Gaby Sanchez's performance against lefties is dramatically better than Justin Morneau's. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Bench play and bullpen performance has had almost zero impact on the Pirates' 2013 postseason. That's because their three scores have gone 6-2, 9-1, 7-1 in October.
No team can count on blowouts throughout the playoffs, though. Eventually there will be late-game situations of impact, which will bring to the forefront the reserve players for the Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
If we knew what would specifically happen with the rest of this series, we would be in Las Vegas instead of PNC Park. That said, let's look at three potential situations where the Pirates' bench, bullpen and manager decisions could turn the series.
1. Gaby Sanchez or Justin Morneau vs. Lefty ...
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James dabbles in the baseballey-writey world. He won the SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for contemporary baseball analysis. It was for that defensive shifts piece, you remember that? Not a huge deal, he also lost a bunch of other awards.
He has also written for NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Sports Report and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
By night, James is a television news reporter and weekend anchor for WKBN and WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio. Makes sense, seeing as how his degree from the University of Southern California is in Broadcast Journalism.
James dispenses more bad jokes at his Twitter account, @JamesSantelli. It's there that he promises to write in the first-person.