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Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby knapplc » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:24 pm

Grounded Polo wrote:Having the pitcher bat eighth is another example of why the NL Central is always the worst division in baseball. *













* - Note - the term "always" apparently does not include the years 2004, 2005 or 2006, since a team from the NL Central won the NL in each of those years.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby pangbones » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:25 pm

Ran Shandler did a study on it, and the article was in Sports weekly last week. I don't have the exact numbers but the study basically showed that it really doesn't matter where the pitcher hits. The difference in runs scored was minimal.

I can see both sides of the fence, and you can make a good arguement for both ways. I have watched several Brewers games this year so far, and it seems that more often than not, the pitcher has been making the last out of the inning, or is up 2nd, and can bunt the runner over. Maybe thats just luck, I don't know, but I think it's working for Milwaukee, and the numbers showed that it worked for the Cardinals last year as well.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby cards05 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:53 pm

Grounded Polo wrote:
Ender wrote:Batting the pitcher 8th is better in almost every way than batting him 9th. The AL does the same basic thing, they stick their worst hitter #8(the C on most teams) and then a lower power ok OBP guy 9th in most cases.

Having guys on for your #1, #2 hitters is much more important than driving in your #6, #7. So far it has worked out great for the Brewers, been very rare that I've thought I wish Kendall were batting 8th for that plate appearance.


I still don't want my pitcher getting any additional at-bats. When Milwaukee plays the Mets last weekend, having the pitcher batting eighth hurt them in at least 2 key situations.


You may be right about 2 occurrences last weekend, but most empirical studies on this issue (Click, Raune, THT, Prospectus) have concluded that batting the pitcher eighth adds a few runs per year and might even result in 1 extra win. So, like many have said, it really doesn't make that much of a difference and the extra win may not even be worth the fuss it causes with the traditionalist fans. But I wouldn't go around citing it as a basis to conclude that a particular division is the worst in baseball.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby Nomarrrrrrrrrr » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:04 pm

Ender wrote:
There are only 2 ways that Kendall gets on for the top of the order as you say is important. Either the pitcher gets out and then Kendall leads off the next inning (wouldn't you rather have your leadoff guy leadoff?)


Kendall still gets out 65% of the time or so. I'd much rather have the pitcher make the 3rd out than Kendall make the third out and have the pitcher leading off.


OR the pitcher gets out with less than 2 outs and Kendall gets on to extend the inning...in that case, wouldn't you rather Kendall get that hit hitting 8th and then the pitcher bunt him over?


No I'd rather have the pitcher bunting guys over for Kendall to drive them in because Kendall is a low power high OBP extreme groundball hitter. It is much better for him to come up with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd than 1 out and a runner on 1st and the pitcher behind him.

It is never better to have the out first and then the hit as opposed to the hit and then the out. So what exactly are you talking about? You don't want guys on for your leadoff hitter, you want them leading off.


Not when your leadoff hitter has 20+ HR power in his bat.

There are exactly two situations where this setup fails.

1) A runner is on 2nd or 3rd with 2 outs for the pitcher. In this case I'd much rather have had Kendall up.
2) The 8 spot leads off the inning. In this case I'd rather Kendall gets his single or out before the pitcher so he can bunt.

Every other situation in the game I'd rather have Kendall 9th and the pitcher 8th. The every other situation has happened a whole lot more than those two situations.


If you want guys on for your leadoff hitter he shouldn't be leading off, plain and simple. You put him at leadoff because you want him leading off. Guys like Hanley Ramirez shouldn't be leading off, he should be hitting 3rd. Rickie Weeks shouldn't be leading off. If you put your pitcher 9th and actually have a leadoff hitter hitting 1st than he is going to leadoff alot of innings. That is pretty damn simple to figure out. With the pitcher hitting 8th everytime the 7th hitter comes up with 2 outs he won't be pitched to and the inning is over. The higher the pitcher is the earlier you cut off the string of good hitters. Whoever "studies" it and says they have a fair comparision is full of crap. You can't know what would have happened if the 8th and 9th guys were the other way around and you can't compare one team to another, or even one team year to year and base the comparison on that.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby cards05 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:16 pm

Ah yes, the unimpeachable "I'm right because I'm right" and "those who disagree with me are full of crap" arguments. You're toast Ender, just concede defeat.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby abrage22 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:55 pm

alls i know is zambrano can hit ;-D
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby neoforce » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:09 pm

cards05 wrote: ... most empirical studies on this issue (Click, Raune, THT, Prospectus) have concluded that batting the pitcher eighth adds a few runs per year and might even result in 1 extra win. So, like many have said, it really doesn't make that much of a difference and the extra win may not even be worth the fuss it causes with the traditionalist fans. ...


The revolution in baseball that Bill James started has resulted in many different ways that teams now try to tip the percentages in their favor. Each small edge adds up if you do it and the other guy doesn't.

So one win a year can make a big difference. And who cares what the traditionalist fans think?

Ironically, those benefits are probably short lived. If something is proven in math, verified in experience, adopted by teams, eventually the edge may be gone again.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby cards05 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:16 pm

Doug Melvin was just on the radio here in St. Louis and he said that they took notice of what LaRussa was doing last year because basically, when Tony LaRussa does something like that, he's usually got a good reason. They then brought in their numbers department to see if there was any merit to it. After running the numbers, they estimated that with Kendall batting ninth, they'd score 30 more runs this year. It's good to see more progressive thinking in baseball these days. Kudos to the Brewers. As I've said before, I'm guessing a team will abandon the whole "closer" role within a couple of years.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby RAmst23 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:10 pm

cards05 wrote:Doug Melvin was just on the radio here in St. Louis and he said that they took notice of what LaRussa was doing last year because basically, when Tony LaRussa does something like that, he's usually got a good reason. They then brought in their numbers department to see if there was any merit to it. After running the numbers, they estimated that with Kendall batting ninth, they'd score 30 more runs this year. It's good to see more progressive thinking in baseball these days. Kudos to the Brewers. As I've said before, I'm guessing a team will abandon the whole "closer" role within a couple of years.


Well, lots of teams have tried to abandon the whole closer role thing. They called it "closer by committee", and generally those were a spectacular failure. Though, the teams that usually take this approach just have a bunch of crappy relievers and don't know what to do with them anyway.

I'm not really against having a closer spot, I just wish managers would be a little more flexible than "Only bring the closer in for the 9th." Very often, a team's 3-4-5 hitters come up in the 8th, and yet the team throws out its 2nd or 3rd best reliever. Silliness I say.
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Re: Pitchers hitting 8th in the MIL lineup

Postby DaShiz23 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:15 pm

abrage22 wrote:alls i know is zambrano can hit ;-D


you can bat that kid 6th! hell, he could DH against lefties if he was in the AL.
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