By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions


Again: Why does anyone ever pitch to David Ortiz with the game on the line? We can only be glad that they do. Yes, Manny’s a terrific clutch hitter. But I’d rather take my chances with him than Ortiz. Wouldn’t you?

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  1. Pesky

    Hard to fathom why the opposition fails to pitch him high and tight like the Yanks. Papi has been improved by Ron Jackson, no doubt about it, and has learned to not swing at bad pitches, but high and tight always gets him.

  2. RP Burke

    “pesky,” if what you say is true — that the Yankees pitch Ortiz high and tight and it “always gets him” — then why did the Yankees chase after first Johnson and then Myers with the express purpose of getting Ortiz out? Doesn’t that mean to you that they haven’t been able to?The man does what it takes to get the job done, whether a grounder past the infield shift like Saturday or a shot that no shift can accommodate. I’d have to walk him. Every time. To hell with the “book.” Advance runners if you have to (last night it would have loaded the bases and put both tying runs into scoring position).

  3. Anonymous

    Actually, no, not if you’re the Indians. They’re out of it anyway, and last night’s game is about the future. That young closer of theirs with the funky name looks like he could be something in a year or two – let him learn how to pitch to tough hitters. That moment of realization that he’d left that fastball just a little bit too high is worth a year’s worth of instruction.Also, don’t forget what a truly fearsome hitter Manny is, and often in the clutch as well. If you routinely walk Ortiz, that’s just another potential RBI for Manny, one of the greatest pure hitters in all of baseball.That said – with an important game on the line, and with Manny out of sync lately, yeah, I’d pitch around Ortiz or just put him on.

  4. Pesky

    rp burke – In no way did the Yanks pursue Randy Johnson just for Papi. And, I cannot think of the last time a pitcher put him on his fanny, or stuck one in his ribs.

  5. mike_b1

    and with Manny out of sync latelySay what? Manny has a 16-game hitting streak during which he has hit 5 HRs and driven in 19. And like Ortiz, he had homered earlier in last night’s game.What does a guy have to do?

  6. Anonymous

    I bet Bronson Arroyo could get Ortiz out every time. Right Dan?

  7. Don

    Not nice, anonymous.

  8. Anonymous

    Bronson is Papi’s worst nightmare. He has no chance against that sweeper.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Hatlo — You’ve got to love the timing of Anon’s quip: right after David Wells showed he might not have anything left (not that I’m giving up on him yet), and on the day that Jason Johnson is scheduled to pitch. But, hey, Wily Mo looked great last night, and he’s certainly going to have a chance to prove his worth down the stretch.

  10. Stealth

    Actually, Manny isn’t necessarily a great “clutch” hitter, depending on your definition of that hazy term. But he definitely hits very well with RISP, which is often the same thing.And yeah, if teams walked Ortiz, it’s likely Manny would be hitting these walkoffs. Especially in situations like last night’s, where the result had more to do with a young, nervous pitcher than the hitter.

  11. mike_b1

    The % of runners on base driven in for a few players of interest (league average is about 14%):Ortiz – 17.7% (272 PAs with ROB)Ramirez – 16.6% (229 PAs with ROB)Pena – 16.1%Varitek – 14.1%Lowell – 13.1%Nixon – 12.9%

  12. Anonymous

    I would consider pitching to Manny instead of Ortiz if I had Sparky Lyle as my closer. I’m having a hard time coming up with any other situation where I would make that choice.Bob in Peabody

  13. Steve

    Ortiz will beat you with a HR, tie you with a double. (With runners on 1st and 2nd)With Manny, he’ll tie the game with any hit with the bases loaded. (He’ll also end the game with a GIDP.)The odds of an extra-base hit by Ortiz are less than the odds of any hit by Manny. So Wedge went with the odds and lost.

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