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Walking it home

Stupid baseball.

OK, so you have a man on third, two outs, it’s the top of the 11th inning. The score is tied. Your pitcher runs up three balls on the batter, no strikes. You have two choices; you can either pitch to the batter, who knows you’re in a hole, or you can shrug and walk him and go for the next batter.

I dunno, it’s not like I’ve run the numbers, but I can’t see how the second choice isn’t better. You run the risk of additional runs, sure. On the other hand, there is no possible scenario for the third out which does not stay the same or improve if you have the man on first, since you now have the force out at second, removing a possible throwing error from the outcome matrix.

Lots of people know baseball better than me. I’ve never seen a manager turn a three-ball zero-strike situation into an intentional walk. Do they ever? Should they? Is there a remote chance that Coco Crisp, Jason Varitek, and Alex Gonzalez will squeeze out a run and make us suffer through more of this?

Crisp hit a double. That’s something. Varitek flew out. That’s not something. Gonzales fouled out. That’s not something either. Eh, it’s the bottom of the order, we don’t expect miracles. Youkilis has an RBI! I’m still peeved at Francona for not walking Rollins; this coulda ended with that. Loretta walked. Go ahead, make Ortiz a hero again. Yep, Ortiz whacks a single, Youkilis wanders on home, game over.

Nonetheless, I wanna know why you don’t walk the batter with two outs, tie game, extra innings, one man on third.

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