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Wedge refuses to use Michaels against LHP

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Wedge refuses to use Michaels against LHP

Unread postby Wahoot » Mon May 28, 2007 9:50 pm

Bases loaded, one out. We're down 4-1 in the eighth.

Why the f%$& is Trot Nixon facing a LHP when we have Michaels sitting on the bench?
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Unread postby leadpipe » Mon May 28, 2007 10:47 pm

Was wondering about that myself. That was one of my three thoughts for the game. The other two being, man, they got jobbed on the Blake checked swing call in the 9th, and two, someone remind Mike Koplove that you are allowed to steal bases in the bigs. The guy could at least glance over there.
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Unread postby tribefan333 » Mon May 28, 2007 11:57 pm

Wedge believes in not just playing matchups, but playing the situation. Guess he felt Nixon in Fenway was a good combo. I think this was a situation where Jason should have batted, but oh well. We kind of got handcuffed at the end with Blake (not saying it was the wrong call, just really threw our plans out the window) but I'm not with Wedgie on this decision.
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Unread postby Wahoot » Tue May 29, 2007 12:56 am

tribefan333 wrote:Wedge believes in not just playing matchups, but playing the situation. Guess he felt Nixon in Fenway was a good combo. I think this was a situation where Jason should have batted, but oh well. We kind of got handcuffed at the end with Blake (not saying it was the wrong call, just really threw our plans out the window) but I'm not with Wedgie on this decision.


What does "playing the situation" mean? Ignoring empirical evidence and trusting your gut? Stephen Colbert would be proud. But in the reality-based community, Michaels is a career .400 hitter at Fenway with a .928 OPS. Not to mention the fact that Fenway favors right-handed hitters (think "Green Monster") historically.

Sorry, tribefan333. I don't mean to sound snarky. But Wedge drives me to drink sometimes.
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Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue May 29, 2007 9:10 am

My guess is that if Wedge pinch-hit with Michaels, Boston would have brought in a right-handed reliever, and Wedge liked the Nixon matchup better.
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 29, 2007 9:18 am

Then Wedge is even dumber than before, because Michaels has a much better split vs RH pitchers than Nixon does vs LH.

It is simply a case of Wedge not wanting to pinch hit for Nixon in his return to Fenway. It isn't like Trot GIDP, he jumped on a decent pitch and just missed, but got a sac fly and the inning continued.
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Unread postby tribefan333 » Tue May 29, 2007 4:36 pm

Wahoot wrote:
tribefan333 wrote:Wedge believes in not just playing matchups, but playing the situation. Guess he felt Nixon in Fenway was a good combo. I think this was a situation where Jason should have batted, but oh well. We kind of got handcuffed at the end with Blake (not saying it was the wrong call, just really threw our plans out the window) but I'm not with Wedgie on this decision.


What does "playing the situation" mean? Ignoring empirical evidence and trusting your gut? Stephen Colbert would be proud. But in the reality-based community, Michaels is a career .400 hitter at Fenway with a .928 OPS. Not to mention the fact that Fenway favors right-handed hitters (think "Green Monster") historically.

Sorry, tribefan333. I don't mean to sound snarky. But Wedge drives me to drink sometimes.


Yes that's exactly what he meant. I forget where the interview was televised, probably the pregame, but that's exactly what he said. He mentioned sometimes the game just feels for one player over another, despite what it looks like on paper.

Guess he felt that Nixon at Fenway was the right move, something you, I, and a lot of people disagree with.
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Unread postby tribefan333 » Tue May 29, 2007 4:38 pm

Prosecutor brings up a good point, I think I remember seeing a reliever being in the pen when Papelbon was in.
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Unread postby KChmura » Tue May 29, 2007 4:40 pm

does a game go by where we dont question at least one eric wedge move? i think not
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 29, 2007 4:48 pm

does a game go by where we dont question at least one eric wedge move? i think not


Probably not.

That does not really mean anything though. Should Wedge have used Michaels? Probably. And he does in any of 30 other parks. This single situation though, I have no real problem with it. Not that I am ok with not making the smartest move possible, but there are times when gut wins over head.

The positives of Trot coming through there would have far outweighed the benefits of winning that single game. He is a leader on this team and deserved the chance to get a big hit back at Fenway!

If the same situation comes up tonight, he will surely pinch hit for him. He got his one shot.

The sport of baseball is about way more than numbers. It is not like Nixon was 0-season against LH. He has hit some of them, and one that tops out at 84 MPH is as safe a bet as there is.
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Unread postby Wahoot » Tue May 29, 2007 8:12 pm

Prosecutor wrote:My guess is that if Wedge pinch-hit with Michaels, Boston would have brought in a right-handed reliever, and Wedge liked the Nixon matchup better.


Good point. But Michaels hits righties much better than Trot does lefties. Plus (and this is pretty important), the green monster gives right-handed batters a significant statistical edge.

Pup wrote:The positives of Trot coming through there would have far outweighed the benefits of winning that single game.


