here's what I don't understand -- maybe SteelPro can help --
7th inning, Tabata leads off with single
next batter is harrison, they pinchhit Walker
Rather than sacrificing the runner over to 2nd, they let him swing away
I don't get it -
With none out, down by one run, don't you want to get the runner over so that we have 2 chances after that to drive him in?
So, what happens --
Like clockwork, Walker grounds into a DP
I knew that was coming -- just knew it --
Hurdle, the KING of bunting -- the guy who makes his starting pitchers spend more time bunting than pitching in spring training, fails to call for a bunt in the perfect situation.
shaking my head over Hurdle's decision-making -- someone please tell me that he knows what he's doing in that situation and that I'm totally wrong about bunting right there -- and don't give me that stuff about letting his "best hitters" swing away -- Walker is freakin terrible right now - the right play is to get the sacrifice.
Sure, I'll be happy to help with the strategy. First off, most managers don't like to play for the tie on the road. I can go into the reasons why (many I agree with, a few I don't) but that in itself would be a lengthy post. I'll just say that Hurdle saw what he thought was maybe his best opportunity to score more than a single run and grab the lead. Just looking at this particular situation you have to know when Walker came in they weren't going to bunt. Why waste a move pinch hitting just to sacrifice? Secondly, although his strategy wasn't to bunt Hurdle did want to move the runner. He felt Tabata had a good chance of swiping second and he had the green light. He was running early in the count but Walker fouled off the pitch. It appeared to be a straight steal because it didn't look like Tabata was looking in for hit and run contact. Frankly I agree with the strategy. I think gambling with a quality base stealer is a better play than giving away an out. Now if you want to go into what Walker did wrong in how he handled the at-bat that could also be a pretty lengthy subject. But of course you can't hang the manager for that one so I'm not sure it would be as much fun for you guys
Thanks for the analysis -- I think it's spot on. I knew that Walker wouldn't be bunting, otherwise why bring him in to pinch hit. I was hoping for Tabata to steal 2nd to take away the potential DP, so maybe it did fall on Walker -- It definitely sounds like he fouled up that at bat. His job was to do the following: make sure Tabata advanced to 2nd, and make sure there was no double play. He failed on both.