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Wainwright had the right idea. The Cards weren’t going to beat the Red Sox without figuring out a way to get Ortiz out.
In another era, Bob Gibson might have knocked Big Papi on the seat of his pants a few times.
But Matheny got freaked out.
If you're in a walk-of situation say 2nd and 3rd, tie game, bottom 9th, Ortiz up, Napoli next, RHP on mound, you might talk me into the
IBB. Even if its a LHP with serious heat, like Siegrist. Maybe. But in general, I hate IBB's.
In the NL you have a team average of 38, due to the pitcher hitting, and it's correct that you would issue a few more IBBs in the NL. For example if you've got a 2nd and 3rd two out situation in the 2nd inning and the opposing pitcher is up, you should deal your get out of jail free card and might as well open the trap door to get out of the inning.
You move Papi back with a pitch? He just gets in a little closer next time.
Then you drill him the next time.
You can try, but it's a lot harder than it looks.
There are few things you can do against a hitter who is locked in the way Ortiz was locked in this WS. One of them is to go high and in, or drill him in the ass, to at least attempt to reestablish the plate and throw off his timing. It may not work, but you should at least try it.
Oh, I'm not arguing against the idea the Cardinals should have tried to work him inside more. Just noting that actually hitting Ortiz isn't easy. He doesn't like to get hit, and he's quite skilled at avoiding that fate, particularly for a man of his size.
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