Chess Match: Pitcher selection
Pulling starter works out much better for D-backs
PHOENIX -- The pitcher's spot was at the center of virtually every important tactical decision in Wednesday night's Game 1. With both aces, Carlos Zambrano and Brandon Webb, dealing, the decision facing the managers was whether to have the hurlers bunt, hit or leave the game entirely.No bunt for Big Z
The situation: Zambrano bats with no outs in the fifth inning after Ryan Theriot reached on a two-base error.
The situation: In a 1-1 game, the 5-6-7 hitters in the Arizona lineup are coming to the plate to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Zambrano is cruising, having retired nine of the previous 11 hitters, four of them on strikeouts. The batters -- Mark Reynolds, Jeff Salazar and Chris Snyder -- had been 0-for-5 against Zambrano with a walk, a double play and two Ks.
The situation: With runners on second and third and one out, the pitcher's spot comes up for Arizona in the bottom of the seventh inning. Webb is rolling, having thrown just 89 pitches and coming off an easy 1-2-3 seventh.
The analysis: "If we've got a man on first with two outs, I probably don't [pinch-hit for Webb]. but when we get in a situation where we can drive in another run, then it's an easy decision." -- Melvin
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.