FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Hey… you are a pitcher; you pitch to him. That’s your job and you don’t knuckle under.

    Comment by ev — October 27, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  2. I’ll admit that I haven’t watched the Rangers this postseason. However, I’ve heard that the Rays had quite the success against Hamilton pitching him low and away with soft stuff, particularly with Price. This seems to play into Lincecum’s strength with his best pitch being the split/change. Cain will likely have more trouble seeing as he’s more of a fastball pitcher and plays up in the zone.

    Comment by Ken — October 27, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  3. The Giants have not intentionally walked Josh Hamilton all year. You would be crazy to start doing something now that you did not do while getting through the regular season, the NL playoffs, and into the World Series. You can’t change it up this deep.

    Comment by Gopherballs — October 27, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  4. how could they have intentionally walked josh hamilton all year, when they didnt play the rangers all year…?

    Comment by fredsbank — October 27, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

  5. heh…. I think Gopherballs is probably (and jokingly) referring to an earlier exchange…

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — October 27, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  6. Interesting to read, if a bit self evident. It’s not like Hamilton is any better than many of the other great hitters in any given year, so he’s not likely to need intentional walking. Heck, people aren’t walking Pujols with regularity and I’d take Pujols over Hamilton.

    The more interesting question is… should Barry Bonds have gotten the Barry Bonds treatment? At it’s face from this analysis the answer would seem to be no, usually. However, given that Barry was so much better than the surrounding lineup hitting during 2004 (when he was walked all the time, basically). How often should one walk a guy who slugs 0.812? Probably less than 100 times intentionally, I’d hope, but maybe not.

    Comment by B N — October 27, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

  7. Nah, we got this shit.

    Comment by Lawl — October 28, 2010 @ 1:34 am

  8. Hey, Hamilton’s no saint but I don’t know why you’d throw him to a grand jury?

    Oh. You mean walking him.

    Comment by MikeS — October 28, 2010 @ 8:01 am

  9. The Barry Bonds treatment (in the world series) ended up working for the Angels because Bonds’s teammates weren’t very good and didn’t come through, but I’d bet if employed over a whole season, it would have pretty terrible outcomes.

    Walking a guy is not just about the guy behind him or putting a guy on base, or the current inning. It’s about turning the line-up over, and Bonds and Hamilton hit high enough in the order, that’s four extra at bats your giving over the course of any one game aside from putting a runner on base who had a chance to make an out basically two out of every three times he hit the ball. (That’s the reason it sometimes makes sense late in the game, with few enough outs, you don’t necessarily turn the line-up over.)

    What made Bonds so good, especially in those last years, is his patience. He only swung at the pitch he was looking forward, and he rarely missed, but if you’re considering walking him intentionally anyway, then the best thing is to deal with him only in those parts of the zone where he’s less likely to hurt you, and if you walk him, okay, but at least you didn’t give it to him for nothing. (This is not an un-intentional intentional walk as it’s not throwing just junk. It’s trying to hit that outside corner every time, and if you miss you miss wide.) And if you can’t help hanging a fat one, then you probably shouldn’t be pitching in a big game.

    I mean a guy who walks every time, isn’t his wOBA a 1.000?

    It seems a like a good hitting team with a a guy whose wOBA is 1.000 is only going to get better. Hell, even a bad hitting team is going to get better.

    Comment by Crumpled Stiltskin — October 28, 2010 @ 9:55 am

  10. During his peak, Bonds was basically a .500 wOBA hitter, with very little platoon split (+/- .010ish? that’s a rounding a error for him). So, I’ll ignore the platoon split.

    In 2004 Bonds generally had Feliz or Snow batting behind him. Feliz’s true talent wOBA was probably around .320 circa 2004 and also had little platoon split. Now Snow had a pretty good year in 2004, with a .416 wOBA. However that was fueled by a .365 (career around .300) and a 10.7% HR/FB rate (nothing else over 7 since we’ve been keeping track). So lets say he’s a .350 hitter, which I think would be a little generous. As for a platoon split, Snow has about a +/- .010 split, same as bonds. So that’s basically irrelevent.

    So if Snow is batting 5th, the ratio is about 1.43, and if its Feliz, its 1.56. Given those kinds of ratios, you’re basically clear to walk him when ever you want, so long as you’re not up by more than one run early. And you probably don’t want to walk him with no one out. Though even in those situations it probably isn’t too bad.

    Comment by Wally — October 28, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  11. Um…Jeff Kent was pretty good at baseball at that point.

    Comment by Alireza — October 29, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

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