Many times on this blog I have been graced with very impressive statistical analysis by the readers and others who care deeply about Cardinal baseball. We have all had our internal disagreements with Tony LaRussa during his tenure here in St. Louis, but despite all that, he has become one of the most successful managers in the history of baseball. A good deal of his legacy will reflect the time he spent here and the decisions he made day in and day out. So here is the challenge that I pose to the readers and more knowledgeable of this blog:
Has LaRussa's decision to bat the pitcher 8th actually had a measurable influence on the runs scored by this franchise?
Observing our relative inability to provide offense this year, (with the obvious exception of the superhuman Albert Pujols), has this particular strategy benefitted the Cardinals in a way that we can tell?
Better question: Would the current version of the St. Louis Cardinals actually score less runs if LaRussa did not employ this tactic? (A chlling thought, I know....)
Please, someone with some experience with FanGraphs or other statistical baseball knowledge far beyond my own attempt to answer this question for me?