Buster Olney on M&M: ‘I don’t understand the logic’ of pitching to David Ortiz
|10.30.13 at 1:55 pm ET|
ESPN’s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to preview Game 6 of the World Series, and recount Game 5 as well.
The Red Sox and Cardinals meet on Wednesday at Fenway Park with Boston one game away from winning the Fall Classic after Monday’s 3-1 win. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright opted to pitch to David Ortiz, and like he’s been doing all postseason, Ortiz made the opposition pay, this time with three hits, including an RBI double in the first inning, to up his World Series average to .733.
“This is like choosing between, do we want to let the other team give the ball to Michael Jordan or Will Perdue, right? Because Ortiz is that good, and he’s basically getting hits at the same rate that Michael Jordan hits jump shots,” Olney said, adding: “I don’t understand the logic of pitching to him.”
After St. Louis’ loss, Wainwright revealed that it was his decision, and not manager Mike Matheny’s to pitch to Ortiz.
“You understand why Matheny has trust in Wainwright,” Olney said. “But I think you have to take it out of the hands, especially when you’re talking about one of the best pitchers in the world, probably the best defensive catcher in the world, because both those guys, their instinct is, ‘We’re going to solve this problem. I’m going to find a way to get David Ortiz out.’ ”
Michael Wacha and John Lackey face off for the second time in the series on Wednesday. Wacha beat Lackey in Game 2, 4-2. In that game, the rookie threw 65 fastballs, 39 changeups and 10 curveballs. Seven of those changeups induced swinging misses, the highest number of whiffs among the three pitches, according to brooksbaseball.net.
“That, to me, is going to be the interesting adjustment, to see if the Red Sox find something where they will use that piece of information, because that was such an effective way for Wacha to pitch in the first time that he faced them,” Olney said. “That’s the pitch to me, the inside changeup, that I think you might see the Red Sox hitters stalk a little bit.”
If the Red Sox lose Game 6, they’ll likely look to Jake Peavy in Game 7, although Felix Doubront’s performance this postseason has at least made the Game 7 starter a debate.
“A week ago, Felix Doubront was basically forgotten, now he’s their second most important reliever coming in,” Olney said. “I think [Doubront] has more value coming out of the bullpen.”
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