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(Hardball Talk)   What do you do when you're 23rd in the majors in runs scored? If you're the Mets, you have your starting pitcher batting eighth for the first time in team history   (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com) divider line 45
    More: Strange, Tony Gwynn, Eric Hinske, Mets, Curtis Granderson, Jacob Turner, pitching ace, Jim Bunning, Red Sox  
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602 clicks; posted to Sports » on 17 Jun 2014 at 11:48 AM (10 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-17 11:24:08 AM
Who promptly got chased, so...heckuva move there, Terry.

Mike Hampton never hit 8th?
 
2014-06-17 11:55:31 AM
A) deGrom can actually swing the bat. B) having the pitcher bat 8th is really not a bad strategy and more teams should give it a shot.
 
2014-06-17 12:06:28 PM
Gulper Eel:

Mike Hampton never hit 8th?

My favorite hitting pitcher.I was in Phoenix for a few days.Took in a Rockie/dback game.
And Hampton homered.


I recall the Cardinals doing this in the 80's
 
2014-06-17 12:06:37 PM
I noticed ninth in the lineup is Eric Young Jr.  I saw him play on Sunday here in Binghamton to finish rehabbing.  I don't know how many games he played with the B-Mets before Sunday, but he entered the game with a .000 batting average and 2 walks.  He left the game, against an AA pitcher who did give up 3 runs, with a .000 batting average and 2 walks.  No wonder he's batting behind the pitcher.
 
2014-06-17 12:10:10 PM
teams in obvious desperation hitting do this all the time, braves tried it a few weeks ago

/didn't help
//and lost in the 13th...
///bastards
 
2014-06-17 12:10:29 PM
I could see the Cubs doing this with Travis Wood, maybe when they start Olt at third.
 
2014-06-17 12:12:03 PM
Or the NL could drop the idea of pitchers hitting and embrace the DH.
 
2014-06-17 12:14:03 PM

farbekrieg: teams in obvious desperation hitting do this all the time, braves tried it a few weeks ago

/didn't help
//and lost in the 13th...
///bastards


Bastardo
 
2014-06-17 12:21:18 PM

Land_of_the_Magic_Dragon: Or the NL could drop the idea of pitchers hitting and embrace the DH.


So the Mets could put another guy batting .200 in the lineup? Yay.
 
2014-06-17 12:28:30 PM
The Braves have batted their pitchers in the number eight slot several times this year. Of course their offensive production has been rather hit-or-miss (to coin a phrase), too.
 
2014-06-17 12:30:28 PM
jmr61 sucks.

Always has, always will.
 
2014-06-17 12:43:07 PM

Land_of_the_Magic_Dragon: Or the NL could drop the idea of pitchers hitting and embrace the DH.


You leave your bastard American League rules out of my National League!!!

/enjoys watching pitchers swat at curveballs like butterflies in the wind.
 
2014-06-17 12:47:42 PM
Isn't the entire nl east ranked below 20th in runs scored?

I'd nominate this division for worst in baseball. Honestly the Astros would be winning there
 
2014-06-17 12:48:34 PM
Amendment, the rays would be winning there
 
2014-06-17 12:54:07 PM

Cubs300: Land_of_the_Magic_Dragon: Or the NL could drop the idea of pitchers hitting and embrace the DH.

You leave your bastard American League rules out of my National League!!!

/enjoys watching pitchers swat at curveballs like butterflies in the wind.


Settle down old timer.
 
2014-06-17 01:29:03 PM

thecpt: Isn't the entire nl east ranked below 20th in runs scored?

I'd nominate this division for worst in baseball. Honestly the Astros would be winning there


Speaking of the Astros, Brandon Backe was a pretty solid hitting pitcher. I forgot if he ever batted 8th but I remember him pinch hitting for someone.
 
2014-06-17 01:34:31 PM
They've been poorly managed if they've never tried this before. Your number nine hitter is like a second lead off batter. You want him to get on base to bring the top of the order up to bat, not strike out like a pitcher usually does.
 
2014-06-17 01:35:24 PM

Cubs300: Land_of_the_Magic_Dragon: Or the NL could drop the idea of pitchers hitting and embrace the DH.

You leave your bastard American League rules out of my National League!!!

