Originally Posted by Brisco
I totally disagree. In chess the outcome of a given matchup between pieces is 100 percent certain. If two pieces occupy the same square, the moving piece takes the non moving piece. That is chess. Even the most diehard statistician in the world would not claim that baseball management is chess.
In the real world the variables are always infinite. Therefore there is no such thing as certainty, only differing levels of probability.
That said, looking purely statistically, taking into account the back of both the pitchers and the hitters baseball cards, I think both managers made the right decision.
Downs was a phenomenon last year. He gave up a total of 16 hits to left handed batters all of last year and a double was the only extra base hit. Also, the argument that Joey is just so good does not help unless you think he is two or three levels of goodness better than the very best left handed hitters in the AL.
The top ten left handed batters in the AL went a combined 2 for 19 against Downs last year. 2 for fricking 19 and these were the best left handed hitters in the American league. If Joey is twice as good as those guys against Downs, he is still only barely beating the Medoza line. Sluggers like Bruce were totally helpless against him. ( side note, oddly, Downs never faced Choo last year)
So, based on that, Scoscia has to love the idea of Downs vs Bruce and feel pretty darn good about Downs v. Votto. Downs v. Phillips? Not so much. If he walks Votto, he has to replace Downs with a RHP and he totally loses the Downs v Bruce automatic out. Btw, Downs vs LHB was n anomaly for the Angels last year... Their bullpen was a weakness.
Pitching to Votto, even if we say he is twice as good as the top ten AL left handed hitters, still means that there is only a 1 in 5 chance he gets a hit... followed by a walk to Phillips and then all that is left is about a 1 in 15 chance for Bruce,if that. Walk Votto and BP has about a 1 in 4 chance to come through and Bruce would then face a righty and also be about 1 in 4. Yes, there is a 1 in 35 chance BP does a DP, but that is no where near enough to close the delta in the two probabilities.
Joey showed it wasn't Chess though... He should not have gotten a hit... But he did.
As usual there are some who don't even understand the comment/quip.
And no, I won't explain the comment and document it with advanced stats.
If you don't get the quip, I ain't explaining it.