Just a quick link to my newest post at BP Wrigleyville. It concerns Terry Francona’s decision to pinch-hit for Andrew Miller in the seventh inning last night, a decision which in my mind encapsulates the whole debate over the DH in a nutshell: is it better for Francona to be forced into an interesting tactical decision, of for an elite pitcher like Miller to be able to stay on the mound?
My main wish from these DH posts (here’s my other one) is not so much to convince people to see the debate my way, as it is to convince people that the debate has two legitimate sides, rather than being a no-brainer as it’s often portrayed by people on both sides. I know that writing this piece softened my opposition to the DH, as I realized that one of my all-time favorite pitching performances—Madison Bumgarner’s extended relief appearance to finish Game 7 of the 2014 World Series—probably wouldn’t have happened had the game not been in a DH park. Would Bruce Bochy really have let his pitcher, even a decent-hitting pitcher like Bumgarner, come up to bat two or three times in a one-run game? Probably not, which would have made it just another bullpen game. So I hope that reading this piece will help people on both sides of the debate see the merits of the other side—just acknowledging that there are merits would be enough.