/enjoys watching pitchers swat at curveballs like butterflies in the wind.


And I ask "Why?" Why do you want to watch someone bat, when you KNOW the outcome: an out. What kind of "stragegy" is that? It's just wasting a place in your line-up.

Oh but "that's how we've always done it"--a stupid expression expressed by stupid people.
 
2014-06-17 02:05:29 PM

Trainspotr: I could see the Cubs doing this with Travis Wood, maybe when they start Olt at third.


like last night?  game winning RBI double in the 13th.

Also - Tony LaRussa regularly did this the Cardinals (batting a pitcher 8th).
 
2014-06-17 02:42:50 PM

bingethinker: They've been poorly managed if they've never tried this before. Your number nine hitter is like a second lead off batter. You want him to get on base to bring the top of the order up to bat, not strike out like a pitcher usually does.


Either that or force the pitcher into a high pitch count at bat.
 
2014-06-17 03:24:17 PM

thecpt: Isn't the entire nl east ranked below 20th in runs scored?  I'd nominate this division for worst in baseball. Honestly the Astros would be winning there


The Nationals have the best ERA (3.03) in in NL, and are 18th in MLB (about average when you consider the DH effect) in offensive runs per game.  There's more than one way to win a baseball game.
 
2014-06-17 03:27:41 PM

chimp_ninja: thecpt: Isn't the entire nl east ranked below 20th in runs scored?  I'd nominate this division for worst in baseball. Honestly the Astros would be winning there

The Nationals have the best ERA (3.03) in in NL, and are 18th in MLB (about average when you consider the DH effect) in offensive runs per game.  There's more than one way to win a baseball game.


It's still one of the weaker divisions.

And the two that appear to have a worse overall winning percentage (too lazy to do more than eyeball the numbers), which are the AL East and NL West, at least have a much better top team.

The Mets, for all their badness, are 5.5 out.
 
2014-06-17 03:31:10 PM

bingethinker: They've been poorly managed if they've never tried this before. Your number nine hitter is like a second lead off batter. You want him to get on base to bring the top of the order up to bat, not strike out like a pitcher usually does.


Yup.  There's lots of evidence that batting the pitcher 8th should be the default.  It's a very minor advantage (~2 runs/year) over the traditional lineup, but the downsides (more PA for the pitcher's spot) are outweighed by the upsides (more baserunners for the #1-4 hitters).

It's an even better idea if the pitcher can hit a little, but there's not much evidence about Jacob deGrom-- he's only had 34 minor-league PA and 16 major-league PA.  The Mets' scouts probably know more, but they're obviously not going to be too forthcoming on that point in public.
 
2014-06-17 03:34:03 PM

chimp_ninja: bingethinker: They've been poorly managed if they've never tried this before. Your number nine hitter is like a second lead off batter. You want him to get on base to bring the top of the order up to bat, not strike out like a pitcher usually does.

Yup.  There's lots of evidence that batting the pitcher 8th should be the default.  It's a very minor advantage (~2 runs/year) over the traditional lineup, but the downsides (more PA for the pitcher's spot) are outweighed by the upsides (more baserunners for the #1-4 hitters).

It's an even better idea if the pitcher can hit a little, but there's not much evidence about Jacob deGrom-- he's only had 34 minor-league PA and 16 major-league PA.  The Mets' scouts probably know more, but they're obviously not going to be too forthcoming on that point in public.


DeGrom can hit alright.  He played shortstop in college.  Not that he's great or anything (his college coach told him he didn't have the bat to make it to the bigs), but he's a big step up from, say, Bartolo Colon.
 
2014-06-17 03:35:18 PM

Dafatone: [The NL East is] still one of the weaker divisions.


Absolutely.  But when you account for strength of schedule and margin of victory, the Nationals look good, and the Braves and Marlins (somehow) look average-ish.

The Mets?  The Mets absolutely should be doing experimental stuff like this.  See what works, show the fans they're doing something besides waiting to dump salary before the trade deadline.
 
2014-06-17 03:43:06 PM

Dafatone: DeGrom can hit alright. He played shortstop in college. Not that he's great or anything (his college coach told him he didn't have the bat to make it to the bigs), but he's a big step up from, say, Bartolo Colon.


Can the Mets at least get Bartolo a helmet that isn't too big for his massive dome?
 
