Saturday, June 24, 2006

The double switch

We've lost two in a row so I get to go negative right?

I don't think Hargrove really gets the double switch.

Friday night he double switches with Lopez, arguably his second or third best hitter all season, and then Beltre, arguably his hottest hitter right now. So now he is getting ABs from Bloomquist and Morse instead of just pinch hitting for his pitchers. Brilliant.

This example here gets a little convoluted so bear with me. When Grover brought in Fruto, he double switched with Lopez, who had batted last in the previous inning. This puts Willie in the game at second batting 9th. Fruto gets the last out of the 6th and pitches a 1-2-3 7th. The Willie flies out in the 8th and Fruto's spot comes on deck at the end of the inning. So he doulbe switched and moved the pitchers spot two spots down! Making it very likely that the old spot and the new spot would come up in the same inning!

Hargrove sends Everett to the on-deck circle to bat for Fruto in that inning. If Ichiro had reached, and Jurassic Carl come to bat, Hargrove's double switch would have accomplished nothing except to get Lopez AND Everett both out of the game! If he had played the inning without a double switch, he could have pinch-hit Willie for the pitcher in the nine spot, Lopez would have batted in his regular spot and Everett would have still been available for later! To make matters worse, he let Fruto pitch to two more batters and then pulled him. He took Lopez out of the game so that Fruto could pitch to two extra guys. Crazy.

Thursday he double switched Johjima and the pitcher so that Rivera could bat in the pitcher's spot. Rivera! Who is hitting a buck forty-three. He pulled the switch to get Rivera's bat into the game. I was dumbfounded. That is possibly the worst double switch of all time.

He's got Everett and Petagine to just straight pinch hit for his pitchers and yet he keeps doing double switches with no point. He's using Rivera, Morse and Bloomquist instead of guys who can actually hit. Double switches make sense when you switch for someone who's bat you won't miss later (Reed anyone?), when you were going to bring a guy in for defense anyway, or when your pitcher's spot is coming up next inning and you don't want to take him out of the game. At this point Hargrove is doing it just to do it.

And you know what? He's not even close to the worst manager ever! I suffered through the Bill Plummer Era after all.


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