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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gallardo wins it for Brewers—as a hitter

MILWAUKEE—As he was about to be intentionally walked, Brewers infielder Mark Reynolds was chuckling in the batter’s box, knowing that his team needed a starting pitcher, Yovani Gallardo, to get a big hit to beat the Baltimore Orioles.

It turns out that Gallardo got the last laugh.

With the Brewers out of position players, Gallardo’s pinch-hit double off T.J. McFarland scored Reynolds from first with two outs in the 10th inning to lift the Brewers to a 7-6 victory over the Orioles at Miller Park.

“I kind of made eye contact with Yo and said, ‘Let’s go, man,’” Reynolds said. “He’s a good hitter. He threw a fastball and Yo put a good swing on it and it was fun.”

McFarland (0-1) retired the first two batters of the 10th before intentionally walking Reynolds, knowing the Brewers were out of position players and Francisco Rodriguez was due up next. In 757 games, Rodriguez (2-1) has only two plate appearances, so manager Ron Roenicke looked to Gallardo, who has a .202 lifetime average and 12 homers.

“You’re hoping to get something lucky, but I think Yo has shown over the years that he’s really a good hitter,” Roenicke said.

Gallardo belted a 2-0 pitch off the center-field wall to easily score Reynolds without a play at the plate.

It was the first time that a pitcher had a pinch-hit, walk-off hit since Glendon Rusch did it for the Brewers in the 14th inning against the Houston Astros on April 19, 2003, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: May 28, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, orioles

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   1. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4714579)
How do you run out of position players IN THE TENTH INNING?!?!?!?!
   2. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4714581)
I wonder what Yo is most proud of, this hit, or the bomb he hit off of Randy Johnson at SF.
   3. Scott Lange Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4714597)
See what magic happens when you let baseball players play baseball instead of making up positions like "designated hitter"?

That aside, it was an awful decision to walk Reynolds, right? For his career, he has homered in 5.2% of his PAs. Gallardo has homered or doubled in 7.5% of his PAs. Then add the chances of Gallardo reaching and the next batter driving Reynolds in. Then add the harm done by giving up the (allegedly) free out waiting for you in the bottom of the next inning.
   4. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4714608)
Nice to see a manager using a nickname that doesn't end in "y". Terry Francona would definitely call Gallardo "Yovy".
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4714611)
That aside, it was an awful decision to walk Reynolds, right? For his career, he has homered in 5.2% of his PAs. Gallardo has homered or doubled in 7.5% of his PAs. Then add the chances of Gallardo reaching and the next batter driving Reynolds in. Then add the harm done by giving up the (allegedly) free out waiting for you in the bottom of the next inning.


I actually liked the decision. There is a general pinch hitter penalty to begin with and a guy like Gallardo who hasn't done it seems likely to be more affected rather than less. Also, Reynolds is a slow runner so it's not just that Gallardo needs to double but he needs to double deep somewhere. Gallardo also sees his XBH% decline with men on base and RISP. Intuitively I would think pitchers have better hitting numbers with the bases empty because they get challenged. You aren't going to want to walk a pitcher with the bases empty, it's going to be your best fastball and see if he can hit it. With men on you're going to make your best pitches and I expect the pitcher-as-hitter to struggle with that.

Additionally the 5.2% of homers for Reynolds undersells it a bit. He homers 6.1% of the time against LHP which is what would be relevant here. Gallardo's XBH percentage also goes up against LHP but we're talking 100 at bats over 8 seasons so I'm not too fussed about that.

I don't know McFarland well enough to know if he has the skill set for this but I'd have had him throw a couple of pitches off the plate to see if Reynolds put himself in a hole. If I get down 2-0 then I walk Reynolds. McFarland may not be a pitcher you trust to do that though, I don't know.
   6. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4714616)
I'm a bit skeptical of pitcher hitting numbers, too.... I mean, I have to feel like the vast majority of Gallardo's previous plate appearances have come against a pitcher who is providing less than 100% effort. 10th inning game on the line, I think you need to cut those numbers down significantly.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4714617)
That aside, it was an awful decision to walk Reynolds, right? For his career, he has homered in 5.2% of his PAs. Gallardo has homered or doubled in 7.5% of his PAs. Then add the chances of Gallardo reaching and the next batter driving Reynolds in.


Was it obvious (or should it have been obvious) to the opposing manager that Gallardo would be used as a pinch hitter? He is coming off of a minor ankle injury and is the scheduled starter for today, so maybe Showalter didn't think the Brewers would risk using him.
   8. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4714621)
It was the first time that a pitcher had a pinch-hit, walk-off hit since Glendon Rusch did it for the Brewers in the 14th inning against the Houston Astros on April 19, 2003,


That was the game I took my now wife to for our first date.
   9. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4714623)
Was it obvious (or should it have been obvious) to the opposing manager that Gallardo would be used as a pinch hitter? He is coming off of a minor ankle injury and is the scheduled starter for today, so maybe Showalter didn't think the Brewers would risk using him.

I know he said in his post-game comments that he was surprised to see Gallardo was still at the ballpark that late the night before a start.
   10. Dale Sams Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4714645)
How do you rank these decisions.

Giving an IBB to the go ahead run in the eighth inning. (The following batter walked, Orioles squirmed out of it)

Sending a pitcher to PH for the pitcher in the ninth with position players available, and having him bunt over a runner with 1 out.

