Monday, July 28, 2008

Preemptive Strike

Every once in a while, Ned Yost will claim he looks at numbers and match-ups and makes lineup changes accordingly. Most recently that was his justification for starting Hall in Cincinnati and Durham on Friday night. However in those same games he benched individuals who had much better match-ups than their counterparts (Hardy, Branyan and Kendall in the past few games alone spring to mind). Also, he clearly didn't play the numbers yesterday, or Suppan would not have been trying to make "one more pitch" to Geoff Blum. It was clear to everyone that allowing Suppan to pitch to Blum was tantamount to conceding runs.

Anyhow, instead of second guessing Yost after the fact, I figured I'd look at the Brewers who have had the most success against tonights Cubs starter, Ted Lily.

Based on the report, only a few decision are reasonable, going by Yost's own reasoning behind starting Durham (i.e. 10 plate appearances are enough to justify a decision).

Cameron over Kapler (clearly this will happen). Weeks over Durham (while Durham has had success, Weeks has gone yard twice in 8 at-bats.) Branyan over Hall (Branyan only has 2 at bats, a double and a K, but Hall has struggled mightily in 10 at-bats, accruing only a .425 OPS).

After that, there are no real decisions to be made. It's solid to note, however, that the current Brewers (including the pitching staff) have an OPS of .777 against Ted Lily.

Tonight, I actually expect Yost to play the numbers and start Branyan. We shall see, however.

EDIT: yeah, i'm dumb, totally spaced on Lilly being a lefty. Branyan will see the pine tonight.

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