Carlos Martinez hit for himself in the top of the 7th last night, with runners at the corners and no one out.
The Cardinals were down 1-0.
Martinez laced a double of the wall scoring both runs.*
Well, he didn’t double. But that’s not the point. The result is never the point.
What’s Matheny’s process in making this decision?
When runs are hard to come by, why approach this golden opportunity so cavalierly?
And that’s my beef with Matheny. The process. Why? What was the logic behind the decision?
“But Martinez already had two hits!”
He did, but did that make him more likely to get another hit in his third at bat? Did his ability to hit major league pitching improve in-game last night? Do you want him to lead off Sunday’s game then too?
If black hits twice in a row at the roulette table, it doesn’t improve black’s chances on the next throw. It’s still 50%.
Martinez represented the lowest probability of getting a hit in that spot. And the highest probability for a strikeout–the worst case scenario, even to a double play which would have scored the tying run.
In other words, the Cardinals sent the same hitter up in that spot that the Padres would have chosen for the Cardinals if they were allowed such a privilege.
And a couple Padres batters later, Martinez was pulled from the mound.
So the gain from not pinch-hitting was Martinez getting to face future hall-of-famers Alexi Amarista, Travis Jankowski, and Yangervis Solarte. Why acquire Broxton and Cishek to bolster a bullpen if you don’t trust them to take care of those three guys?
But hey, who needs process when you have results! All those division banners, pennants, win-loss records…
I don’t think Matheny lost last night’s game. Nor do I think he’s the reason why the Cardinals win individual games.
A Martinez double off the wall wouldn’t have justified his decision. It would have been a stroke of luck, no different than foolishly betting your life savings on black.
If black hits, you’re rich.
But you’re not smart.