Putting the winning run on first to throw to a pitcher.


Bonus:

Giving an IBB to David Eff Ross to pitch to Bradley.
   11. Scott Lange Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4714650)
OK, y'all make some good points. I'll downgrade my assessment of the decision to "debatable."
   12. Canker Soriano Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4714674)
Reynolds had also hit a monster HR earlier in the game. In the category of "what has he done to us lately", that was pretty fresh in everyone's minds. I could see where, if you didn't walk him and he hit another bomb, you wouldn't want to be stuck answering the question of why you chose to pitch to a guy who had already homered in that game when a pitcher was on deck.
   13. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4714690)
My ranking dumbest to smartest;

Sending a pitcher to PH for the pitcher in the ninth with position players available, and having him bunt over a runner with 1 out.
Giving an IBB to the go ahead run in the eighth inning. (The following batter walked, Orioles squirmed out of it)

-great big gap-

Putting the winning run on first to throw to a pitcher. As I noted above I think this was the right move it just didn't work.

Giving an IBB to David Eff Ross to pitch to Bradley.


Ross didn't score so it didn't hurt unless you assume that Bradley's hit against a LHP was more likely than Ross getting a hit was. Ross actually can hit lefties. Given that Bradley hasn't been hitting anything I can see wanting to face him there. Of course David Ross ain't exactly Mike Piazza.
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4714717)
How do you run out of position players IN THE TENTH INNING

going for the win

overbay as part of a doubleswitch in the 7th and then being run for the bottom of the ninth where his replacement did score the tying run
gennett pinch hitting for weeks
using up two guys with one being announced and then being replaced when the o's brought in the lefty
losing the backup catcher as part of the doubleswitch

ron has his flaws but i have no issue with someone emptying his holster versus holding ammo. nobody dead gets credit for the ammo saved after the fight is over
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4714725)
Putting the winning run on first to throw to a pitcher

that was a dumb move

the probability of reynolds hitting a homer against everything else?

and the ONLY option at that point was gallardo. buck would know that. gallardo was on deck for cr8ssakes

AND with a runner on base gallardo KNEW he would be getting at least one fastball early. facing a lefty gallardo was in an optimal position as a batter. gallardo has a .400 slugging percentage in his career against lefties with 11 extra base hits in 100 at bats.

walking reynolds was dumb

categorically dumb

to characterize putting the winning run on base as a sensible tactical move is to ignore everything we have learned about the game
   16. stevegamer Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4714760)
Worst thing was they intentionally put the go-ahead run on base twice. Doing it to face Gallardo wasn't as dumb as doing the same thing in the 8th inning, though. Showalter managed that game very badly.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4714761)
apologies for being unduly harsh

but i strongly disagree this move is justified either by the context or the math

bad move. said it was bad before gallardo whacked it into the gap
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4714779)
Nice to see a manager using a nickname that doesn't end in "y". Terry Francona would definitely call Gallardo "Yovy".


Sadly, Brewers fans call him "YoGa."
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4714780)
Sadly, Brewers fans call him "YoGa."

according to whom?


i have heard 'Yo' in lieu of Yovani

   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4714786)
according to whom?


According to my former roommate, born and raised in Hartford, although maybe he just made that up. But I could swear I've heard it somewhere else too, maybe on Baseball Tonight or something.
   21. Dale Sams Posted: May 28, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4714792)
Surely by now someone has done studies giving the pct. chance of:

1. Getting what you wanted

2. The plan not working as you wanted. (Walking the following guy, etc...) and...

3. Catastrophic results. (the guy scoring)
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4714803)
billy

that is new to me. never heard it (though granted my hearing stinks) and no signs to that effect. folks every so often wear a sombrero in the stands. and he is a popular guy
   23. base ball chick Posted: May 28, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4714820)
1 - 99% of baseball nicknames are stupid and YoGa is the worst

2 - the DH sucks, Yo
   24. boteman Posted: May 28, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4714834)
This just in from the "Can You Top This?" desk: Jeurys Familia, in relief of Bartolo Colon, just singled in the 8th inning; they sent his first-ever safely hit ball to the wrong dugout, then the Mets dugout to be preserved for posterity.

I'm on a low priority conference call so I only turned up the radio when I heard all the commotion, but why is a reliever batting for himself while leading 5-0 in the 8th inning?? Or is that situation precisely why Terry would let him bat for himself, as in "I want him back on the mound for the 9th!"
   25. Chone Mueller Posted: May 28, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4714892)
Do you think Ozzie Guillen has stopped grinning yet?
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 28, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4714909)
Harvey - just be glad your 1982 crew didn't feature RoYo, GorTh, CharMo and RolFi.
   27. Jay Z Posted: May 28, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4714938)
As far as the IW went, the Orioles needed at least 4 outs to win the game. Walking Reynolds changed the next inning from Gallardo/Herrera/Sequra to Herrera/Segura/Braun. That's a significant loss in my view. The fact that there may not have been much of a difference between Reynolds and Gallardo in the particular situation makes it worse. It's dumb to pitch around the number 7 hitter. The Brewers have better hitters than Reynolds, worry about them.
   28. caprules Posted: May 29, 2014 at 12:16 AM (#4715096)
I hadn't seen or heard YoGa either, until tonight at the game, there was a fan with a sign that said YoGa. Weird.

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