clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

When good managers make bad decisions: bullpen edition

In Thursday's and Friday's games, we have great examples of high leverage and low leverage spots for the bullpen.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

There are things that managers do that just drive me crazy.

Let's take the last two days.

Thursday, Chien-Ming Wang is terrible, puts us down by 7 and is gone after 2.1 innings. It does put the manager in a bad spot, because he has, at least, 6.1 innings to navigate through. And it isn't like the old days when all relievers could pitch 3, 4 even 5 innings when needed.

So Aaron Loup comes in, I have no problem with that, someone has to take over for Wang. Then, to start the 4th, Juan Perez comes in, great move, down by 7 use the newest guy. And that he could go 3 innings (and 3 great innings), that's big. Perez shows the manager he could be tried in higher leverage spots.

After his 3 innings, we are down by 5 and we bring in Brett Cecil. Now, to me, Brett is one of the big three in the pen, Cecil, Delabar and Janssen are the guys that should get the highest leverage spots. No way Brett should be in this game, unless Brett needs the work, which he didn't. We have Neil Wagner and Dustin McGowan in the pen. Down by 5, one of those two should be used.

Anyway, Cecil does his inning and we score 2 in the top of the 8th so in the bottom of the inning, we are down by 3 with one inning to try to come back. Do we go with Wagner or McGowan? No Gibby goes with Steve Delabar. Steve Delabar whose last 10 outs were all strikeouts.

When Delabar entered that game, we had a 3.5% chance to win. He pitches a scoreless inning and we have a 4% chance of winning.

Then we have Friday's game. We have a tie game in the bottom of the 7th inning. Pretty high leverage spot. We have a 40.6% change of winning. And, maybe because we used Delabar yesterday, we go with Wagner. Two singles later, we have a 27.3% chance of winning. Cecil comes in. He worked Thursday in a low leverage spot. He's in in a tough spot now. Now, the wild pitch likely should have been blocked. But maybe, if he was rested, if he wasn't used down by 5 a day before, maybe he does a better job.

Anyway, Thursday down by a bunch we use our best relievers and leave Dustin McGowan and Neil Wagner (and I'm not trying to rag on these two, I think they are both good relievers, just that we have others that should get first shot at our high leverage spots) to sit.

Yesterday, in a tie game, about as high leverage a spot you could possibly have, Wagner pitches, Delabar watches. I don't get this. You have to use Delabar there, unless you don't think he can go, after pitching the inning yesterday.

And Dustin McGowan? I have no idea what kind of game Gibbons wants to use him in. If we aren't going to use him, why is he on the team? Unless there is something they aren't telling us. I'd imagine, if there were an injury, they would be happy to DL him. Personally, I thought he has looked quite good, in the few appearances he's had. In 4.1 innings, he's allowed 4 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks with 5 strikeouts. Yeah, there has been 2 home runs, but lets use him and see what he can do or lets dump him. If we gave up on everyone that allowed 2 runs in a stretch of 4.1 innings, we'd be running through the pitchers pretty quick.

I'd love to hear Gibbon's thinking on Dustin.

But, beyond that, let's use out best pitchers in the highest leverage spot and, if at all possible, keep them out of games that are already virtually decide.