Brushback - Beta Version
Brushback Baseball is an online beta version baseball simulation.


2008
The year Brushback Baseball was invented

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Relief Pitcher Tactics

Introduction

This page works with the Depth Chart settings to control

  1. which RP enters the game when a starter is pulled,
  2. when an RP should be pulled, and
  3. which RP should then enter the game.

Important - relief pitcher tactics apply only after starting pitcher tactics have pulled the starter. Releif pitcher tactics do not control when a starter is to be pulled; that is controlled from the Starting Pitchers tab of the Team Tactics page.

The relief pitcher tactics page uses a visual interface that makes it very easy to see at a glance - what tactics are operative in any situation, - verify that there are no holes in tactic setting coverage, i.e. where an owner/manager forgot to set RP tactics for some game situations.

Overview

The RP tactics page has three areas.

  1. The top section, labled Relief Pitcher Roles, lists each RP role available for an owner/manager to use in a game (i.e. that has been coded into the game).
  2. The middle section is the Tactics Grid; this is where tactics are set. It shows different game situations in which the owner/manager might want to call for a relief pitcher to enter the game (8th inning/ahead by two runs, for example).
    • The Basic tab of this grid presents inning-by-inning game situations, and
    • the Advanced tab presents out-by-out situations for key innings.
  3. The bottom section provides some page controls for copying innings, recalling default settings, and saving changes in settings.

Tactics are set by dragging an RP image from the role area and dropping it into the game situation area. It's as easy as that.

Basic game situations come with a complete set of default RP tactics already filled in. They can be restored at any time by first clicking the View Default button at the bottom of the page, then clicking the Save Current button.

An owner/manager doesn't ever have to go beyond simply using the default settings.

But, RP tactics may be customized by the owner/manager that wishes to experiment. The first step in customizing might be to change the default role images in the Basic game situation tab.

Default tactics settings can always be restored-

  1. click the View Default Setting button at the bottom of the page, and
  2. click the Save Current Settings button at the bottom of the page.

Advanced owners/managers will want to set up the Advanced game situation tab (which does not come with default settings).

The Top Section - Relief Pitcher Roles Grid

Each relief pitcher role is represented by an image in the top grid on the page. See the bracketed area of the image below.

Some images present single rp roles; other images present a combination of rp roles. The combination role images are discussed further down the page.



Single RP Role Images

represents the Closer role.

represents the Set-Up Man role.

represents the Middle Relief role.

represents the Lefty Specialist role.

represents the Long Reliever Role.

represents the Mop-Up Role.



The Middle Section - the Tactics Grid

The tactics grid shows different game situations in which the owner/manager might want to call for a relief pitcher to enter the game (8th inning/ahead by two runs, for example).

The tactics grid has two tabs - a Basic tab and an Advanced tab. These tabs are indicated by the arrow in the image below-


The Basic Situations Tab

The Basic grid divides game into situations based on inning and score. This controls which RP comes in to replace the SP and situational settings to pull a RP and which RP will replace him. (RP selection will not remove a starter, use starting pitcher tactics for that.)

The Basic grid comes with default settings already completed for you.

Changing the Default Settings. If you want a different relief pitcher role in particular cell of the Basic Situations grid, simply

  1. drag the image you want from the top grid down to the cell you want to change, and
  2. click the Save Current button at the bottom of the page. If you don't save the changed setting, it won't be used.

Restoring the Default Settings Once changed, you can always get the default settings back by

  1. clicking the View Default Setting button at the bottom of the page, and
  2. click the Save Current Settings button at the bottom of the page.

Convenient Features for Using the Grids

  • Double clicking a cell will remove an image from that cell.
  • Drag-and-Drop - Dragging an image from the Relief Pitcher Roles to any cell in either Situation grid.
  • Clear - below each inning column is a Clear cell. Clicking this cell will clear all the entries from the column.
  • Clear All - below the Situation column there is a Clear All cell that will clear all the entries from every column.
  • Copy - Just below the Clear cells are Copy and To drop-down boxes. These boxes allow you to quickly copy the settings from one inning (column) to another inning (column).

How the Relief Pitcher Tactics Work With the Depth Chart

Example 1 from Basic Situation Grid. You will see that the default setting of the Basic Situation grid calls for the Long Reliever in the '6th inning/ahead by 3' game situation.

