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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Game 126: Charlie uses someone other than the starter to mop-up (82-44)

The Phils easily took game one of the series vs. the Mets last night. Everyone in the lineup contributed (except Chase). Cliff Lee Cruised through 7 innings and 105 pitches. He struck out 7 while walking 3 which is unusual for him. It was nice to see Charlie take Lee out after the 7th. The Mets had < 0.2% chance to win the game, and I'm pretty sure even David Herndon can get that job done. I was also glad to see that Manuel gave Utley and Howard some time off.

Last night was Polanco's first night back. Hopefully he can stay healthy while J-Roll is on the DL.

18 comments:

Robby Bonfire said...

Scott -

I don't think it was "random" or coincidental that the team looked so good last night, because a case can be made that the lineup was stronger than it usually is, given Victorino leading off with an OBA almost 50 points higher than Jimmy's, and given that Mayberry is continuing his bashing of the best opposition pitching they can throw at him. His being in the lineup, rather than Ibanez, vs. the righty-starter, certainly paid dividends, last night.

Any game which has Vic leading off, Mayberry in the starting lineup, and Ibanez not in the starting lineup, well, it is not hard to like what this team brings to the table.

Maybe the club should look at keeping Vic in the leadoff slot, so long as he continues to have his "career year."

Scott Graham said...

Robby,

I'm confused I don't think I said anything about random or coincidental success.

Furthermore, according to lineup optimization, you want your best hitters batting 2nd or 4th then 1st in that order. Victorino batting 2nd would by ideal. I'm not averse to batting him lead off, but his SLG has been pretty high, so batting him first might miss men on base for him to knock in. He does have the highest OBP on the team, so I truly think 2nd is ideal for him.

Mayberry should be in the lineup over Ibanez either way. Last night's difference was having Polanco instead of Rollins in the lineup, which I'm not sure is a benefit.

hk said...

Scott,

Was your "I'm pretty sure even David Herndon can get that job done" comment a knock on Herndon, Charlie or both?

Scott Graham said...

It was a misplaced knock on Herndon (I just looked up his stats. He is still not my favorite reliever, though). It was also a knock on Charlie using starters and Madson in games where the Phillies have huge leads.

hk said...

Yes, Herndon has been quite good since he returned from Lehigh Valley. Charlie, on the other hand, is still Charlie. It's kind of sad that it's noteworthy when the manager takes out the starter with a 10 run lead after 7.

Robby Bonfire said...

Scott -

Sorry about the misunderstanding, the "random" word was my own take on the situation and I did not intend to ascribe it to you.

You raise one of the most interesting points and questions, for baseball executives and fans alike to ponder, and that is: how much, if any, power are you willing to install in the lead-off position, before there is some give-back cost to the team?

Casey Stengel frequently used Hank Bauer, BECAUSE Bauer had some sock, in the lead-off slot. The idea was for Bauer to try to lead-off the game with a home run, and jolt the opposition psychologically, as well as with being a run down on the scoreboard, right at the outset.

This is a fascinating topic worth much research and pondering. Power considerations aside, it's hard not to like having a .390 OBA man leading off for your team, by contrast with a .340 OBA man.

My research shows that when the lead-off batter in an inning reaches base, the MLB par scoring expectation over nine innings is 7.5 runs. When the lead-off batter in an inning is retired, the MLB par scoring expectation over nine innings is 2.5 runs. So that OBA may be an even more important consideration than power, when filling in the top of your lineup.

hk said...

Robbie,

Since the #1 hitter is only guaranteed to lead off 1 inning per game, the difference between a .340 OBP and a .390 OBP (5%) is not significant enough to offset the fact that the 2-hole generally bats with more men on base than the 1-hole. Put another way, wouldn't you want your .390 OBP guy coming up with more runners on base than your .340 OBP guy?

Scott Graham said...

You confused me with OBA in that post. I thought you meant wOBA (weighted on base average) that takes into account power and on base skills. I now realize you were using OBP.

I agree with hk.

Also, from all your posts here and on crashburnalley, it seems like you place a great deal of stock on psychological effects. Put bluntly, I don't buy into a lot of the psychological topics you've mentioned. For instance, if you think ML teams are that worried about the first run of a game, I would have to disagree. If you can't score one run (the amount it would take to come back from a leaflet home run) then you were never going to win the game to begin wtb. Obviously, falling behind early isnt ideal, but I find it hard to believe major leaguers get rattled like that.

Scott Graham said...

Autocorrect win: leaflet = lead off

Scott Graham said...

Anddddd wtb = with

Robby Bonfire said...

hk: You raise a good point I should have covered, and that is, when compiling the run scoring differential stat, according to whether the first batter in an inning is retired or reaches base (actually FIRST BASE, I should have clarified), over the course of my extensive research Jimmy Rollins, who was always the lead-off man, was leading off in 25% of the Phillies offensive innings.

This has to be close to the overall MLB lead-off hitter percentage. So that having your top OBA man in that critical lead-off slot rather than wasting him elsewhere, gins up your entire offense.

Robby Bonfire said...

Scott: Yes, the psychological impact of experimental strategies are virtually impossible to quantify. I just find it interesting that Casey was using this ploy when no other manager in his time was even thinking about it. Casey, of course, was into heavy platooning before anyone else, this, alone, put the Yankees over the top in what was a close, three-way pennant race in 1960, before the fresher Yankees dusted the White Sox and Orioles that September. Point being that Casey proved, time and again that he knew what he was doing and the outcomes almost always demonstrated that he was light years ahead of the field, save possibly Leo and Alphonse.

It has been chronicled (by Bill James) that the converse Ralph Houk "strategy" of leading off with the punchless Bobby Richardson's and Horace Clarke's of the world was indefensibly rock-headed.

I do know that I prefer Hank Bauer in the lead-off slot over Ralphie's guys.

Robby Bonfire said...

Have a nice day.

Scott Graham said...

Are you done here as well? Your input is still welcome.

Robby Bonfire said...

Thank you Scott. Much appreciated. I will try and tone down the "passion." Hopefully the statistics I share will resonate with some, on occasion.

Scott Graham said...

I think the criticism on Crashburn might have been a bit overstated. I don't think anything you've done here is anywhere close to bothering Andy or me. However, I must say that Mr. Musser and I were both convinced that your first ever comment on here was sarcastically mocking us.

Robby Bonfire said...

Scott -

Let me just say that I know you and Andy quite well from your media exposure and contributions, over many years service. I give you all the deference in the world for what you both have accomplished in your productive lifetimes.

And thank you for your accurate observation as to the "overstatement" at the other site. But to be honest, with you and myself, I did "hog" the airwaves, so to speak. I try to learn from my reversals in life and not be too prideful. It is Bill's well administerd site, for certain. And ownership is 100% of the law, in my book, so he doesn't need to justify, to me or anyone, his decision to shut me down over there.

Respects,

RB

Scott Graham said...

Robby,

We are not the real Scott Graham and Andy Musser. That's why our byline says aliases. I hope this doesn't diminish your views of this blog.

"Scott"