Comments on: Allen Craig the first with 2 go-ahead W.S. pinch-RBI This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Joy fleeting after Craig’s 2nd goahead pinch hit sets Series record | Flow Biz Mart Sun, 23 Oct 2011 10:40:58 +0000 [...] and record-setting. Research by Baseball-Reference shows that Craig is the first player in World Series history to come through with two go-ahead, RBI pinch hits. Imagine how epic that would be if the Cardinals [...]

By: World Series Opens With Two Fall Classics | Augusta Blog Sat, 22 Oct 2011 15:16:32 +0000 [...] utility man with just 58 career regular-season runs batted in, and four as a pinch-hitter, the first player ever with two career World Series go-ahead pinch-hit runs batted in. But it wouldn’t be two [...]

By: World Series Opens With Two Fall Classics – Wall Street Journal (blog) : Fri, 21 Oct 2011 21:03:36 +0000 [...] utility man with just 58 career regular-season runs batted in, and four as a pinch-hitter, the first player ever with two career World Series go-ahead pinch-hit runs batted in. But it wouldn’t be two [...]

By: John Autin Fri, 21 Oct 2011 17:35:54 +0000 @14, Rich -- With all due respect ... I think that criticism does not withstand scrutiny. LaRussa brought in the pitcher he thought was most likely to get Hamilton out, and I agree with his decision.

Three points loom large in my view:

1. LaRussa gained a huge platoon advantage:
-- Jason Motte has allowed a .284 batting average to lefties in his career, and .270 this year.
-- Josh Hamilton has hit .322 against righties, but just .278 against lefties.
-- Rhodes allowed a .245 BA to lefties this year (small sample), .217 for his career.

2. Although a strikeout would have been great, the biggest objective was to get Hamilton out. With no outs, that runner on 3rd was very likely to score no matter what, and since the Cards were home and ahead by a run, the prudent strategy was to concede the tying run and focus on preventing the go-ahead run. So the respective K rates were not the main issue.

3. For all his velocity, Motte got 2 strikes on both Kinsler and Andrus in the 9th and couldn't put them away. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean he's off his game, but it sure isn't an argument for letting him face Hamilton.

This business about who's the closer is meaningless -- clearly, it was to LaRussa. Sure, Jason Motte's a real good pitcher; but so is Rhodes, who has a 2.76 ERA and 154 ERA+ over the past 4 years.

I might add that Rhodes has faced 9 batters this postseason and only 1 reached safely, on a walk. He's allowed 2 of 8 inherited runners to score -- both were on 3rd base, with no outs (last night) and 1 out (NLCS game 4, run scored on Theriot's error, else Rhodes would have escaped unscathed).

LaRussa has shown that he's going to play matchups at all times in this postseason, and it's served him well thus far.

Besides, if he'd left Motte in and Hamilton had hit a 2-RBI single, the second-guessers would be wailing, "Why didn't he play the percentages?!?"

P.S. On the Fox postgame, A.J. Pierzynski speculated that by removing Motte, LaRussa risked "losing him" not only for this postseason, but for next year as well. We've always known that A.J. had a few screws loose, but that statement was plumb dumb. Jason Motte is 29 years old and has 12 career saves, 8 of them this September. I'm 100% certain that he's not expecting to be treated as an established All-Star "Closer."

By: Kahuna Tuna Fri, 21 Oct 2011 17:26:01 +0000 Nick C. @4 and Tim L. @10, Sprague's 1992 Game 2 homer certainly lives on for us Blue Jay fans. Not that we're likely to go around crowing about it — the overwhelming impression of my only visit to SkyDome, in 1991, was how reserved the fans were unless there was something big happening on the field. (At one point I had an usher warn me that I was talking too loudly and disturbing someone sitting nearby. I'd been talking enthusiastically with the gentleman next to me, but heavens, in my native L.A. our conversation wouldn't have bothered anyone. Ah well.)

Nineteen years on, I still have strong doubts the '92 Jays could have climbed out of an 0-2 hole against the Braves. Then the team would have had a World Series failure to stack next to their big pile of ALCS failures. All the joy and relief at finally winning the ALCS — gone, one week later. Take my word: two World Series titles can be savored through many, many mediocre seasons.

By: Rich Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:52:35 +0000 @ 2 "I don't think LaRussa necessarily made any mistakes"

Bringing in a 40 year old LOOGY to replace your closer is a pretty glaring bit of overmanaging

By: Hector Fri, 21 Oct 2011 15:44:22 +0000 Nice to see Julian Tavarez as the only pitcher to show up twice, until now. Looks like he blew the 95 series as badly as bk kim nearly blew 01. But history has been kind to him, I don't remember that at all, just that he was a young flamethrower. And the 11 teams who kept his career alive seem to only remember his rookie regular season, because he just stunk for the next 14 years.

By: Larry R. Fri, 21 Oct 2011 13:27:47 +0000 Gene Larkin...Chaminade High School's finest (no offense, Mike Proly and Kevin Paisley).

By: Dr. Doom Fri, 21 Oct 2011 13:07:43 +0000 @3

Don't forget Doc Gooden coming in midseason and throwing a no-hitter! Definitely one of the most interesting teams of all time.

By: Tim L Fri, 21 Oct 2011 13:06:02 +0000 Ed Sprague's homer in 1992 is one of the biggest hits in postseason history. And yet, you never hear about it. I had totally forgotten about it until looking at this list.