Originally Posted by GAC
I said this on the other thread (I'm lazy, so I "cut n pasted" it here)....
You'd rather pitch to the guy who is leading the NL in Hrs and RBIs in that situation with the pitcher due up next? They were already in a pinch with two men on - take the bat out of this guy's hand and if anyone is gonna beat you then it's gonna be the pitcher not a Howard. The pitcher came up with bases loaded and that presents greater possibilities/odds (as slim as they were) to get out of the inning. And he did K.
Yes, the odds were against us in that situation; but I'd sure rather not take those chances vs Howard.
A 70% chance of getting Howard out? You get the pitcher out (which they did) and then induce a groundball, you have the opp for a DP, force out at home, and getting out of the inning. Once you get that first out, then it opens up greater possibilities. But you gotta get that first out.
And also remember - Howard is no speedster at 1B. An INF GB and you have an excellent chance of a DP and to get out of that inning.
The trick in completing double plays is not getting the runner at first. In most circumstances, the hard thing is getting the hitter out. If we'd have pitched to Howard and he hit a ground ball, easy DP. The degree of difficulty in turning a DP with Howard at 1B instead of Utley does not change.