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are closers used wrong?

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Postby DK » Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:40 pm

Tavish wrote:
BaseballFann0008 wrote:thats why you see closers with a 1.1 ip Save usually is on a winning team with a smart manager B-)


More often that is a manager who tried to use an ineffective set-up man and had to use the closer to bail them out. There are teams out there that tend to use the closer pretty effectively, although it usually happens as a by-product of those teams playing a ton of close games. Chad Cordero was one of the best used closers in the first half, but it wasn't some great design by Frank Robinson. The Nads were just in a ton of one run games.

There are also some teams who really don't use the closer all that well but get away with it because the middle of the bullpen is dominant. The Angels come to mind. They have one of the best used relievers (closer or not) and it isn't K-Rod.


I know who you're talking about the second you said him, and I completely agree. ;D ;D To SS.
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Postby HOOTIE » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:32 pm

josebach wrote:The reason they don't do it because it's a whole lot worse to lose a game in the 9th than it is in the 7th. All you would be doing by bringing closers in earlier than the 8th would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. The game is not necessarily on the line in the 7th if a run or two is scored. It IS on the line in the 9th. Imagine the heat managers would take if they used their closer in the 7th and then lost the game in the bottom of the 9th?


Well a loss is a loss, no matter when you lose it. The game is on the line in the 7th or 8th if it's a 1 run lead and you have runners on. The game is not on the line in the 9th with a 2 or 3 run lead with no one on.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:11 pm

What do those of you who think closers are used wrong think managers should do? Warm up there guy in the 5th inning in case there is a runners on no-out situation in the 6th, 7th, or 8th? You can't just keep someone throwing in the pen for 3 or 4 innings, and since you can't forsee when the tight spots will come you may as well plan to have your best guy throw the final inning.
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Postby BobbyRoberto » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:24 pm

I like the way relievers were used in the 70's. Rollie Fingers, Mike Marshall, Goose Gossage (early in his career). Those guys were used for multiple innings in crucial situations and contributed more to their team winning than a "closer" who comes into the game to get 3 outs in the 9th with a 3-run lead.

Baseball Prospectus has the numbers, based on 2005:

When the visiting team has been down by 1 run, top of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 12% of their games.

When the visiting team has been down by 2 runs, top of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 2% of their games.

When the visiting team has been down by 3 runs, top of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 2.4% of their games.

When the home team has been down by 1 run, bottom of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 17.2% of their games.

When the home team has been down by 2 runs, bottom of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 7.1% of their games.

When the home team has been down by 3 runs, bottom of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 2.7% of their games.

These numbers tell me that a closer is important in a 1-run game, but once you push the lead up to 2 or 3 runs, the importance is lessened. The crucial inning in a game could easily be the 7th or 8th.
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Postby dyuen87 » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:05 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:What do those of you who think closers are used wrong think managers should do? Warm up there guy in the 5th inning in case there is a runners on no-out situation in the 6th, 7th, or 8th? You can't just keep someone throwing in the pen for 3 or 4 innings, and since you can't forsee when the tight spots will come you may as well plan to have your best guy throw the final inning.


wait im confused by your arguement. i thought closers and middle inning relievers usually used the same amount of time to warmup. :-? hmm maybe im wrong. but if you have time to bring in a middle reliever in a pressure situations (i.e. bases loaded 1 out and 1 run lead) won't you have time to bring in your best pitcher, the one you've been saving for the end? that's what i think managers should do.

i just think that the category of saves should be more flexible than just the guy tat comes in during the 9th with a small lead.
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Postby Red Stripe » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:15 pm

BobbyRoberto wrote:I like the way relievers were used in the 70's. Rollie Fingers, Mike Marshall, Goose Gossage (early in his career). Those guys were used for multiple innings in crucial situations and contributed more to their team winning than a "closer" who comes into the game to get 3 outs in the 9th with a 3-run lead.

Baseball Prospectus has the numbers, based on 2005:

When the visiting team has been down by 1 run, top of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 12% of their games.

