A couple years ago, I brought out VEB’s good ole Mathenaging story tag and wrote about Matheny’s proclivity to allow his starting pitcher to remain in the game more so than his managerial peers. I found that his starting pitch hook in particular actually cost the Cardinals over a win’s worth of runs that season. Indeed: it was the
best worst of times, it was the worst of times.
Having now completed the first full season of the Mike Shildt era, I decided to repeat my earlier exercise to see if the Cardinals were faring any differently under the latter. I’d recommend you read the original piece if you’re curious as to the methodology, but the long and the short of it is that I looked at how a team’s starting pitchers performed when being left in the game during a high leverage plate appearance the third time through the order versus how well that same team’s bullpen performed in 2019.
If that seems like a hyperspecific filter, just keep in mind that there were numerous variables I needed to account for.
In many instances, the second time through the order is simply too early for a manager to go to his bullpen without expanded rosters.
Stats from the fourth time…