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Reliever brought in after last out of game?
Posted by Jay Wilkins on Tuesday, Aug. 2nd, 2011 at 2:31 AM

I've looked at debug for game I'll mentin below, but doesn't clarify for me.

A couple of times I've seen relievers be brought in after the final out. Why?

One such example is the 7-29 Empire-Jammers game.

Readers Comments

It's a minor "feature" of the simulator (ie a bug).. It doesn't impact the outcome, stats, or player usage though as the pitcher doesn't actually pitch to any batters.

Rob Peterson on Thursday, Aug. 4th, 2011 at 1:25 AM
 

Had the "feature" crop up prior to the 9th inning and it had a definite potential impact on the game today.

Game 765 between the Osprey and the Loons.  August 24th.

Bottom of the 5th, and my starting pitcher, Hamels, gives up a hit with two out and a runner on base.  The runner trying to score gets gunned down at home for the 3rd out.  However, because there was a hit and TPA on the play, the check for a reliever happened.  Huston Street was brought in as a reliever after the third out, with the line input showing this being the last one appearing in the 5th inning on the play-by-play.

Top of the 6th, and the pitcher's spot is the first one up.  Instead of bringing in a pinch hitter now and then putting Street in for the bottom of the inning when he's actually pitching, Street was already inserted into the lineup in the bottom of the 5th.  So instead of a pinch hitter, Street is hitting because he hasn't pitched to anyone yet.  In what would be an ideal pinch hitting situation (starter coming out anyway, leading off an inning), I get a pitcher coming to the plate to record an almost-automatic out for the team while we're trying to rally from two runs down.

Please note that this post is not a complaint.  I understand how the simulator works and how the checks are built in at this point.  I did want to point out that at least one situation exists where this otherwise harmless check and one-line input in the 9th inning (or later, essentially after the game is over) turns out to actually have an in-game possible appearance as well that will have game-altering potential.

Since it hasn't cropped up before that I've seen or heard about from another manager, I wanted to throw it out there for the rest of you to keep an eye out for.  If it's making one appearance per season, that's definitely back-burner fodder.  If it turns out it is happening more often than that, then it would help Al out to know how often and in what exact situations it crops up in should he decide that any coding/program changes need to be made.

So if you see it in your games or making an appearance elsewhere, please drop a follow-up post with the game, inning, and situation.

Kevin Martin on Wednesday, Aug. 24th, 2011 at 2:38 PM
 

Oh... VERY interesting Kevin. While that doesn't impact Street's stats/PA at all, it certainly does have an outcome on the game. 

Everyone, please do as Kevin suggests. I think I know where this is occurring (pretty good for someone who doesn't even have access to the code, right!), but it would be interesting to know all the different areas this happens.

So far, even in Kevin's instance, it's the same scenario - the Check For Relief Pitcher function being triggered after a hit and the 3rd out of the inning happening in the same play. Depending on how the function call is made, it should be possible to move that check to the beginning of the next batter. Set a flag for the pitcher stating a hit/walk was given up in the last at bat, which then triggers the reliever check to be done. 

Rob Peterson on Wednesday, Aug. 24th, 2011 at 9:00 PM
 

I've had private grumbles about the timing of pitching changes and pinch hitting all season, but I realise that writing an automated program for something this complex is asking a lot and that Al has done an amazing job covering as much as is reasonable.

I do wonder why the check for a pitching change comes AFTER an at-bat when, to my mind, it should be done just PRIOR to an at-bat and assessing the upcoming situation. Better to cagily yank a pitcher who's tiring BEFORE he faces the guy who hits .600 off him rather than wait until the tiredness is proven by the fact you've just conceded a few runs.

Also, am I right in thinking that pinch hitters are only ever used to cover the pitcher's spot? It would be nice to think that if my next pinch hitter is, say, a shortstop, and the current shortstop is due up but having a bad game or is useless against the new pitcher, there'd be a switch.

As I said above, I do think that Allan has done a great job in producing what he has. Including all of the complexities of the game is unrealistic but I suspect he's always thinking about how he could improve his baby and those are my ideas.

Now, back to trying to win this damned Pacific West...

James Andrew on Thursday, Aug. 25th, 2011 at 12:04 AM