If your pitching tactis settings for starters has already pulled the starter (or calls for him to be pulled anytime during a '6th inning/ahead by 3' game situation), a Long Reliever is called for. If the Starting Pitcher tactics settings have not caused the starter to be pulled, the starter will take the mound in the 6th inning.

If the starter is pulled, game will check the pitchers that are listed as Long Relievers in the depth chart. The first pitcher in the LR list that has an energy above the IN% will enter the game as the relief pitcher. In other words, if the first pitcher has an energy level that is above the IN% set for him, the next pitcher in the LR list will be checked.

Example 2 from Basic Situation Grid

Assume that your team is ahead by one run going into 8th inning and your Middle Reliever just pitched the 7th inning. You will see that the default setting of the Basic Situation grid calls for the Set Up Man for the '8th inning/ahead by 1' game situation. ??? show image of the relevant area from the basic grid

The game recognizes that your tacitics call for a Set Up Man in this '8th inning/ahead by 1' game situation. The game checks your depth chart for pitchers listed in the Set Up Man category and brings into the game the first pitcher that has an energy level higher than the IN% set for him.

Pitching Change with Inning Change. Assume first that the SM retires the side and allows no runs to score. If your team has not scored, the game situation will change because it't now the 9th inning and you are ahead by one run. The relevant cell of the relief pitcher Basic Situation tactics grid calls for the Closer in this situation, so the game will bring in the first pitcher from the Depth Chart list of Closers that has an energy level higher than his IN% setting.

Pitching Change Without an Inning Change. Assume that instead of letting no runs score the SM is not having a good night and before the 8th inning is over he gives up four runs on a grand slam. Because of that, the game sitution has changed and the '8th inning/ahead by 1' cell is no longer the relevant cell. Even though the inning has not changed, the cell that governs relief pitcher tactics has changed to the '8th inning/behind by 3' because that is the new game situation after the four runs have scored.

Since the '8th inning/behind by 3' tactics cell calls for the Mup Up reliever, a pitching change will take place; the Midle Reliever that gave up four runs will be pulled and replaced by the first pitcher from the Mop Up list that has an energy level higher than the IN% set for him.

The Advanced Situations Tab

The Advanced Situations grid is activated by selecting the Use Advanced Situation Tab check box that is below the grids, near the bottom of the page,

This grid is similar to the Basic Situations Tab, but allows override of the basic settings for the critical 7th 8th and 9th innings. For those critical innings, the Advanced Situations Tab allows out-by-out decision making.

Advanced grid settings will override Basic grid settings only when a cell in the Advanced Situations grid is filled in. If a cell in the Advanced grid is blank, tactics from the Basic Grid will be used.

How Does the Tactic Work?

Although the XP tactic looks like a single role tactic, it is not. In fact, it ignores the relief pitcher roles.

The XP tactic is designed to help owners/managers get maximum experience points for their human-owned relievers during each night�s 5-game sim.

Like all relief pitcher tactics, this tactic will be active only if starting pitcher tactics have pulled the starter.

The tactic selects the relief pitcher with the fewest game activities so far during the night�s 5-game sim*, and the tactic guarantees that the pitcher will complete the inning regardless of his energy level. As such, the tactic uses one reliever per inning.

At first, only human-owned relievers are eligible to be considered. Only after every human-owned reliever has qualified for max xp for the night will cpu relievers in the depth chart be considered when determining which reliever has the fewest game activities.

Since the purpose of this tactic is to get relievers into games, the tactic ignores IN% and OUT% settings in the depth chart (it is the only tactic that ignores these settings). All human-owned, nonstarters are covered by this tactic, even when they are not listed in the depth chart. (By the way, all other relief pitcher tactics involve only pitchers on the depth chart.)

* Whenever there is a tie among players for fewest game activities (which will always be the case the first time a relief pitcher is needed in the night's sim), a lottery system that favors youngest player is implemented.

Combination Relief Pitcher Role Images

Because some game situations call for more complicate tactics, we provide several combination images in the Relief Pitcher Roles section at the top of the page. These images allow a team to specify in advance a tactical change in relief pitchers for certain changes in game situations.

