On Tuesday night, the White Sox and Guardians had a layover during the first eight rounds of the game that would help determine the fate of the MLS Central. Of course, being late in the game with a chance of winning suits both teams just fine. White Sox Liam Hendricks Anchoring their bulls, while their guardians Emmanuel Class In the same role in their role.
Hendrix pitched a smooth top of the ninth. But even with two of the best guys in The Guardians Trevor Stefan And the James KarenshakOut of the game, Clase cooled his heels at the Cleveland Bullpen while Enel de los Santos He met Hendrix to get out. What was Terry Francona doing?
It was, in fact, playing with percentages. “Never Save Too Soon” is a modern analytical truism, but it wasn’t designed for the zombie runner’s base. When every round works the same way, you should always have your best shooters in the post-match rush. The only difference between the 9th and 10th inning was that you might not play in the 10th round. This is no longer the case.
I Checked in 2020, which makes the tenth inning have higher scores than the ninth changes in the optimal use of the bowler. When all the action is on day 10, that means you want the best throw of your arm next. Walking the tightrope in additional turns and escaping without allowing running is very difficult; It’s an inherently higher leverage spot, which means using your best diluent pays off.
The easiest way to think of it is with someone like Ryan Hillsley or Edwin Diaz, the bowler who often ignores runners at the base thanks to his hits. Not all outs are created equal. With a runner in first and less than two, an off the ground is the best kind of exit thanks to the chance of a double play. With a runner in third and less than two, pop-ups and strikes reign. With empty rules, everything is the same. The state of the base/outsider determines a lot about the optimal approach to advice.
On normal rounds, this doesn’t matter much, because the bases start blank on each run. The best pitcher is the one who gets the most benefits. Ensure a runner is on second base with no one around, and the hits will improve significantly. There isn’t a strong impact, and runners in play are likely to advance to third with one out and let him score from there.
Clase doesn’t quite fit this template, but it makes up for it by having a lot of stuff. He’s a good striker, but he’s a player amazing Poor contact jug thanks to its 100 mph breaker. Weak fly balls are as good as hits with a runner in second, and Clay is so good overall that he also limits scoring through the sheer weight of the balls. By putting de los Santos in ninth and saving Klaas for a spot of higher impact, Francona was putting together an idea comparative advantage In practice, he put both his players in the right place to be in the best place to help the team.
Which managers generally do this? I came up with an approximate way to estimate it. It will necessarily be difficult, because I want to include every game played this year rather than just some anecdotal examples. On any given day, there are a myriad of factors that influence the bowler who enters when, only some of which are related to the rules of the game. The closest might not be available, might need some work in an exotic location, or the opposing squad might prefer one bowler over another. Coming up with a comprehensive method for examining each individual decision would be more trouble than it’s worth.
Instead, I went for something simple. I took two different scenarios: a tie match in the ninth inning, and any result in the tenth inning. For each of these two scenarios, you notice which of the painkillers popped up. Then, weighted by the number of hitters each bowler encountered, I calculated each team’s total hit rate in each position. Why strike rate? Because while it’s not a perfect proxy—as I mentioned, the Clase is a good choice for this maneuver despite its average strike rate—it’s the best single-digit gauge available for shooters best suited to using the aptly new extra-stroke rule.
This is a bunch of words, so let’s pause a bit for a quick example. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Mets faced exactly four players in tie mode in the ninth inning all year. Suppose Diaz acquires three of these and has a strike rate of 50% per year, while Seth Logo The strike rate of 25% took hold of the other. This works out to (.5 * 3 + .25 * 1) / 4, or an overall write-off rate of 43.8%. I ignored what actually happened in those tablet appearances; I just looked at each shooter’s hit average this year.
I’ve done this for every team, in every match, in both scenarios. From there, I took the difference between the two. This seems to be the most important number to me; A good tactical manager should generally lean towards higher hitters in the 10th in comparison to tied matches in the 9th. Why equalize games? Because if you already have the lead, you should only put in your best player. Playing to gain advantage in extra rounds only makes sense if the game is likely to go for extras. Why the difference instead of the absolute number? The director can only work with shooters who have them.