2014-06-17 03:49:55 PM
Lame.  All three worked fine until I hit 'add comment'.

Bartolo swinging his hat off #1.

Bartolo swinging his hat off #2.

Bartolo swinging his hat off #3.

You have to watch to notice that it's not the same horrible swing from three camera angles.  Nope.  He does this all the time.
 
2014-06-17 04:00:50 PM
Orel Hershiser batted .356 in 1993.

Get off my lawn.
 
2014-06-17 04:16:47 PM

Archae hippy: Orel Hershiser batted .356 in 1993.

Get off my lawn.


I was at the game at Jack Murphy Stadium in !988 when he broke Don Drysdales consecutive inning streak.
IIRC it was a 0-0 game in the 10th when he did it.In 1988 he was a monster.Beat the Mets in the playoffs too.

/Get off Jacks lawn.
 
2014-06-17 04:44:14 PM

W.C.fields forever: I recall the Cardinals doing this in the 80's


La Russa used to do it a lot because Eli Marrero couldn't hit if they let him use a tee.  And frankly, if I were the Mets and I had to use Eric Young Jr. as something other than cheetah bait, I'd bat the pitcher ahead of him too.
 
2014-06-17 04:53:22 PM
The Mets problem is not hitting.
The Mets problem is not pitching.
The Mets problem is not managing.

The Mets problem is the Wilpons, and to a lesser extent, the GM.

I'm not sure the Mets have ever had a good GM.
 
2014-06-17 05:16:16 PM

W.C.fields forever: Gulper Eel:

Mike Hampton never hit 8th?

My favorite hitting pitcher.I was in Phoenix for a few days.Took in a Rockie/dback game.
And Hampton homered.


I recall the Cardinals doing this in the 80's


That was Tony LaRussa from about 2007 to 2010. IIRC he backed off from it in his last season (2011).
 
2014-06-17 06:04:55 PM

zarberg: The Mets problem is not hitting.
The Mets problem is not pitching.
The Mets problem is not managing.

The Mets problem is the Wilpons, and to a lesser extent, the GM.

I'm not sure the Mets have ever had a good GM.


Frank Cashen?

And I'd say the problem is hitting, by way of the Wilpons.  I'm alright with Alderson as GM, in that he's pretty limited on where to spend money.
 
2014-06-17 06:10:21 PM
mjohnson71:

I recall the Cardinals doing this in the 80's

That was Tony LaRussa from about 2007 to 2010. IIRC he backed off from it in his last season (2011).


I seem to remember Bob Forsch batting 8th..Or somebody from that era.
 
2014-06-17 06:22:25 PM

W.C.fields forever: mjohnson71:

I recall the Cardinals doing this in the 80's

That was Tony LaRussa from about 2007 to 2010. IIRC he backed off from it in his last season (2011).

I seem to remember Bob Forsch batting 8th..Or somebody from that era.


I looked up B.Forsch batting stats.He had 3 homeruns one year,2 twice in a year.
12 total over his career.Who knows Lindsey Nelson probably said he should bat 8th.
I don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.But I remember this sh*t.
 
2014-06-17 08:24:27 PM

Dafatone: zarberg: The Mets problem is not hitting.
The Mets problem is not pitching.
The Mets problem is not managing.

The Mets problem is the Wilpons, and to a lesser extent, the GM.

I'm not sure the Mets have ever had a good GM.

Frank Cashen?

And I'd say the problem is hitting, by way of the Wilpons.  I'm alright with Alderson as GM, in that he's pretty limited on where to spend money.


The Mets also seem to have a horrible training staff, and not very effective minor league coaches
 
2014-06-17 08:42:25 PM

mrjared: B) having the pitcher bat 8th is really not a bad strategy and more teams should give it a shot.


In the Mets' lineup the pitcher could bat leadoff for all the difference it would make.
 
2014-06-17 08:47:48 PM

zarberg: Dafatone: zarberg: The Mets problem is not hitting.
The Mets problem is not pitching.
The Mets problem is not managing.

The Mets problem is the Wilpons, and to a lesser extent, the GM.

I'm not sure the Mets have ever had a good GM.

Frank Cashen?

And I'd say the problem is hitting, by way of the Wilpons.  I'm alright with Alderson as GM, in that he's pretty limited on where to spend money.

