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Game 109 Open Thread: August 6, 2007



5-7, 5.18

8-9, 5.23

a quick word about the pitcher batting 8th: i actually like the move quite a bit. any number of batting-order studies have shown that you'll score more runs if you bunch your best hitters together --- particularly the hitters with the best on-base percentages. since the leadoff man is theoretically one of a team's better on-base guys, it makes little sense to have him batting right behind the worst on-baser, ie the pitcher. i wrote about lineup construction long ago at my old blog at have periodically returned to the subject, but it has been a long time since i took it up because it's such a quixotic argument --- the convention of pitchers batting 9th will probably never go away, no matter how high the stack of evidence showing that it's counterproductive.

of course, where the 2007 cardinals are concerned, these principles may not apply: adam kennedy's on-base percentage (.289) is lower than that of two cardinal starters (wells and wainwright). so if the idea is to bunch the good obps together, then tony should prob'y just have stuck with the old tried-and-true and batted the pitcher 9th yesterday. . . . . just kidding (sort of). anyway, this is one of those "crazy tony" ideas that i'm down with 100 percent. i've always wanted to see some lousy team that's playing out the string try some lineup experiments; too bad it's our dear old redbirds, but if nothing else this'll give us (or me, anyway) something to hold our attention during the meaningless last third of the schedule.

for those of you who are curious, here are the breakdowns from 1998, when tony last committed this form of batting-order heresy:

avg obp slg r/g
pitcher batting 9th .265 .354 .437 5.01
pitcher batting 8th .252 .328 .444 4.99