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I was researching pinch hitting and running the other day, ands I thought of a possible loophole that could be used to get a walk off when in a bad situation in baseball.

The premise of the loop hole is pinching all of your best players. To elaborate, you pinch hit the first at-bat of the inning with a better hitter if they are not good at hitting. Then, if they get on base, you pinch run them with a better runner (or stealer, depending on your needs) is they are not good enough at running. Then, repeat until you either win or lose.

Would this loophole work? If it doesn’t, how could it be changed to work?

Note that this would be used in the bottom of the 9th inning.

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    That's not a loop hole; it's just a strategy. – chepner Oct 14 at 17:36
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    This is a really poor question. Why would you not start a guy if he was the better hitter? Did you research at all? – Coach-D Oct 16 at 16:13
  • @Coach-D I said bottom of the 9th. Read before you criticize – brododragon Oct 16 at 18:59
  • There are lots of reasons for one player to start in place of another better player: injury recovery, scheduled off-day, pitching matchups, etc. That said, depriving a better player of at-bats solely to make them available for a single at-bat is not a good idea. – chepner Oct 22 at 20:21
  • @chepner I never said that the player would be deprived of at-bats specifically for that moment – brododragon Oct 23 at 2:58
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Because baseball teams have limited rosters, and once a player is removed from the game, that player cannot return, there doesn't seem to be a loophole here that needs to be plugged. You're free to pinch hit/pinch run with the remaining players, but there's no reason that should give you a significant advantage.

Getting on base in the first place is the more difficult part. It's unlikely you've got a .200 batter already in your lineup and a .350 batter waiting on the bench. In fact, most of the time your best batters will have started the game. Perhaps you have a poor-hitting pitcher or catcher starting the game that would be good to replace in the ninth, but the pinch-hitter isn't going to be a tremendous bat. So the relative improvement isn't that big.

You might well have a weak-hitting speedster on the bench that could pinch run. But unless you have Rickey Henderson on your staff, the likelihood of scoring isn't tremendously better than other runners, because most of the time you need the help of the batter. (And if you do have a Rickey on your staff, he should have been in from the start).

So for most staffs, tweaking the lineup to improve your chances in the ninth is fine and expected, but far from something that breaks the game or significantly changes your team's chances of winning.

  • I'll also note that pinch hitting isn't easy. You're sitting around all game and then the manager tells you "you're up". You only have a minute or so to loosen up and get mentally into it. Don't forget you're often facing fresh relievers. Finding a good bench guy can be a struggle for teams as well. – pboss3010 Oct 15 at 11:57

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