Re: Joe Posnanski with more data showing that closers simply don't matter
I will try and spell this out as much as possible.
You are only thinking of this in high leverage situations, and of course the 9th inning with have more of them. Yet you are completely ignoring the fact that if you reduce your high leverage situations (or increase your high leverage situations where you have the lead), then that leads to just as much success if not more.
You have to take into account a "closer" used earlier and how much he would improve holds or keep the game tied.
How many times have you seen a bullpen lose a lead and then you never see the closer the rest of the game? So you end up losing a close game and didn't even use your best bullpen pitcher. You completely ignore that. Also, how many times do you see the closer trotted out in a 3 run game in the 9th? That is not even a high leverage situation. Your best bullpen pitcher should not be used in that situation, and instead should be used more often in close games in the 7th and 8th inning.
I have no problem with some of the ideas of high leverage (which is not always the 9th), but that does not mean runs in the 9th are more important. Runs become more important if you fail to get enough of them or prevent them earlier in the game and therefore create high leverage situations. Yet overall, runs in any other inning are just as important. Don't forget, not every game is close in the 9th, yet every game does start 0-0. A case can be made runs in the 1st inning are the most important since you can force your opponent to use lesser players as they give up on the game.
Last edited by scott91575; 03-16-2013 at 02:06 PM.