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August 5, 2015 / Nat Anacostia

A memo for Matt Williams

August 5, 2015

Memorandum for: Matt Williams

Subject: Letting the pitcher bat in close games

No, I’m not going to blame you for tonight’s loss. The pitchers have to pitch and the hitters have to hit.

But there is one managerial mistake that I’m not going to let slip by. It’s the middle innings, a close game, and the starters’ pitch count is starting to get up there. He’s due to bat and are wondering whether you should you lift him for a pinch hitter.

Simply ask yourself whether, in the next inning, the pitcher were to allow the leadoff hitter to get aboard, you’re going to lift him for a reliever? If the answer is yes, please… PLEASE send in the pinch hitter now. It’s just a really poor percentage move not to use your pinch hitter in this situation.

You’re not the only manager to make this mistake, but in that situation the value of a pinch hitter is just much greater than the value of trying to stretch one more inning from your starter.

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