What would you do?
I occasionally look around the message board at cubs.com, mostly for rumors or what not. But I stumbled across a thread where fans were criticizing the Reds for walking Ward to get to DeRosa in the 9th.
Most people argued that they were probably going for matchups (Lefty / Righty), and many felt that the Reds should've walked the bases loaded to setup the force at home.
My thoughts were:
"I'm sure that this is something along the lines of the what the Reds were thinking:
"We need a double play to get out of this thing. Of the next 3 batters, who is most likely to hit into a DP? Probably Jacque Jones. So we need to walk either Ward or DeRosa for the double play to be set-up for Jones. Between Ward and DeRosa, Ward strikes out less and is more likely to lift one deep enough for a sac fly. Therefore, we have to try to get a weak grounder, pop-up, or strikeout from DeRosa to have any chance."
I don't agree with walking both Ward and DeRosa at all. Then it's bases loaded with 0 outs, and your no longer looking for a double play, but a force out at home. So Say Jones nubs one to 2nd, the throw goes home and nails Fuld, bases are juiced with 1 out. Then you just gave the Cubs an extra batter, if not two extra batters (one to try to get a sac fly, and a second to try for a hit in case of a non DP out). Giving the opponent extra outs to work with is never good (as everyone would agree), but it doesn't just pertain to defensive gaffes, it also has to do with strategy laden situations such as this one.
On the surface, of course you don't walk to get to a guy who is 9 for his last 9 against you. But using the larger sample sizes of both season and career numbers, Ward was much more likely to drive in Fuld than DeRosa was, at least in terms of a sac-fly. It was a 'pick your poison' scenario, it was bad for the Reds either way."
Thoughts on that scenario?
But more than just this particular scenario, I haven't really noticed many strategy heavy discussions about 'what would you do' relating to a recent baseball scenario.
Would others be interested in such discussions / threads?