Robinson's strategy puzzles the mind

Updated: June 13, 2003, 11:03 AM ET
By Jim Baker
Seattle 1 Montreal 0: Expos manager Frank Robinson had his clean-up hitter sacrifice Thursday night. With the Expos losing 1-0 in the ninth inning, Jose Vidro led off with a walk. Brad Wilkerson -- who had already walked twice and who is having the best year of any Expo to date -- then laid one down so that Wil Cordero and Brian Schneider could have a crack at tying the game. Cordero was called out on strikes and Jamey Carroll drew a walk pinch-hitting for Schneider. Fernando Tatis (who left his 'A' game back in the '90s) failed to deliver with two outs and the game was over. Am I missing something here? You have a player with a .969 OPS make an out automatically so that guys with figures 200 points less than that can have a shot? And it's not like Wilkerson is much of a threat to hit into a double play. He's hit into one in 217 plate appearances this year. (If Wilkerson took it upon himself on this bunt, then we'll let Robinson off the hook. If not&jeez!)

Los Angeles 3 Detroit 2: In Monday's Baker's Dozen I discussed what might happen when the two-most offensively anemic teams in baseball collided and, taking into account the Dodgers' wonderful pitching, speculated that the Tigers would be lucky to score nine runs in this series. This shows I have a long way to go in learning how to set over/under lines. Detroit managed just four runs as they lost all three times to the Dodgers, who themselves scored only nine. Thursday night's game was not the pitching gem it might appear from the 3-2 score. Kaz Ishii -- the winner -- walked six men while Jeremy Bonderman walked none but surrendered 10 hits while striking out only two. At least the Tigers had a couple of extra base hits -- something they didn't manage in the first two games. All told, the series had five doubles and a home run in about 230 total plate appearances. I won't even bother to calculate what their combined slugging averages were.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at