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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There is the one thing that everyone is talking about....Bringing in David Price, with 2 outs in the 5 innings, and the Blue Jays up by 6.

Off the top, there was something I didn't know about the situation. Aaron Loup was not at the game. He left before the game to "deal with a family issue". I hope all is ok in his world. That does add another variable to the whole thing.

But, for me, up by 6, 2 outs in the 5th, no I wouldn't have removed R.A. Dickey for Price. That doesn't mean I think the move was 'insane' or that Gibby should be fired or anything. I have to put that there because every time I say I disagree, someone thinks I think Gibby should be fired. If we fired everyone that I disagreed with, it would be a long season.

Nor do I think, as I keep reading on Twitter, that "because the Jays won, this shouldn't be questioned". What a silly idea that is.

Anyway,  2 outs, in the 5th inning, with a runner on first, there was a 95% chance of a win. It's the definition of a low leverage spot. Shin-Soo Choo, a lefty was up, and Gibby did say something about Choo hitting Dickey well. A quick look at Baseball Reference, yeah he has 5 singles and a double, plus 3 walks in 16 PA. So, he sort of hits Dickey well, but 16 PA is a very small sample and I wish Gibby wouldn't use small samples as an excuse to make a pitching move.

A better reason for the move is that Choo hits right-handers well. RA isn't your normal right-hander, but that reasoning would, at least, be reasonable.

I would have liked Dickey to pitch to Choo. If the worst possible thing happens, Choo hits a 2-run homer, and the Jays are up by 4. If Choo got a hit, then, yeah I'd consider a move.

I also didn't like Price throw 50 pitches, in a low leverage spot. If he had pitched an inning or two innings, he would have been able to relieve in game 5. 50 pitches, well maybe he can pitch in game 5 (it is game 5, every one is available), but how effective will he be. Add in that, if Loup isn't back, Price would be our only lefty in the pen for game 5,  I really really would like him available and not tired.

People, on Twitter, said it was Gibby showing confidence in Marcus Stroman. Personally, I think picking Stroman to start game 5 over David Price, one of the best pitchers in baseball, is showing enough confidence in Stroman. I have confidence in Stroman too. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to have every possible weapon available in the bullpen for game 5.

Game 5 could be a totally different game. Maybe (God forbid) we don't score 8 runs. Maybe the game goes into extra innings and we could use someone like Price who could go several innings. Maybe Loup won't be back and there will be that moment where we really could use a lefty.

Or maybe you just shouldn't use a potential Cy Young winner in a low leverage spot.

The reasons to bring in Price yesterday:

  • The main one is that he warmed up. Once he warmed up, he really had to get into the game. As much as that's circular thinking, I got him up to warm, well once he's warm he has to go in the game. As manager, Gibby controls whether he warms up or not.
  • Maybe, to shut down controversy. If Price didn't pitch then, if you pick Stroman to start Wednesday's game, you are picking him over a Cy Young candidate. That seems wrong somehow. So, you pitch Price in the game before and no more controversy. I think it is a silly reason. If you picked Stroman, have the courage of your convictions and don't listen to me when I say 'the guy that you traded for to pitch in games like this has to get the start'.
  • Because the Astros lost, after having a big lead, earlier in the day. I saw this on Twitter a hundred times. That's working way too hard to justify the move. First, I don't think the Astros lost because they didn't pull their starter in the 5th inning with a 6 run lead. Second, I have confidence in RA. I really didn't think Price going in made it more or less likely that we would win.
There are some fair questions about whether this move will damage the Jays chances of re-signing Price. I don't know, I wouldn't like to try to figure out what is going on in his head. That he got himself up in the bullpen, throwing in the first inning, without Gibby asking, tends to make me think he was ok with going into the game. I think, if we win tomorrow and go further in the playoffs and perhaps he wins a couple of starts, all will be forgotten.

Will the 'w' get people off of Price's back for being 0-6 in the playoffs? Of course not. And, may I say, the win rule is pretty stupid. I mean, back when they made the rule that that starter had to go 5 innings to earn a win, they couldn't imagine a starter not going 5 innings. Now, well, the game has changed, time to change the rule.

Will this effect RA's confidence going forward? Again, I don't think I would want to get into his head, as much as it seems like a strange and wondrous place, but I think the second half of the season should have built up his confidence nicely. I guess maybe he will be wondering what his manager thinks of him a bit. His quote "So you're an employee, and sometimes you don't necessarily lie what your boss wants you to do" doesn't suggest he's the happiest camper.

Anyway, some links:



Beyond the Boxscore didn't like the move. (But gets a couple of facts wrong).

Now questioning the move doesn't mean I'm less than thrilled about Game Five. I am thrilled we are here. I wish I didn't have to wait until tomorrow to watch it. Nor does it mean I'm cheering against Stroman or that I'm hoping something bad will happen. I'm not. I'm hoping we score 15 runs and Stroman throws a no-hitter (pinch running for Edwin in the ninth).


An appeal to authority is all we have. Because if this isn't a carefully measured decision, something beyond the idea that Price is weak in the postseason, something that isn't an overreaction to a bad start, it has a chance to be remembered in 30 years. It has a chance to be one of the great what-were-you-thinking baseball decisions of our time.