When the visiting team has been down by 2 runs, top of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 2% of their games.

When the visiting team has been down by 3 runs, top of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 2.4% of their games.

When the home team has been down by 1 run, bottom of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 17.2% of their games.

When the home team has been down by 2 runs, bottom of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 7.1% of their games.

When the home team has been down by 3 runs, bottom of the 9th, nobody out/nobody on, they've won 2.7% of their games.

These numbers tell me that a closer is important in a 1-run game, but once you push the lead up to 2 or 3 runs, the importance is lessened. The crucial inning in a game could easily be the 7th or 8th.


The reason those 2 and 3 run lead percentages of winning are so low might actually be because of the closers not the teams hitting, you put one of the crappier MR guys in to do the work with a 2 or 3 run lead the chances of winning the game are going to be a lot higher than by putting in your top fireballing closer. Im sure those stats would change if they switched up how the closer role works, these numbers are so low because the closers on most teams are so good in closing the door on the game. Some MR's aren't closers because they don't have that mentality we always talk about when it comes to closing a game. Lots of guys could blow 2 or 3 run games pretty easily if they don't have that mentality.
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Postby JTWood » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:28 pm

Red Stripe wrote:
BobbyRoberto wrote:These numbers tell me that a closer is important in a 1-run game, but once you push the lead up to 2 or 3 runs, the importance is lessened. The crucial inning in a game could easily be the 7th or 8th.


The reason those 2 and 3 run lead percentages of winning are so low might actually be because of the closers not the teams hitting...

You beat me to it. You're looking at stats that have been affected by the presence of the closer. I would think that renders your logic fallable.
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Postby Tavish » Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:15 pm

JTWood wrote:
Red Stripe wrote:
BobbyRoberto wrote:These numbers tell me that a closer is important in a 1-run game, but once you push the lead up to 2 or 3 runs, the importance is lessened. The crucial inning in a game could easily be the 7th or 8th.


The reason those 2 and 3 run lead percentages of winning are so low might actually be because of the closers not the teams hitting...

You beat me to it. You're looking at stats that have been affected by the presence of the closer. I would think that renders your logic fallable.


I wouldn't think that stats would even be needed to show the logic of an ace reliever having more value in a 1 run game than a 2 or 3 run game. There is much more value for a team like Houston to have Lidge (2.25 ERA or 1 run every 4 innings) pitch the 8th and 9th in a one run game and let Russ Springer (5.94 ERA or about 2 runs every 3 innings) close a few 3-run 9th inning leads.

If you want to see ace relievers used to at a very high value level wait until the postseason. There will still be the occasional waste of using the ace in the 9th with a 3 run lead, but there will be a ton more of 2 to 3 inning appearances.
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Postby looptid » Mon Sep 05, 2005 5:57 am

davidmarver wrote:10.1 IP, 9ER (7.84 ERA).

35.1 IP, 8ER (2.04 ERA).

Difference in Hoffman's ERA in save and non-save situations: some pitchers do better when that last inning rests on their shoulders...if that was not the case, then yes, closers are being used incorrectly, but I find that plenty of pitchers do better in save situations, where the game will end if they do their job.

You can find anything you want using 10.1 innings as your sample size.
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Postby looptid » Mon Sep 05, 2005 6:02 am

josebach wrote:The reason they don't do it because it's a whole lot worse to lose a game in the 9th than it is in the 7th. All you would be doing by bringing closers in earlier than the 8th would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. The game is not necessarily on the line in the 7th if a run or two is scored. It IS on the line in the 9th. Imagine the heat managers would take if they used their closer in the 7th and then lost the game in the bottom of the 9th?

In many official saves the game isn't on the line. If you think leading by three runs to start the ninth inning is a high pressure situation, then why have teams converted the save near 97% of the time this season? If you've got bases loaded with two outs in the seventh in a tie game, Paul is screaming for his cash, and we don't know if Peter is going to bother to show up.
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