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Talking Baseball

Your weekday baseball fix. Some days.



Posted by Jon on Monday, October 18, 2004

More Delusions

Rarely does this sabermetric-oriented fan find himself itching to see the Sox try to steal a base. But something came over me with Roberts pinch running and Rivera on the mound.

Honestly, Francona would be kidding himself if he expected two hits against Rivera. My thinking was that at most, he'd allow one more baserunner. To score, the Red Sox needed all the help they could get.

Roberts barely beat the tag, and I found myself screaming two feet in the air. My long disdain for running, which in most cases, is self-defeating strategy, had made me forget how necessary it is in specific situations.

The same goes for bunting. I found myself in favor of Francona's move to have Mientkiewicz put down the bunt, all due to the microscopic chances of scoring against Rivera. I really hate to say it, but Tim McCarver is right. (No, there's no Brandon Arroyo on the Red Sox.) Mariano Rivera is the single most dominating player on any Major League team, with the possible exception of Barry "IBB" Bonds. When you're up against Mo, there's nowhere to go. You have to scratch and claw.

Normal strategies just don't apply against Rivera. Against another pitcher, I wouldn't have agreed.


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