Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tar And Feathers

It is time to run Tony LaRussa Super GeniusTM out of town in a suit of tar and feathers.

The 8th Inning travesty has been amply covered by many people around the intertubes. Tom Verducci has the most definitive take down I've read. LaRussa claiming to have been twice misunderstood by his bullpen coach is either too implausible to be true or too implausible to not be true. Who knows? All I know about the 8th is that Tony LaRussa Super GeniusTM pulled his best right hand reliever to bring in a pitcher that was "unavailable" to intentionally walk a right handed batter. That reliever was then immediately lifted.

The 8th Inning may be where the winning runs were scored but it was only because of some of the worst base running / sac bunt calls I've ever witnessed. It goes to the top of the 3rd. Furcal leads off with a single and advanced to 2nd on an error. Allen Craig comes to the plate with THE BEST HITTER IN THE GAME on deck. What does Tony LaRussa Super GeniusTM do? He calls for fucking sac bunt. Furcal gets to 3rd and now there's one out. What does Ron Washington do? Holds up 4 fingers. Intentional walk to THE BEST HITTER IN THE GAME. A double play later and the threat is gone.

There was zero reason to take the bat out of Craig's hand and insuring the bat is taken out of the hands of THE BEST HITTER IN THE GAME. If you let Craig swing away what could happen?

Craig strikes out. Result: runner on 2nd. Washington walks Pujols.

Craig puts the ball in play and makes an out. Result: runner on 2nd or 3rd. Washington walks Pujols.

Craig walks. Result: runners at 1st and 2nd. Washington has to pitch to THE BEST HITTER IN THE GAME.

Craig puts the ball in play and gets a hit. Result: Furcal probably scores. OOO! That's a run. If Craig ends up at 1st then they have to pitch to THE BEST HITTER IN THE GAME. If Furcal doesn't score then Craig is almost asssuredly on 1st and they have to pitch to THE BEST HITTER IN THE GAME.

So there are four possible out comes by letting Craig bat. Two of them result in Pujols getting to swing the bat. Craig has a .438 OBP in the post season. That's a pretty good chance of Pujols getting to swing. By bunting his chances of batting reached 0.000%.

The hit and run plays with Craig at 1B and Pujols at the plate in the 7th and 9th innings resulted in an IBB and a strike-out-throw-out double play respectively.

Texas may have won Game 5 even without these craptacular calls. With them, Tony LaRussa Super GeniusTM guaranteed a Texas win.



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