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Monday, May 21, 2018

Posnanski: Modern Romonce

Is this the future of baseball?

Now, let’s say right off that I’m quite sure this Romo strategy is a winning one. Many of us have been talking about it for years; Joe Sheehan most prominently. Teams rarely use fewer than three pitchers in a game; they average about four pitchers per game. There have been 17 complete games all season. Seventeen. The concept of a starting pitcher as we knew it in the 1970s and 1980s and even 1990s has been blown to smithereens, so the question has been obvious for a while now: When will a team just finish the job and reinvent the whole pitching order of a game?

Baldrick Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:39 AM | 117 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: game theory, pitching, posnanski, traditions

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   101. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5677212)
It's too bad for her baseball career that she takes a swing, but she can't hit!


Beat me to it.
   102. SoSH U at work Posted: May 22, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5677216)
Eh, how often is there a pitching Chang with 2 out no one on? I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s rare


I think the odds are much higher in the CPBL.

   103. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 22, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5677219)
The value is coming from getting to pick your matchups at the beginning of the game. Romo mauled the top of the Angels order, putting the Rays in that much better position from the start.

The value also comes from your "starter" having to face the tough hitters fewer times in the game. If the first guy he faces is really batter #6, then he can be pushed to a third time through the order to face the 6-9 hitters, rather than having to face 1-4. Then the next, rested, short reliever can plow through #1-4 in the seventh or eighth.


We're rapidly approaching the point where the next market inefficiency will be pitchers who can consistently go 7 innings, whether you begin their outing in the 1st or 3rd innings.

Not that people don't realize this now, but the trend is clearly in the direction of thinking that 5 innings is sufficient for a starter. And then the complaint is that the bullpens are gassed!
   104. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5677222)
What's old will be new again
   105. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5677224)
I don't see why any team would want a guy to throw 7 innings starting in the 3rd. You wouldn't want a tiring pitcher to pitch the last inning of a close game. I don't see any manager having that mentality. Since that is true any pitcher that can throw 7 innings is either going to start the game or at worst come into the game in the 2nd inning.
   106. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5677251)
Eh, how often is there a pitching Chang with 2 out no one on? I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s rare
At least once. On September 18, 2013, Chang-Yong Lim retired all three batters he faced in the 7th inning for the Cubs against the Brewers.
   107. Zach Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5677255)
I don't see how a 0-0 game is terrible leverage.

It isn't in isolation. If you were pitching a pure bullpen game every game, the leverage would be fine. But you're still hoping the starter will give you six or seven innings, right? That means the starter has to be on a regular rotation -- you don't get to choose whether he pitches or not.

If you start the game with Albert pitching seven innings, you can look at the score to determine whether you want to put in Bob (the relief ace) or Charlie (the mopup guy).

If you start the game with Bob pitching two innings, you have to follow him with Albert, because he's the only one rested enough to go seven. Charlie is sitting for the day, even if it's a blowout.

So you use two of Bob's ~60 innings for the year on a game where you should have used Charlie. That adds up pretty fast.
   108. SandyRiver Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5677284)
Eh, how often is there a pitching Chang with 2 out no one on? I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s rare


How about if he comes in with 2 out and 2 on, allows that triple (thus messing up the previous pitcher's ERA), then gets out #3. ERA is 0.00 from a guy who maybe blew the game.
   109. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5677287)
At least once. On September 18, 2013, Chang-Yong Lim retired all three batters he faced in the 7th inning for the Cubs against the Brewers.


I'm glad you settled that. :)

   110. Rally Posted: May 22, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5677321)
I don't think you could get a pitcher to sign on to this strategy ten years ago. They'd be worried that even an effective season starting 60-65 games for 1 inning each would likely end up with a record like 0-13. I think pitchers (and their agents), especially relievers (need a new word here since he's starting, short-appearance pitchers) understand that not a single MLB front office gives a damn anymore about pitcher W-L record.
   111. SoSH U at work Posted: May 27, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5680347)
The pesky trouble with this groundbreaking idea - just throwing him in the first doesn't stop Sergio Romo from being a not very good pitcher.
   112. PreservedFish Posted: May 27, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5680416)
Yes, that is an issue. I wonder why they are only doing it with Romo.

Here's something I don't think we discussed - does this open up the opportunity for gamesmanship regarding the lineup and pitcher announcements? Is it only convention that has the pitchers announced first, lineups second? Are the Rays obligated by convention to announce who the 2nd inning starter will be?
   113. SoSH U at work Posted: May 27, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5680424)
Yes, that is an issue. I wonder why they are only doing it with Romo.

Here's something I don't think we discussed - does this open up the opportunity for gamesmanship regarding the lineup and pitcher announcements? Is it only convention that has the pitchers announced first, lineups second? Are the Rays obligated by convention to announce who the 2nd inning starter will be?

They also did it Saturday with Ryne Stanek, who gave them 1.2 scoreless innings.

I don't see any reason they'd have to announce anyone but the starting pitcher first, though if they run their second pitchers (the former starter) on a conventional schedule, the opposing team would typically know who the next in line will be.

The starting pitchers have to be announced first, and the offense can respond with its lineup (in much the same way the offensive team gets the last switch on a pitching change/pinch hitter and last call against any Vendittes.

The one thing that this can do is allow the opposing team to rejigger the lineup if they want. If you know Romo is going to give way to a lefthander, then you can move a couple of your lefties up to the front of the order where they're guaranteed to get at least one shot a righthander before they have to face a southpaw.
   114. PreservedFish Posted: May 27, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5680425)
Can't wait to see an opposing manager line up 3 lefties vs Romo, and then see him get lifted after the first batter.
   115. McCoy Posted: May 27, 2018 at 08:26 PM (#5680442)
What would follow after? How many Lefty specialists does a team carry? How many Lefty starters does a team have. If the Lefty long inning guy pitched 5 innings yesterday he isn't coming up today. If the opposing manager lifts romo after one batter and brings in a loogy to get the next two or three lefties you've got him to go through two relievers and what should be two good ones at that. So then what happens? He then brings his right handed starter in and the top of the order Lefty heavy batters get to face him and then the manager is in a tough spot because it is now the 7th or 8th inning and they are back up and you don't have a decent left handed pitcher to face off against them.
   116. PreservedFish Posted: May 27, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5680448)
I was being snide, but thank you for your comprehensive exposition on the subject.
   117. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 28, 2018 at 10:24 PM (#5680967)
Eh, how often is there a pitching Chang with 2 out no one on? I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s rare


They've found that calling in Chang really upsets the fans.
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