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Righty-Lefty Pitching Match-Ups... Why?

Here's a familiare situation:  It's the eight inning.  Your starter has just given you seven solid innings, and now it's time to turn it over to the bullpen.  Naturally, with a right-handed batter set to start the inning, there is a right-handed arm on the mound.  The next batter, however, is a lefty.  Sure enough, a left-hander is brought in to deal with him.  It's all about match-ups!  Let's analyze that...

Apparently, the belief is that a right-handed pitcher can't get a right-handed batter out and vise versa.  This is called "situational baseball."  Oddly enough, this type of situational baseball is situational in itself.  Make sense?  Didn't think so!  I'll try to explain...   

Righty-Lefty Pitching Match-Ups If a right-handed batter has more trouble hitting a right-handed pitcher, then it makes sense to force the match-up.  My questions is, why doesn't that rationale hold true all game?  Are the later innings more important than the early ones?  Maybe there's just no confidence in relief pitchers.  I just don't understand why a right-handed starter has no problems throwing to lefty's, but once the game is turned over to the bullpen, this becomes a no-no.

This is what I want:  

  • If this type of situational baseball is beneficial, and puts your team in a position to win, then by all means employ the tactic.  Just don't cut corners.  Take advantage of that all game long.  Starter or not, don't let a righty throw to a lefty if it's not the right match-up!
  • If your not going to put 100-percent into complying with this rationale, don't bother wasting your time on it at all!  Don't decide in the eight inning to go with this tactic - a tactic you believe puts your team in a better position to win - and ignore the same tactic for the first several innings.  Every inning counts!

I could be wrong, but I strongly believe a right-handed reliever is more than capable of getting a right-handed hitter out, and vise versa.  I'm not so sure it's necessary to blow through your bullpen to get the right "match-up."  Let em' pitch!


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