Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Bottom Makes You Top

It's crazy to imagine on a team with so much talent. When the top of your order is so productive, it's tempting to say that's all you need. And, to an extent that would be right. If your top five are
MVP candidates, you don't need much from your bottom four.

The key word, of course, is "much".

Because, you of course need to get SOME production from the bottom of the order. They can't be automatic outs. If so, even with top heavy talent, you'll end up with frustration.

Let's run through a hypothetical first inning. Tendi hits a single. Mookie follows with a flyout. Xander rips a double, moving Tendi to third. JD pops out to third. Devers walks. Chavis flies out to center. So, the top of the order got on base at a .500 clip. Actually, the top five were a bit above that. They loaded the base, but nobody scored. Not only that, but nobody really "choked". I guess it would have been nice if JD had driven in a run. But, things happen.

All that goodness, and no results.

And that's just when the top of the order leads things off. 

If the inning starts with the #3 hitter, you really need to have your bottom guys chip in. Otherwise those two baserunner will never make it home.

It's the one advantage of the all or nothing HR trend lately. When you're counting on any one guy hitting a home run, it's a bit easier to swallow than counting on three guys in a row getting singles. Over the course of a season, the complete lineup is a better option, but game by game it can be frustrating. 

Which is why it's nice to see JBL and the catchers finally starting to pull their weight a bit more. It doesn't take much. In that situation, hitting .250 is worlds better than .150. 

It's what makes your lineup complete and devastating.

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