Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 17, 2003
BASEBALL: Pitching Around .204

Interesting decision last night by Dusty Baker and/or Joe Borowski at the end of the Cubs-Reds game: 4-3 Cubs lead at home, tying run on second base, Adam Dunn at bat, Barry Larkin on deck, and the Cubs choose to pitch around Dunn, walking him on four pitches, to put the winning run on first and face Larkin. Here are the options:

Dunn: .204 batting, .528 slugging
Larkin: .254 average, .388 slugging

It's not a slam-dunk either way, but a hit ties the game; why not face the guy hitting .204 rather than (1) giving up 50 points of batting average and (2) replacing the risk of a game-winning homer with the risk of a game-winning double (Larkin has 6 extra base hits in 67 at bats, not much less than Dunn's 22 homers in 216 at bats)?

In the end, it worked: Larkin struck out on consecutive check swings. And maybe Baker was looking beyond the year-to-date stats and thinking that Dunn is still a coming superstar, and Larkin is finished. Still, it's an interesting question.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:25 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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