Combo images may be used in both the Simple and Advanced situation grids.

For example, when your team has a one-run lead, a team might normally want the Set-Up Man to pitch the 8th inning and follow with the Closer for the 9th. However if the Set-Up Man lets two runners reach base, you might want to go to the Closer early, while it's still in the 8th inning, instead of waiting until the 9th inning to bring in the Closer.

To handle these situations, we have created a set of Combination Relief Pitcher Images.

Here is what the advanced RP image looks like for that situation.

Understanding Combo Relief Pitcher Images.

Combination images have structure that make them easy to read. The components are

  • a default relief pitcher role,
  • an override relief pitcher role,
  • the game conditions under which the override RP role replaces the default RP role, and
  • special features (which are not always present).

 

The default pitcher, indicated in the image to the left, is the Set-Up Man. The default relief pitcher is always shown as the first pitcher in the top row of the image.

 

The override pitcher, indicated in the image to the left, is the Closer. The override reliever is always shown as the second pitcher in the top row of the image.

 

The conditions under which the override releiver will replace the default reliever are always shown in the bottom row of the imeage. In this case there is one condition, which is circled in the image to the left.

 

Special features are always shown in the middle of the top row of the imeage. Some combo images have no special features,but in this case there is one special feature - the lock, which is circled in the image to the left.

Normal Combo Image Logic Unless changed by a special feature, normal combo image logic is that once the override pitcher comes in, he finishes the inning unless the game situaion changes.

Game Conditions in Combo Images That Cause the Override Reliever to Replace the Default Reliever.

The baseball diamond with a number inside of it represents how many runners are on base simultaneously. If a combo image includes this condition, tactics would call for the override relief pitcher to come in if two batters reach base at the same time for any reason. (This condition is not triggered if two batters reach base, but they are never both on base at the same time.)

    Crossed bats represent a team's better hitters - defined as any batter in the 3rd, 4th or 5th spots of the opposing team's batting order. This condition would cause the override rp from the combo image to replace the default rp on the combo image if the batter is from the 3rd through 5th spots in the batting order.

    A single L represents a left-handed batter. This condition will replace the default pitcher with the override relief pitcher when a left-handed hitter comes up to bat.

    A double L represents two left-handed hitters coming to the plate in a row. If this condition is shown in a combo image, the game will check the handedness of not only the hitter coming up to bat, but the handedness of the on-deck hitter as well. If both hitters bat left-handed, the override pitcher on the combo image will be brought in to replace the default pitcher on the combo image.

Special Features.

    A lock guarantees that an override pitcher is guaranteed to finish the inning even a change in the game situation (i.e. change to a new cell in the tactics grid) would call for a different relief pitcher role.

    A back-and-forth arrow forces the override pitcher out and brings in a default pitcher when the override conditions are no longer true. (Normal combo image logic leaves the override pitcher in the game even if the override condition is no longer met.) Exception: when a lefty specialist enters the game due to the logic, he will stay in the game to pitch to the second left-handed batter even if the following batter is right-handed.

Game Example Illustrating How A Simple Combo Image Works

To understand how a combo image works, consider the following game situation. It is the 8th inning and your team is up by one run. The Basic Game Situation grid has this combo image in place for the "8th inning/ahead by 1" run game situation.

If the starter has been pulled by the starting pitcher tactics, the combo image calls for the setup man to begin pitching the 8th inning. The relief pitcher tactics works with the pitcher depth chart and the tactic will bring into the game the first pitcher listed in the depth chart as a setup man who also meets the energy IN% setting.

If the setup man does not allow two men to reach base at the same time, the setup man will finish the eigth inning. Then which ever relief pitcher comes in to pitch the 9th inning will be determined by what ever image is in the "9th inning/ahead by 1" cell of the Basic situations grid.

Instead, assume that the setup man does allow two base runners (at the same time) during the eigth inning. Since this is the condition on the combo image that triggers the entry of the override pitcher, the setup man will be pulled and replaced by the first pitcher listed in the depth chart as a closer who also meets the energy IN% setting..

If the closer gives up no runs, the closer will finish the inning.