The Mets also seem to have a horrible training staff, and not very effective minor league coaches


The Mets problem is VERY MUCH so hitting. In as much as they can't do it. The starting pitching is actually pretty good. The bullpen would be better if they weren't constantly being worn out by close games. They also have terrible infield defense. Can't turn a double play to save their farking lives. And yeah, the training staff/ medical staff have a knack for turning slight tweaks and strains into season-ending injuries. We may never see Dillon Gee again.
 
2014-06-18 08:24:03 AM
I don't have a problem with batting the pitcher 8th but to all those who claim that it's a stroke of genius because it allows the 9 batter to set up the 1, 2, and 3, why not do the following---bat the 9 guy first, then push all other batters back a spot (whomever was 1 becomes 2, whomever was 2 becomes 3). Then you still "set up the batters who were 1,2, and 3" but you keep the pitcher batting later.

And let's be honest. It probably doesn't really matter.
 
2014-06-18 09:25:24 AM

zarberg: The Mets also seem to have a horrible training staff, and not very effective minor league coaches


I can't speak to the other leagues, but the AA Binghamton Mets had the best record in their division (and maybe the league) last year.  Just sayin'
 
2014-06-18 09:35:40 AM

idesofmarch: zarberg: The Mets also seem to have a horrible training staff, and not very effective minor league coaches

I can't speak to the other leagues, but the AA Binghamton Mets had the best record in their division (and maybe the league) last year.  Just sayin'


Minor league record =/= quality of major leaguers produced or ability to help talented prospects reach their ceiling.

/I miss the BingMets.
//went to Ithaca
 
2014-06-18 09:45:53 AM

zarberg: idesofmarch: zarberg: The Mets also seem to have a horrible training staff, and not very effective minor league coaches

I can't speak to the other leagues, but the AA Binghamton Mets had the best record in their division (and maybe the league) last year.  Just sayin'

Minor league record =/= quality of major leaguers produced or ability to help talented prospects reach their ceiling.


I'm inclined to agree it's not exactly the same, but unless their prospects last year were just that much better than everyone else's prospects, I'd say something good must have been going on thanks to the training staff.
 
2014-06-18 12:34:20 PM

W.C.fields forever: W.C.fields forever: mjohnson71:

I recall the Cardinals doing this in the 80's

That was Tony LaRussa from about 2007 to 2010. IIRC he backed off from it in his last season (2011).

I seem to remember Bob Forsch batting 8th..Or somebody from that era.

I looked up B.Forsch batting stats.He had 3 homeruns one year,2 twice in a year.
12 total over his career.Who knows Lindsey Nelson probably said he should bat 8th.
I don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.But I remember this sh*t.


LaRussa hit the pitcher 8th because Albert Pujols was batting 3rd and he wanted more men on base for him.

Bob Forsch could hit. In fact my dad and I almost caught one of his home runs at the old Busch Stadium but the ball flew about 3 feet over us and landed a couple rows back. But I know he hit 9th.
 
2014-06-18 12:45:46 PM

proteus_b: I don't have a problem with batting the pitcher 8th but to all those who claim that it's a stroke of genius because it allows the 9 batter to set up the 1, 2, and 3, why not do the following---bat the 9 guy first, then push all other batters back a spot (whomever was 1 becomes 2, whomever was 2 becomes 3). Then you still "set up the batters who were 1,2, and 3" but you keep the pitcher batting later.


Because even when you're batting your pitcher 8th, your #9 batter is not a very good one.  The #9 guy isn't ideal for setting up your best hitters (if he was, he'd be batting in the top of the lineup), but it's better than having your pitcher bat right in front of your best hitters, and it marginally outweighs the penalty of the pitcher's spot coming up earlier.

And let's be honest. It probably doesn't really matter.

Almost no lineup arrangement matters more than a win or two over the course of a season, and merely swapping the #8 and #9 is estimated at only a very small margin (~2 runs per season).  But it's a free way to get a small edge, and it's still worth doing, especially when the pitcher isn't so horrible at hitting to begin with.
 
2014-06-18 03:06:38 PM
In other bizarro world news, Bartolo Colon just hit a double, and then scored on another double by Eric Young, JR.  So, it worked?
 
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