Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Controversial Closer

Many baseball fans who consider themselves among the Billy Bean, Bill James crew--the thinking fans have pointed to the over emphasis on the closer in today's game. To large extent they are right of course. They note that runs scored in any middle inning are equal to runs scored in the 8th and 9th, and therefore there is no reason to save one of your best pitchers for the end of the game. I'm not so sure that's entirely true. Due to the large luck component in baseball many games will be blow outs for one team or another. No matter who you have pitching your going to lose by 4 to 5 runs due to bad luck alone and there is no point in having your best guys in during a bad luck game. From the pitcher's point of view, the luck component is even larger because it encompasses how his fielders preform and who the team hits. However, as a manager by the 8th and 9th you have a pretty good idea if you're having a bad luck game or not. Saving a good pitcher for close games may allow you to keep from wearing him down in un-winable games.

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