, you are further pressuring your best average hitter—and the second-best average hitter in the league—to just swing for the fences on every at-bat.

Throw away your algorithms. Batting with runners on base ahead of him gives the hitter a crucial advantage.  

Baserunners distract the pitcher. What's more, the first batter or two is often critical in sussing out just what the pitcher is throwing and precisely how he is throwing it. 

You don't want your best hitter doing that kind of work. It's like sending your best general out to scout the lay of the land as your army advances.

But hey, don't take it from me. Just take it from 150 years of the people who played the game and knew it.

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