If we were making a list of things managers do that drive the more sabermetric oriented baseball fan crazy, losing an extra innings game with your best relievers sitting in the bullpen has to be near the top of the list. For me it's right up there with leaving a starter in one batter too long.
Anyway, last night, we are in extra innings and on the mound we have Todd Redmond, who, not trying to put the guy down, is pitcher number 7 in a 7-man bullpen., while Sergio Santos and Brett Cecil continued to sit. Apparently the roughly 50% chance that we could win the game wasn't sufficiently high leverage enough to use them. Saving guys for a 'save' is a strategy that forward thinking managers gave up on years ago.
Anyway. Redmond wasn't bad. The reason we lost was the lack of offense, not the pitching. I keep trying to remind myself that it is early, but this season is starting to remind me of the 'Gary Denbo' season. If you are lucky enough to have erased Denbo from your memory banks, he became our hitting coach in 2008, with great credentials. Everyone loved him. Derek Jeter said he was the best in the game. TV and radio guys talked about him incessantly. He got more face time on TV than most of the players. He was going to be the guy that turned our hitters into guys that would grind out every at bat, change us from a team that tried to hit the ball out of the park into a group that would work the pitcher, go with the pitch, yadda yadda yadda.
It didn't work out.
I don't know. I don't like hitting coaches that come in with a philosophy and figure they are going to get all the players to 'buy in'. Players that have had success....Don't Mess With Them.
I'm not really a big fan of the '3rd strike approach, at least not for everyone. I remember Jack Nicklaus said that a golfer carries 15 clubs but should only have one swing. I kind of think that about batters. If you are changing the way you swing, depending on the count, that sets you up to have different problems to work out with each swing.
Maybe we should have kept to the two hitting coach approach from last year. Let the batters work with someone they have a level of comfort.
It is early, I'm hoping the bats come around pretty soon, but it is starting to remind me of Denbo.
Another little crappy moment was when Jose Bautista was picked off of second, when he wandered too far off second when a ball bounced away from Orioles catcher Steve Clevenger. Jose couldn't decide whether to go to third or stay at second and he did neither. That's the second time Jose has been picked off at second. That's gotta stop. We don't get enough guys into scoring position, once there, we can't have them put out so easily.
Suckage: Neil Wagner (-.186, for giving up the first run of the game), Maicer Izturis (-.237, 0 for 5, maybe his little hot streak is over), Edwin Encarnacion (-.213, for his 1 for 5), Adam Lind (-.175, 1 for 4) and Brett Lawrie (0 for 4 with a walk).
Our GameThreads had 2064 comments. Wow. Pretty great for a Saturday night game. Pikachu led the way with 206. Great work. An inspiration for us all.
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