Renteria? Really? Ridiculous Resolution

By FanSided Staff

I’ve tried to be patient with Dusty Baker.  After taking the Reds to the playoffs for the first time in 2 decades, I decided to give Baker the benefit of the doubt, despite dubious decisions. However, the decision Baker made last night is absolutely indefensible. If you missed it, here’s the situation:

Bottom of the 9th, 2 out, runner on first, tying run at the plate against Mariano Rivera. Ryan Hanigan due up. Dusty Baker pinch hit Edgar Renteria for Ryan Hanigan. Renteria proceeded to strike out, ending the game.

If you’ve read my posts before, you know I am a Ryan Hanigan fan. I would’ve loved to see Hanigan hit in that situation. Still, even if you could convince me that Hanigan was not the ideal hitter for that situation, Edgar Renteria would be the LAST guy on that bench I’d ask to pinch hit.

I couldn’t find any quotes from Baker on the decision to hit Renteria for Hanigan. I assume he turned to Renteria because he was 3-for-9 in his career against Mariano Rivera. Small sample aside, consider this: Renteria’s 3 hits against Rivera occurred in 2005 or earlier. All 3 of his hits against Rivera were singles. Since 2005, Renteria had struck out 3 times in 6 AB against Rivera. In other words, 3-for-9 lifetime against Rivera means nothing when you haven’t had a hit off him in 6 years.

Furthermore, Renteria could’ve been 9-for-9 against Rivera and the decision still would’ve been curious. Over the last four seasons, Renteria has been a below average hitter, and this year he is one of the worst hitters in baseball.

Let’s consider the ideal outcomes in last night’s scenario, then we’ll look at the likelihood of each hitter accomplishing those results.

Obviously, the ideal outcome for the hitter in that situation is a home-run to tie the game. The next best thing would be and extra-base hit to put the tying run in scoring position. The final desirable outcome is to simply reach base, extending the inning (and the game) and putting the tying run on base.

So what were Bakers options, and how likely were those options to accomplish the desired results?

Player                   OBP       XBH%    HR%
Hernandez           .368        9.0%      4.5%
Hanigan               .358        3.1%      1.2%
Gomes                 .335        7.4%      3.9%
Cairo                     .336        5.8%      2.5%
Renteria               .300        2.3%      0.0%

Clearly, Edgar Renteria was the worst option. He was the least likely to hit a HR to tie the game. He was the least likely to hit an extra-base hit to put the tying run in scoring position. He was (by far) the least like to reach base to put the tying run on base and extend the game.

The decision to hit Renteria in that situation is incomprehensible. I just wish one of the reporters in the clubhouse would have done his job, and challenged Baker on the decision.

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