There was plenty of talk late Thursday afternoon in the in-game Rangers chat and even this morning on Twitter and email about manager Ron Washington's decision to pinch hit Brandon Snyder for Mitch Moreland in the seventh inning of Thursday's eventual 5-4, 10-inning loss to the A's.
My colleague, Tim MacMahon, certainly questioned the decision, as he wrote here. And that's the great thing about baseball: We can debate strategy all the time.
But I had no issues with Washington's decision Thursday. Yes, Mitch Moreland had hit two homers, but both came against right-handed starter Brandon McCarthy. Moreland's numbers against lefties are, in a word, terrible. He's 3-for-16 vs. lefties this season. Want a longer track record? He's got a .224 career average vs. southpaws.
Snyder, on the other hand, has been crushing left-handed pitching so far this season. He was 8-for-22 (.363) with three homers and seven RBIs before that at-bat. The percentage is way in Snyder's favor over Moreland there. Homers or not, Moreland hasn't hit left-handed pitching. Essentially, Washington wanted to try to win that game in the seventh inning. And when the A's brought in lefty Jordan Norberto, who is holding lefties to a .217 average with one RBI this season, Washington played the percentages.
What if Moreland walks up there and does what he's done throughout his career against lefties in that seventh inning? Are we all talking about how Washington didn't utilize his bench? Of course we are. Washington had a hot hitter against lefties ready to go and went with him. It didn't work out. But to then say the decision was flawed because Snyder came up again two innings later in a completely different situation isn't fair. Washington is trying to win the game right there in the seventh. He felt Snyder was his best option and the numbers say he's right -- two homers by Moreland or not.
But that's just me (and Mike Peasley, I might add). What about you? Are you still fired up about this decision?