Yesterday’s game will stand as one of those great playoff games in Blue Jays history.
A lot has been said about Buck Showalter leaving his best pitcher to rot in the pen in a one-game playoff. I’ll admit, my wife called it. Ubaldo Jimenez gave up those first two hits and Showalter came out, and I said ‘Damn they are pulling him’. My wife said no they won’t. I kind of laughed and said not a chance. Her reasoning was that he just came into the game, it wouldn’t be fair not to let him pitch more. She has a great playground sense of justice.
I’m glad Showalter sided with her.
If it was a regular season game, I’d likely give Showalter a pass. I mean it still would be the wrong move, but I do understand that using the closer just for saves is a method to save the manager from overusing the his best pitcher. If you go back the 1970’s, you’d see guys like Mike Marshall pitching in, well in one season, 106 games, logging 208 innings, all in relief. Can you imagine 200 innings of relief. 200 inning from a starter is a big deal now.
Marshall was the closer, but closers, back then would pitch in any game that was close. And 2 or 3 (or more) innings if needed. Not surprisingly, he ended up having arm problems. Marshall’s use wasn’t unusual at the time.
A few years later, managers, to protect themselves from themselves, went to the idea of closers just working 1 inning at a time and only in when there was a save to be had. Managers could protect their best pitchers arms, and save themselves from having to make an in-game decision. When you have 162 games to manage, there are a lot of decisions to be made, when you can save yourself one, it makes life easier.
It also keeps you from being fired.
Showalter’s problem was that he didn’t realize the rules have to change in a one game playoff. You have to use your best pitchers. Saving Britton for the next game is really stupid when there is no guarantee of a next game.
Grant Brisbee thinks that yesterday’s reaction to Showalter’s decision will bring the end to managers making mistakes like that in the future. I’m not so sure:
Out of curiosity, texted three managers this morning. Found it interesting that all three said Showalter did the right thing.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) October 5, 2016
I find it hard to believe that 3 managers could be shown the answers to a test, and still fail it.
Before the season, I was hoping Gibby would use Roberto Osuna in a less traditional role. Use him as closer, but also use him for 2, maybe 3 innings on occasion. Use him in tied games. Use him in the 7th if the need arises. Don’t have him pitch 100 times, or 200 innings, but 50 times for 85 to 100 innings. Some hybrid between how Marshall was used and how closers are used now. It would mean someone else would get some save opportunities, but I think that’s a small price to pay. I hate the idea that there is only one pitcher on each team who can be used in save spots.
I’ve been asked twice already today if I thought that Edwin Encarnacion made himself more money yesterday. My answer is ‘it really can’t hurt him’, but he hit 42 homers this season, he was going to get paid even without yesterday’s home run. Baseball teams will always pay for power. I’d love the Jays to re-sign him (presuming it is for a reasonable number of years).
I also think that Jose Bautista could be a good ‘buy low’ signing. I think, if he’s a first baseman/DH he’d have fewer injuries and would put up better numbers. He had a pretty big home run yesterday too.
The Score tells us that Toronto police are asking the person that threw the beer can to ‘turn himself in’. Yeah that will happen.
These things bug me, mostly because it makes all Toronto fans look bad. And you know it doesn’t take much to get the US press to say stupid things about Canadian fans. Heck, it doesn’t take much to get Toronto media to say stupid things about Toronto fans.
But then, this fan deserves to be celebrated:
If you would have told me that Ezequiel Carerra would be a big part of us making the playoffs I would have never believed. That’s the great thing about baseball, it never stops surprising you.
I’m guessing our rotation goes Happ Thursday, Sanchez Friday, Estrada Sunday, Stroman Monday (if needed) and Sanchez Wednesday (if needed).
Rangers will have Cole Hamels pitch game one and then Martin Perez, Colby Lewis and Yu Darvish in some order with Hamels pitching the 5th game if we get there.
I’m hoping for no bean balls, no brawls, no stupidity. But I’d love Jose to have another epic bat flip.
We had one pretty prefect prediction in our thread yesterday:
Terrific call....now about Saturday’s lotto numbers.
I was close, called it 4-2, and a Bautista home run.
It is Bill James birthday. I can’t properly express how big a part Bill James played in my love of baseball. When he’s books came out, I was insufferable, talking about him all the time to family and friends, when they weren’t really interested at all.