Will that still be your answer if the Indians finish a half game back for the wild card?
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue May 29, 2007 8:34 pm

Wahoot wrote:
Pup wrote:The positives of Trot coming through there would have far outweighed the benefits of winning that single game.


Will that still be your answer if the Indians finish a half game back for the wild card?

Depends. Will you loan me your alternate history time machine so I can see the guarantee that Michaels would have done better? Or can I stick with blaming Borowski instead?

Edit:

Okay, here's a less sarcastic answer. Can you promise me without a shadow of a doubt that the confidence Wedge showed in Nixon to bat against a left-hander won't pay off with a win down the road? There would be your half-game, albeit a nebulous, hard-to-measure one.

That's what I was thinking when he left Ferd in after walking the first guy on four pitches:

You're in there, get out of it.
(walk on five pitches)
I'm telling you, this is yours, you get out of it.
(walk in a run)
You're in it, you get out. It's all you. Sink or swim. You.
(strike three)


See, that run could have cost us the game. It didn't, but it was pretty close. And you know what? I thought it was brilliant. Because if this turns out the be The Game That Got Ferd Cabrera Back On Track, Cabrera will contribute a whole lot more wins down the road than he cost us tonight.

Now, I don't KNOW that will happen. I don't KNOW much about Ferd or the clubhouse or attitudes or any of that. But I'll say that they matter, even for a stats guy, and that KIND of move is the kind that can pay dividends over the course of 162 that may be hard to see in the microcosmic lens of looking an One Game.

I think THAT'S what Cris was talking about.
Last edited by Steve Buffum on Tue May 29, 2007 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 29, 2007 9:29 pm

Will that still be your answer if the Indians finish a half game back for the wild card?


If the Indians finish 1/2 game back, I am calling shinanigans on MLB.
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Unread postby Wahoot » Wed May 30, 2007 2:07 am

Steve Buffum wrote:Depends. Will you loan me your alternate history time machine so I can see the guarantee that Michaels would have done better? Or can I stick with blaming Borowski instead?


First off, Steve, I love your B-Lists. They're the reason I'm here.

That being said, my "alternate history time machine" (which I DO have and keep locked in a trunk in my basement) doesn't offer guarantees, only probabilities. In this case, it suggests that Michaels was 40% more likely (than Nixon) to get a hit off Boston's LHP and 25% more likely (than Nixon) to get a hit had Boston switched to a RHP. And that doesn't yet factor in the statistical advantages Fenway offers to right-handed batters (which are significant).

As for the analogy with Cabrera, I'm not sure how it applies. Cabrera is a young player in a slump -- i.e. there's reason to believe his performance will improve (see: 2005). Nixon, on the hand, has had 11 years to establish the fact that he fares poorly against LHP.

So if Wedge really thought that a hit in that at-bat might "spark" Nixon for the rest of the year against lefties, than we're in more trouble than I thought. Because Shapiro has built this outfield around platoons. But if Wedge doesn't use them, he's wasting his resources.
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Unread postby pup » Wed May 30, 2007 8:44 am

If the same situation comes up tonight, he will surely pinch hit for him. He got his one shot.


OK. Maybe not :eek: :o :-o

I think Steve and I understand that the percentages called for Michaels to hit there.

There are other things to factor in. Maybe Michaels is 0-22 against Brandon Donnely?

There are reasons, times and places, and situations where baseball is not a straight numbers game. That is why things like the Pyth are stupid.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed May 30, 2007 10:10 am

Wahoot wrote:First off, Steve, I love your B-Lists. They're the reason I'm here.

Thanks, I appreciate that.

Wahoot wrote:That being said, my "alternate history time machine" (which I DO have and keep locked in a trunk in my basement) doesn't offer guarantees, only probabilities. In this case, it suggests that Michaels was 40% more likely (than Nixon) to get a hit off Boston's LHP and 25% more likely (than Nixon) to get a hit had Boston switched to a RHP. And that doesn't yet factor in the statistical advantages Fenway offers to right-handed batters (which are significant).

I would argue more strenuously, but Wedge did it again last night (against Okajima), so I no longer feel like defending him. Maybe neither Michaels nor Dellucci can play RF. That would be bad.

Wahoot wrote:As for the analogy with Cabrera, I'm not sure how it applies. Cabrera is a young player in a slump -- i.e. there's reason to believe his performance will improve (see: 2005). Nixon, on the hand, has had 11 years to establish the fact that he fares poorly against LHP.

So if Wedge really thought that a hit in that at-bat might "spark" Nixon for the rest of the year against lefties, than we're in more trouble than I thought. Because Shapiro has built this outfield around platoons. But if Wedge doesn't use them, he's wasting his resources.

A valid point, and well put. I still think there is psychological value to be mined for a player in his first year with a new club, regardless of his career to that point. But as I said, the fact that he made the last out against a lefty suggests there's something more basic going on here (like the defense).
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