Originally Posted by cincrazy
I don't understand, just because the mental aspect of the game can't be calculated on a stat sheet, why it's totally discounted. I totally get the numbers side of thing, and respect the growing influence statistical evaulation has had on the game. But ballplayers are humans. Some get more nervous than others, some handle pressure better than others. That's called life. Maybe this doesn't matter as much during the regular season, but what about the postseason? When every single pitch is magnified times 100. I think it absolutely matters who you throw out there in the 9th. Look at Mariano Rivera's numbers in the postseason and tell me just any good pitcher can match those stats. The guy has something special. He's unflappable. You can't measure that, but it exists.
I don't think anyone is disputing that, but to save these guys for save situations only seems silly. And to save them for the ninth inning only is crazy rediculous. At least Joe Torre got that and would bring Mariano in early if the situation arose for a four, five, or even six out save. I never understood why a manager would leave in a lesser reliever in a "high leverage" situation when your closer is on the bench.
Try this on for size and think what the majority of managers would do: One out in the bottom of the 8th, runners on first and third up 6-4 and the 3 and 4 hole hitters due up. It seems to me, most managers would go LOOGY or righty-righty matchup and pray to get out of the inning so the closer can face the bottom of the order in the 9th. Even if your closer can't go 1 2/3 very often one could bring him in for the tougher outs and if it takes too many pitches use the other guy for the bottom of the order with nobody on base.