...to watch jeff suppan pitch and bill hall hit with the bases loaded and one out against a right-handed pitcher, down 2.

i started to actually work out the win percentage and probability for every possible outcome if you let bill hall hit there or if you let... say... ANYONE ELSE bat, cuz i'm a dork, and i thought it would make me feel better to be right and have empirical evidence. but you know what? it didn't. cuz halfway through the calc, i realized that it's so damn obvious that you have less chance of winning the game with hall batting there, that everyone knows it. ryan braun knew it! you saw him rolling his eyes and shaking his head through the whole at-bat. ken macha knew it! but he made a promise. roy oswalt knew it! you could tell both by the shit-eating grin on his face and the second-to-last pitch under hall's chin that set up the low-and-away slider that was 80% likely to result in a strikeout and 20% likely to result in a double play. i knew it! because i was actively rooting for the strikeout. hell!!! bill hall knew it! which i'm assuming is why he was running very small laps behind the umpire between each pitch.

for what it's worth, (and please take both my angry-bias and 5 beers into account) i seriously believe the brewers decreased their win percentage by a double digit number with that decision. that wasn't malpractice. it wasn't even sabotage. it was murder. they murdered their chance of winning with that choice.

i'm so worked up over this development that i don't even care if they win the game. the decision was so inexplicably dumb, that anything that comes after it can't redeem it. it's like when your 14 year old daughter tells you she's pregnant with a drug dealer's baby, and then comes home 2 weeks later with straight a's on her report card. it just doesn't matter that much anymore.

3 hours ago

## 14 comments:

I too, was rooting for Bill to strike out. Alas, he couldn't even get that right.

For what it's worth, somebody on the jsonline blog did the math and determined that batting Counsell there would've improved the Brewers chances of tying the game by about 1.25%, or a 1-in-80 chance. However, the calculation relied only on obp and failed to consider the greater possibility of a Hall home run over one from Counsell, so I'm still seeing it as a wash.

Tracker, Link?

You'd have to wade through the vast wasteland that is a jsonline-Brewers thread to find it. I'll see if I can dig it up and cut-and-paste it.

FOund it...

Counsell's career OBP against RHP is .348, Hall's is .300.

Now, I know many of you guys like to throw out Hall's 'early years' in this type of discussion, but it is simply the case that a career number is a more reliable predictor than a given year, or partial year (and even the career number isn't all that good a predictor). So, because I know someone will come here with them, Hall's OBP in 2009 vs RHP is .295, and (calculated a week or so ago, so not including the last few days) for the last three years, .281.

So use the career number, .300, the 2009 number, .295, or the last three years number, .281, and the story really doesn't change much: using Counsell in the 9th buys Macha about a .050 or .060 or .070 chance of keeping the inning going.

Now, Counsell is the tying run, so if we assume he gets on, it is most likely on 1st base. So to get him home, Braun is going to have to do more than just reach base himself, or Prince is also going to have to reach. Braun's career OBP against RHP is .338 with not quite half his hits being extra-base, or something around .125 (factoring out BB and HBP).

So the chances of Braun getting Counsell (but not Hall) home to tie the game is about .060 times .125 = .0075, or less than 1%.

If Braun reaches but only to first base, then Prince comes up. His OBP against RHP is .391.

So the chances of Prince being the one to get Counsell *but not Hall) home is about .060 times (.338 - .125) times .391 = .0050

That is, a pretty good estimate of what Macha gave up by keeping his word to Hall was a .0075 + .0050 = .0125, or 1.25% change of *tying* or maybe winning the game. Or if you don't like decimals, about an 80 to 1 chance.

(If I got anything wrong in there, I trust someone will correct me.)

Using Hall's career OBP is as meaningful as using Kendall's career slugging.

Amen. You beat me to it E.

But. as stated, the math in this exercise hardly changes if you use his career number (.300) or his 2009 number (.295)

This graph seems to confirm the double-digit probability effect of the DP:

http://community.sportsbubbler.com/blogs/bernies_crew/archive/2009/05/22/late-offense-surges-for-series-victory.aspx

v. righties Counsell's OBP is .437 and his slugging is also better than Hall's.

True, but with two outs in the 9th and trailing by two, I think you're playing for the possibility of a homerun. Statistically this year, Hall is twice as likely as Counsell to homer vs rhp, although I think a reasonable expectation would be far greater than that.

The DP isn't a possibility in the Wednesday situation, unless you're referencing something that occurred last night

Nah, you're playing to get to your best hitter in that specific situation, since you have no attractive power options. Now, if they had Brooks Kieschnick on the bench I'd change my tune.

i was referencing last night's game, when hall came up with the bases loaded, 1 out, and down 2...

i actually didn't have too much of a problem letting hall hit the other night for the exact reason you cite-- he has a better chance to tie the game right then.

for last night's situation though, the type of calc that guy did was the type i was doing, BUT i was trying to account for every outcome. this is what was actually making the calc come out with such a large disparity-- a double play absolutely murders you there, and a strikeout isn't much better.

put it this way-- if it was a strat-o-matic game, there's not one chance in a million that hall gets to bat in that situation. it's just as bad of a decision as a manager can make really.

also-- i lied. i'm really happy they won, and that happiness does outweigh the bitterness i feel over the decision.

i guess it's like my nerdy, knocked up daughter actually had the drug dealer's kid, but then i thought it was really cute and fell in love with it... or something.

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