A stat costs Reds a win
Dusty Baker’s loyalty to his closer and the save statistic and perhaps an imaginary platoon advantage probably cost the Reds a game yesterday.
With his team up by three runs with one out in the ninth and the bases loaded, Baker removed his best reliever of 2010 so far (Arthur Rhodes) for his closer (Francisco Cordero).
Now, I know we don’t have a significant sample to work with but Rhodes 17 strikeouts and 4 walks against 58 batters this season. Brooks Conrad, the batter for the Braves, is a switch-hitter. Lefties have 2 hits and 7 strikeouts in 17 plate apperances against Rhodes this season.
Batters have hit .282/.352/.436 against Cordero this season. He’s been worse against lefty hitters (.355/.444/.452 in 37 plate appearances). But Cordero is the “closer” so he has to come in in the save situation.
Yes, it was a fluky win for the Braves. But it’s hard to imagine that Baker made the best move in that situation. He simply made the conventional move, which also happened to be the wrong move. In Baker’s defense, he’s probably not the only manager in baseball who would bring in his closer in a save situation rather than stick with his best pitcher with the game on the line.