Riddle Me This, Braves Fan
Posted by Kris N. on August 20, 2010
There are a few things I don’t understand about this Braves team and baseball all together:
Why is it when an offense scores a ton of runs, they shut down for the next couple of games?
We see this a lot in baseball, when a team breaks out into double digit runs, they go into a slump. See the Braves this year:
|Date||Runs||Next 2 Games|
Why does this happen?
Is it merely the cruel law of averages playing itself out? Because the runs per game happens to be 5.1, and the Braves season total is 4.5, kind of close. I think the bigger question is why does it level out in the next 2 games? It’s a mystery.
Why aren’t closers used in the 8th?
Top of the 8th at Turner Field, Phillies: 0, Braves: 1. Due up: Victorino, Utley, Howard. Obviously this is a high leverage situation, the Phillies best opportunity for the Phillies to score, and this is Billy Wagner time. At least, it should be. Most likely Johnny Venters will be used in this situation, which isn’t all that bad. Venters is having a better season than Wagner, but not all teams have the most dominating lefty to come out of the bullpen. In fact, the Braves are the only one. However, in other team’s cases, the closer is the best pitcher, and should be used in the highest of leverage situations.
Let’s say in this situation, Wagner gets the Phillies to all strike out and we move to the top of the ninth. The Braves have an opportunity to get some insurance runs once more, but they don’t. Who closes the game? It should be your second best reliever. Yes, top of the ninth with a one run lead is still a high leverage situation, but you’re (theatrically) facing worse hitters. Instead of the two, three, and four spouts, you’re facing the five, six, and seven spots.
The only reason I can come up with as to why you would pitch Wagner in the ninth is because he won’t get a save. I still think it’s a bad one, as the team stats are more important than the individual’s. In this specific case, Wagner is trying to accumulate as many saves before he retires. But let me ask you this, if this were an actual game, say October 1st, 2010, and the division is on the line, would it matter?
The answer is no.
For there to be a save situation in the ninth, you need a scoreless eighth.
Why must the starting pitcher throw 100 pitches?
This is a Bobby rule that drives me crazy. Like last night, why was Lowe allowed to pitch in the seventh? After six semi decent innings, he was at 87 pitches. In hindsight, it didn’t hurt the Braves because he pitched a scoreless frame, but it could have. And it does in this next situation.
August 10, 2010: Braves at Astros, when Brooks Conrad hit the ninth inning homerun. Jair Jurrjens was cruising through 6 innings in a 1 – 0 Braves lead. After a scoreless 7th, he was at 86 pitches, and about to the face Houston lineup for the 4th time. He should have been pulled from the game here. No pitcher should have to face the lineup for the 4th time. But, because JJ has to throw 100 pitches or else his arm falls off, or something ridiculous, he did, and they scored 2 runs.
Reward the pitcher for being so economic by giving him rest. Just because he made it to the 8th inning with 80 pitches, doesn’t mean he needs to pitch more, that’s what a bullpen is for.
The Chicago Cubs?
I just don’t get it. It doesn’t make any sense. For someone who thinks that Chicago has the best fans because they love their Cubbies even when they lose and still support them, let me tell you, they don’t. The reason they’re attendance is so good is because Wrigley Field is a hot spot in Chicago. People go there to enjoy the weather, drink beer, talk to friends, and look at girls. It’s essentially a 108,000 square foot outdoor bar, with a couple baseball games here and there.
And it was sure nice of the Cubs to throw Steve Bartman under the bus as an excuse for terrible play in the postseason, rather than owning up like men. No, no, throw your glove and cry Moise Alou.
I might be going to the game today. I want to let Derrek Lee know what real fans are like.