Re: Dodgers, Braves and dumb managers
posted at 10/8/2013 8:13 AM EDT
In response to MadMc1944's comment:
I found the Sox piching changes last night interesting--Especially Workman and Morales--In addition to pulling Ortiz and WMB for pinch runners.
I got the feeling-I may be the only person on the planet feeling this way:
A. JF possibly thinking he would outduel Maddon on moves and surprise moves or
B. He felt this game was not the biggest and most important esp. after blowing the three run lead.
My concern about Farrell is that he doesn't play percentages. Okay hindsight is 20/20--seldom , if ever, does he walk the opposing batters best hitter---last night he had 1 B open with Longoria coming up. That's a big moment. Maddon would not let Ortiz beat him with runners on---no way. If Napoli beats him it's the pitchers fault. If Myers beats Buch it's Buch's fault---but the manager with the game under control doesn't let the best hitter beat him.
JF continually plays the card and doesn't pitch around him---Percentages are against you JF, beware.
A couple more points about Farrell and Maddon last night. First, Ortiz is better with RISP than Longoria, but both are worse when they go lefty vs. lefty or righty vs. righty, which is what Longoria faced in the 5th. Plus Buch had already gotten him out twice. Plus Longoria did not hit the game winner, he only tied the game. The Rays later went up one run only because of the Pedroia-Drew collision when Pedroia lost his balance on the grounder up the middle.
In retrospect, I think the 4th inning, in which Buch gave up 0 runs but needed 30 pitches thanks to lousy calls by the homeplate ump, set up the Rays rally in the 5th in which Buch was clearly struggling. His fastball was up, he couldn't throw his breaking balls for strikes, etc. And, as I said before, after Longoria's dinger, Buch walked Myers and gave up a single to Zobrist before getting the third out. I was amazed when Buch came out for the 6th inning, but it was against the bottom of the Rays order and he got three pop outs.
I thought overall Farrell made several good moves last night. People griped when Breslow only pitched against two batters, one of whom got a hit, but Tazawa did a great job to get the last two outs in the 7th, including a K for Longoria--again, righty vs. righty, but Tazawa wasn't tired as Buch was in the 5th. The Rays run in the 8th was just bad luck for the Sox--collision on a very playable grounder. Pinch-running, Berry for Ortiz, was also the right move, but the Sox lineup could not deliver on three straight at bats with a man on second, which Berry stole. Later Carp went in as the DH, lefty vs. righty, and looked at a called third strike--not Farrell's fault, but worth noting he had a good lefty bat, Carp, for when and if Ortiz had to be taken out for a pinch runner. Oh, sending Buch back out for the 6th was also a smart move even though I would never have done it because I thought Buch was through.
The dumbest thing Farrell did last night was to send out Uehara in the bottom of the 9th and left him in to face the most feared clutch hitter in the Rays lineup, the dreaded Lobaton, who hammered a splitter in the bottom of the strike zone. When that happened, Farrell still had two starters, Dempster and Doubront, left to go extra innings, but the Rays got a huge break when Lobaton got lucky.