9.7.09

TESTING THAT HYPOTHESIS. Professor Munger has ideas about baseball strategy.

The Reds bring in a righty reliever, to do the righty v. righty thing. This reliever is a wily veteran, David Weathers, with 18 years of major league experience. But (and I like big buts, you know I cannot lie), Mr. Pujols is 9 for 18 lifetime against David Weathers. Just wears him out like an old sock.

To complete the setting, remember that following Mr. Pujols in the lineup is Ryan Ludwick and then Rick Ankiel. Both very good defensive outfielders. But neither of them bats over the "Munger line" (my current weight is 240 lbs; Ludwick is batting .235 and Ankiel is batting .230).

Summary: 8th inning, two outs, you are ahead 3-0, the next two guys in the line-up are in deep slumps. Your bullpen is the best in the major leagues (Cincy has an amazing bullpen).

Do you pitch to Mr. Pujols? It is radical to suggest, but I say: No, you do not. Walk him. Yes, I know the bases are loaded. But. Walk. Him. It's still just 3-1 and neither of the next two batters are likely to do anything except fly out.

Maybe, maybe not.

Tuesday: Yovani Gallardo issues an unintentional intentional walk to Pujols in the first, Ludwick follows with a home run, Cardinals win 5-0.

Wednesday: intentional walk to Pujols in the ninth, putting the go-ahead run on base, Trevor Hoffman works out of it, Brewers win 5-4.

Thursday: the usually dependable Carlos Villanueva is unable to get anybody out in the eighth; the usually dependable Mitch Stetter walks the one man he faces; with first base open, the usually dependable Todd Coffey pitches to Pujols, who hits a two-run double, and he pitches to Ludwick who follows with a home run, Cardinals win 5-1. The Cubs, horrible dictu, have a chance to catch both Milwaukee and St. Louis this weekend.

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