On this afternoon's Mike Murphy Show on WSCR, Steve Stone said he'd rather see Alfonso Soriano lead off the first inning with a walk than with a home run.

Stone's thinking:

Walking Soriano forces the starter to pitch from the stretch--after he has presumably been throwing solely from the windup while loosening in the bullpen--and increases the likelihood of a big inning more than if he just gives up the solo homer and goes back to the windup for the #2 hitter. Also, Stone reasons, the pitcher wouldn't have to deal with the distraction of the speedy Soriano on first.

I know either Bill James or Baseball Prospectus has debunked the notion that having a runner on first significantly impacts a pitcher's ability to retire subsequent hitters, but I've never heard the rest of Stone's argument phrased quite that way.

Am I the only person who thinks his logic is daft?

1 Comment:

  1. Phil said...
    No, what the otherwise astute Stone is missing is that with a HR, there's a guaranteed run, with a walk, there's the possibility of a run. I highly doubt that difference gets made up for in the dubious logic. Stone usually analyzes baseball extremely well, but that particular view seems pitcher-centric.

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