Thoughts From Todays Game

In the second inning of todays game, the Diamondback’s had men on second and third with two outs and eight hitter John McDonald at the plate. The Braves decided to intentionally walk McDonald after getting down in the count 2-0. This loaded the bases for the pitcher Ian Kennedy. This is the classic “IBB to face the pitcher” which is an almost guaranteed out. However, McDonald who was hitting .167 coming into the game (.250 wOBA in 2011), should not have been pitched around.

While hindsight is 20/20, it was the wrong move at the time. There is really no reason to walk the 8th place guy to get the pitcher when he has a minimal chance of doing better than what the pitcher would do. Delgado wound up walking Kennedy on four straight pitches. It is completely inexcusable for Delgado to walk the pitcher with the bases loaded, let alone of four pitches. Delgado takes a lot of the blame here, but there is no reason as a manager why you should think he is incapable of getting an 8th place hitter like John McDonald out.

To make things worse, Gerardo Parra hit a grand slam on the following pitch to make it a 5-1 game. But again, it is totally inexcusable the Delgado can not throw a single strike to the eight and ninth hitters. I will soon give my thoughts on the Jurrjens v. Delgado debate for when Hudson returns next week.

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2 Comments on “Thoughts From Todays Game”

  1. hasbeen5 says:

    I almost always hate an intentional walk, pitcher due up or not. I think it was Posnanski that said the IBB is anti-competitive, and he’s right. You’re basically telling your pitcher that he’s not good enough to get this guy out.

    And the fact is, the best hitters in the game get on base what, 40% of the time. An IBB puts a guy on base 100% of the time. As evidenced by walking the pitcher, bad stuff happens when you extend an inning.

    • Brave_Decisions says:

      Yes, the mental side of the IBB bothers me too. As “The Book” points out, an intentional walk almost always increases run expectancy. There are very few times when the IBB should be used, mostly when a very poor hitter follows a very good hitter. Not when a very bad hitter is followed by a pitcher.


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