Notice that the closer will finish the inning even if one baserunner is picked off and the override condion is no longer true. Normal combo image logic is that once the override pitcher comes in, he finishes the inning unless the game situaion changes.

If the closer gives up one, the game situation has changed - it is now the "8th/tie game" situation. If this cell of the Basic grid calls for a setup man, there will be a pitching change in the middle of the 8th inning. The depth chart will be consulted and the first setup man that meets the IN% energy will come in.

Three relief pitchers are used in this 8th inning scenario - two setup men and one closer are used in the 8th inning. (See the next example for how the lock would change this.)

If the "8th/tie game" situation cell of the Basic grid calls for a closer, there will not be a pitching change in the middle of the 8th inning because a closer is already on the mound.

Game Example Illustrating How the Lock Works

Again, it is the 8th inning and your team is up by one run. The Basic Game Situation grid has the combo image in place for the "8th inning/ahead by 1" run game situation.

If the starter has been pulled by the starting pitcher tactics, the combo image calls for the setup man to begin pitching the inning.

Assume that the setup man proceeds to allow two batters to reach base at the same time during the eigth inning - the setup man will be pulled and replaced by the closer during the eigth inning.

If the closer gives up one, the game situation has changed - it is now the "8th/tie game" situation. If this cell of the Basic grid calls for a setup man, there would have been a pitching change in the middle of the 8th inning - but the lock prevents it. The lock guarantees that the override pitcher will finish the inning even if the game situation changes.

With a lock, only two relief pitchers are used in this 8th inning scenario - one setup man followed by one closer. The lock prevented a setup man from coming back in the game to replace the closer when the game situation changed.

Game Example Illustrating How the Back-and-Forth Arrow Works

To understand how the back-and-forth arrow works, let's examine combo images with and without the back-and-forth arrow in the same game situation. Assume it is the 8th inning and your team is up by one run.

Without the Back-and-Forth Arrow -

Assume that the Basic Game Situation grid has the above combo image in place for the "8th inning/ahead by 1" run game situation.

Assuming that the starter has been pulled by the starting pitcher tactics, the combo image has brought in a setup man to start pitching the 8th inning.

Now assume that the setup man proceeds to allow one batter to reach base during the eigth inning and a right-handed batter is up at the plate. Since both conditions on the combo image are not satisfied (the batter is not a lefty), the setup man will continue to pitch. Assume he gets the first out.

Now assume that the next batter up is a lefty. Since both of the conditions on the combo image are satisfied, that triggers the entry of the override pitcher - the setup man will be pulled and replaced by a lefty specialist on the depth chart that meets the IN% energy setting.

But the LS2 means that the lefty specialist listed first on the depth chart will be skipped over in case a more important need for a lefty specialist arises later in the game. This combo image will bring the second-listed lefty specialist. If the second-listed LS does not meet the IN% energy setting, the third-listed lefty specialist will be brought in. If no other LS meets the IN% setting (or if only one pitcher is listed as an LS), the #1 lefty specialist on the depth chart will enter the game.

Assume the left-handed batter is walked by the LS2 and the next three batters are right handed. Now we are at the crucial point - normal combo image logic says that once the override pitcher is brought in, he will stay in for the rest of the inning (assuming he gets the remaining batters out and, therefore, the game situation doesn't change and cause a new image to become the controling tactic).

In this example, two relief pitchers were used in the 8th inning - one setup man and one lefty specialist.

For those who want to be able to alternate back and forth between a lefty-specialist, we created the back-and-forth arrow special feature.

With the Back-and-Forth Arrow -

If we go back to the crucial point in the prior example, just after the left-handed batter is walked by the LS2 and the next three batters are right handed.

The back-and-forth arrow special feature changes how the image logic works. When the back-and-forth arrow is present, as soon as the override condition is no longer true, the override pitcher is replaced by the default pitcher.

In this example, because the next batter is right-handed, the override condition is no longer true. Therefore, the override pitcher (LS2) will be replaced by the default pitcher role (SM).

Be careful - a combo image with the back-and-forth arrows has the potential to burn up quite a few relief pitchers in one inning. In the above example, if the 8th inning presented a batting order with a string of 5 handedness changes in sequence (R-L-R-L-R), this tactics image could use up 5 pitchers in one inning (if that many were availble).



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