Angels manager Mike Scioscia’s decision to intentionally walk Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning with two outs and no one on base in a one-run Game 5 of the 2009 American League Championship Series garnered the veteran skipper a lot of flack. It ended up working out for Scioscia, as the Yankees loaded the bases but failed to score.
Despite what the critics say, the move was a good move because his team won the game. Well, it was at least an acceptable move.
To know if it was a good move, you would have to turn to 2ndGuesser, a $2.99 app that was made for situations just like this. The app allows you to input scenarios and then find out if a sacrifice bunt, steal or intentional walk would improve or decrease a team’s chance of scoring a run and winning the game.
This app is centered on stats such as run and win expectation instead of conventional stats like batting average. Still, 2ndGuesser is accessible for even the casual fan as it provides an explanation of why the move you have input is a good or bad one.
For example, if I input the Game 5 scenario in the app will tell me it was a bad idea. In fact, it says it’s always a bad idea to give a batter a free base because the numbers bear that out.
I love the idea behind the app and admit it’s a great tool for a baseball fan to own, I just wish there was more to it. It has a very basic design and lacks features for an app of its price. Also, after playing around with it for a couple of minutes and reading the explanations, you can determine whether a move is a good or bad one without consulting the app.
I would also recommend the app follow actual games instead of requiring the user to input scenarios, but then it would simply be FanGraphs – an app that also includes a gigantic player database and a better look.
If this is just the beginning for 2ndGuesser and we are in store for a huge update or even a sequel, then I’m excited. If this is all there is, then it’s just a bland knockoff of FanGraphs for the same price.