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Old 06-29-2014, 11:26 AM
TDog TDog is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Modesto, California
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Originally Posted by SBSoxFan View Post
I understand that. But if you pinch run, say, Nieto for Dunn, then Nieto is the DH. You can still replace Viciedo with Sierra, both on base and in the outfield. Your only risk there is loosing Flowers later in the game. Given that it was the bottom of the ninth, that case is unlikely.

Your top priority in the top of the ninth is to score an additional run. I only "saw" the hit that got Dunn from second to third on gameday. So, it's possible a faster runner would not have scored anyway. But it is a fact that Dunn did not score on the base hit, while, ironically, the Blue Jays scored their run in the bottom of the ninth in the same situation.

Seems like a glaring tactical error to me, even if did not affect the final outcome.
You don't want to use your backup catcher as a pinch-runner for the DH pretty much for the same reason you don't want to pinch run someone going in on defense for the DH. It establishes your backup catcher as the DH. If Flowers breaks his hand on a foul tip, for example, you lose your DH. Nieto has been used as a pinch-runner (for Konerko, I think), but in that situation Flowers had come out for a pinch-hitter. If you balance the potential risk and potential gain pinch-running Nieto for Dunn, it isn't a high percentage move. Having seen the game on MLB, I don't know that Nieto would have been sent home from second on the out. He certainly wouldn't have been sent home on the Flowers foul fly. In either case, you may well have been complaining about the Sox running themselves out of an inning with a catcher being used as a pinch-runner.

Not pinch-running for Dunn wasn't a glaring error at all because of who you had available on the bench (unless you're looking at maybe Scott Carroll, with the intent of having Konerko hit for Carroll if Dunn's spot in the order comes up) and where it would leave the lineup. If Garcia hadn't been in the game, if Ramirez hadn't pinch-hit for Gillaspie, you would have been in a position where you probably would have seen a pinch runner. Carry one less pitcher and you could have Jordan Danks on the bench to pinch run.

There is a benefit-risk analysis that goes into making moves. Pinch-running for Dunn only benefits you if you score only score Dunn's run. A lead of three runs with the end-game bullpen in question (and putting in Sierra defensively figures to strengthen your pitching) is better than two, but not such a big lead that you could lose the game because of the moves you made to get the run.

If Ventura hadn't pinch-hit for Gillaspie in the eighth, he would have had Ramirez available to pinch-run in the ninth, but Ventura made the right move in the eighth, and given what he had, I can't complain about the move he didn't make in the ninth.

The fault is with Flowers and Garcia not exceuting, not with Ventura not pinch-running.
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