The interesting moment of last night's game was Gibby bringing Jeff Francis into the game, to start the 6th inning, with us down by just two. Francis really shouldn't be going into games unless they have already been decided. He has done a better job than I expected, but I still don't want him out there when we still have chance to win.
But, as Shi Davidi tells us, the Blue Jays have moved to 'defined roles' in the bullpen:
Consider that in the 13 games since moving to defined roles in the bullpen, manager John Gibbons' relievers have pitched to a 2.45 ERA in 13 games, allowing just 13 runs, 12 earned, on 28 hits and 16 walks in 44 innings. In the 20 games prior, the ERA was 4.45 in 64.2 innings, with 36 runs, 32 earned, on 60 hits and 26 walks.
What's that line about correlation not equaling causation?
I generally think the 'defined roles' thing is just a excuse to save managers from having to think during the game.
Shi goes on to talk to Aaron Loup who says he doesn't mind going into the game whenever the manager wants, but it is problem for others:
One of the ways defined roles makes it easier is by keeping relievers from constantly wondering when they might end up in a game. Life in the bullpen already comes with enough uncertainty, and Loup says lots of "mental energy" can be expended without a reliable framework.
"For me, I didn't mind because I like to pitch whenever I can get into the game, keep the game close and help out as much as I can, but definitely now having the more defined roles makes for a little less mental stress."
So this is the way things are going to go, it doesn't matter that the games on the line in the 6th, Francis could come in, Though I'm hoping it is more often Hendriks, Delabar or Tepera, but Gibby might 'play percentages' if there is a left-handed hitter coming up.
Anyway, that's the explanation of why Francis was used.
The other move that interested me was in the 7. We started the inning down 4-1, Pillar singled, stole second and scored on Ezequiel Carrera's double, which brought the tying run to the plate. It was Ryan Goins' spot. I expected Jose Bautista to pinch hit. I thought that was the perfect spot for Bautista, Jimenez seemed to be tiring. Goins did hit the ball hard, but Delmon Young made the catch. Hit the same ball out there 10 times, I bet 7 of them Delmon doesn't make the catch. I still think bringing Jose in would have been the right move, but he did get his chance in the 9th, where he was also the tying run and hit into a ground out.
I don't think saving a bat, in case there is another moment later in the game, is the right move.
Chris Colabello and Ezequiel Carrera went 4 for 6 on the day, giving them .571/.609/.810 and .429/.455/.571 batting lines respectively. Not so bad really.