Unsurprisingly, to me at least, Cleveland (and Francona) do well on this scale. The rest of the list is also interesting:
|Team||9 (these) k%||10k%||the difference|
|Special Tribunal for Lebanon||27.6%||25.9%||-1.7%|
Change in K% between 9th-half tie situations and 10th-half tie situations, 2022
Pirate! This is not a coincidence of the data. Use Derek Shelton Will Crowe And his running average of 20.2% is more than any other pitcher in the restricted ninth inning points. He used to David Bednar And 33.5% is the 10th most frequent. Is this on purpose? I can’t be sure. But it does agree with the math, which is the point of the exercise here.
On the other side of things, the Braves totally go by the pre-2020 talk book about using your best pitcher available in the ninth inning. Kenley Jansen And the AJMinter It’s captured the lion’s share of close-up hitters who are faced in that situation. On the tenth, the team turned into Tyler Matz And the Dylan Lee. The optimal strategy suggests reversing the two, or at least making a more concerted effort to get some heavy-hitting shooters into the game in additional turns. Jansen faced only four hits in additional innings throughout the year; Minter encountered only three.
I want to be clear: It’s not the only thing that makes managers good at handling additional roles. It’s not necessarily the most important thing. It’s just a place where good operation adds a tiny bit of value. Adding a bit of value seems just like what I would like my managers to do during a game, especially when it’s getting late and close.
I’ve planned to look for other ways in which managers can make good or bad choices regarding the zombie runner’s base, but there aren’t many. There were a total of 15 jerks leading the top of the overtime break this year, which is a tactical no-no. Only three teams – the Nationals, Rangers, and Dodgers – have had several such attempts. And even then, there are extenuating circumstances. Victor Robles He has both national bets. Hanser Albert He is one of two Dodgers to do so, and chased for strike rather than sacrifice (Austin Barnes is the other). These mostly look like player decisions rather than team strategy.
Likewise, only six players managed to get out of the bottom of the tenth inning with a header while in lag. Austin Hedges One was, for example, well, I get it, that might be a good blow despite the situation. The phrase “Have you called a bad plugin violation” seems to be a bad check for administrative competency because every manager is good at avoiding it.
How about good nuns? I’m not really sure what I’m thinking. Mathematics argues that sacrificing a zombie runner to third base is a good game if you start the bottom of your restricted extra inning. Nobody really does that, no matter the math. The Orioles have four, the Mariners have three, and the rest of the league combined have 15. There’s advice from the max for these two teams, but it’s hard to tell, with a few notes, whether it’s a plan put together by the team or just noise. Rougned . scent And the GB Crawford She collected 18% of all these additional opportunistic rabbits. When two players account for 18% of all your observations, it’s hard to know much about any league-wide trend.
What can we learn about how managers extract the most energy from time-saving overtime rules? Not a ton, probably. The edges are slim, and the chances of deploying the optimal strategy are rare. Further, he paints metric with a wide brush; The strike rate is a blunt analytical tool, and it’s just that easy to use at scale. Having said that, I feel confident that Francona is a good tactical coach, and I am certainly intrigued to see Chilton so ecstatic.
Oh yeah – the Francona movement didn’t work on Tuesday night. After de los Santos made the ninth game, the White Sox sent in Kendall Grafman for the tenth day. undone by rules; The zombie runner scored, and he did too Jose Ramirez, who Grafman deliberately walked to set up a double play earlier in the inning. He could have easily thrown aimlessly if it weren’t for that annoying hostility.
However, Klass returned whatever advantage the Guardians had. On a rare night, he gave up one, a stolen base, and one solo to allow Chicago to score two rounds and reconnect the game. The White Sox had their pitchers in the wrong order, Guardians were in the right order, and the assembly edge was so small that it was quickly swept away. The Guardians won the match after being suspended by five points Jake Dickman Next inning, but this is less about bowler standings and more about the quality of each team’s pulp.
Should managers squeeze the last out of their roster by holding their best pitcher for additional roles as appropriate? surely. Does it matter a lot? no. When I calculated how important this bowler’s rank was on a per-match basis, the score was pretty small; Maybe 3% of the win at the high end, even with a big difference in the bowler’s hit rate at halftime. The game is played by players on the field. There is nothing wrong with picking up those little edges, and I find it very interesting to see the directors do it. Just don’t think that this is what makes any particular manager good or bad.