spoiler alert: i linked this
I've had this thought for a while and I wondered what people thought of it or if they have seen any statistical analysis(some searches turned up nothing) that could back it up or prove it wrong.
My thought is that saving your closer(best relief pitcher) for the end of the game doesn't really make any sense and that you should use your closer in the tightest spot not the end of the game to maximize his value.
Currently the conventional wisdom is to save your closer until you have the lead and have him pitch the 9th inning to close the game. Depending on how much work he has had or the coaches mood sometimes they will bring them in in tied games or extra innings. It seems often times that closers don't work as many innings as they should and that many games that potentially could be saved or won are lost because of this. Here are a few scenarios to illustrate my point.
You are playing St Louis and you are up 2 runs in the 7th inning. St. Louis has 1 out and a runner on 1st base, up to bat is Matt Holliday and on deck is Albert Pujols. The manager takes out the starter and brings in a reliever(because of the situation he is probably the 2nd or 3rd best reliever). Considering the situation in this game and the quality of hitters coming up I contend you should bring in your best pitcher in this situation. If we were the Yankees I would bring in Rivera right now and try to protect my lead right here. I'll take my chances with my other pitchers against the bottom of the order later. Rivera is my best pitcher I want to use him as much as I can without burning him out and I want him in the most intense situations. This game could be lost right here with a big inning and Rivera would never even see the field.
It's the 6th inning and you are down 2. The bases are loaded and 2 outs. A hit here cracks this game wide open an out keeps you right in it. I bring in my stud to get this out and then hold the next inning while I try to mount a comeback.
The downside to this theory is that at the end of the game there would be times you don't have your best pitcher around so you could potentially blow more games and depending on wether you believe only certain guys can handle the last inning pressure they could blow more saves than the "closer" saved games when he pitched earlier. I don't buy into the 9th inning is a differnt pressure theory and obviosuly I think there are more games to be won than lost by shuffling your pitcher lineup around.
So in closing I think that your best pitchers should be utilized againt the other teams best hitters and/or the most crucial situations and not always the the end of the game to best utilize the talents of your staff.
In case anyone's enjoying some baseball today... Brad Penny with a very nice 6 pitch, 3 ground ball inning to start the game.
Kind of a somewhat important early season game - it'd be nice to get above .500 and keep this winning streak versus the Sox going.
You know about me and Wolverines, but I'm also big on Red Wings, and the Tigers are my things.
My Wright Stache blog is now defunct, but I still do some baseball writing over at the SBNation Tigers blog, Bless You Boys.
Rest assured, I'll still get a post up this week on MGo, but if you're going unleavened this week, or just like lists of Jewish baseball players a whole lot, here's my lastest BYB post, with sincerest apologies to Adam Sandler:
Passover is, our Exodus strategy,
Instead of fish in April, we get no bread for a week.
So if you feel like the only kid in town, without an egg to paint,
Here's a list of baseball players who are Jewish, just like Pete Rose ain't....
Just read this article and thought I would share it with those that haven't read it yet. This guy is a tool.
I miss the series previews of Wolverine baseball we enjoyed last spring.
Now that hockey is almost finished (with grabbing a national title) and spring football is about half done, we're going to enter the long, dry season before football starts gearing up again.
Are there any folks with UM baseball knowledge who can (and will) enlighten us with previews, updates or analysis now that the Big Ten season is in full swing?
We are getting M softball updates -- a great thing -- but it seems like baseball would generate at least as much interest.
Like the title says, Puck Daddy interviewed Carl here
They touch on playing college hockey, the Big Chill, and being a fan favorite at Yost. Nothing new but also cool to read about Carl. Here's to yelling BORK for 2 more days!