More on yesterday’s game.
The running through the entire bullpen thing gets to me. I have always felt that extra innings games are when we see the difference between a good manager and a manager. I know that, with the runner on second thing, we don’t get the 14, 15, 16 games like before times, but yesterday, in a close game, a game that could have easily gone to extras, John Schneider had used seven relievers through 9 innings. Had the Cardinals tied the game, he only had Thornton left in the pen.
He could have stretched Pop out beyond 13 pitches or Swanson past 17.
I mean, he didn’t know that Mayza wouldn’t be able to get anyone out or that Bass would only get one out, but a manager should know that if he is going to use a half dozen relievers, one or two of them won’t have it that day. So ride the ones doing well for a bit.
Did it seem to anyone else that we had there were many ‘seeing-eye’ singles?
There were 27 singles between the two teams. Twelve were hit under 80 MPH. Six more were between 80 and 86 MPH. Only seven of the singles were hit over 100 MPH.
I wonder if that’s because of the lack of shifts. Or maybe something to do with the pitch clock and fielders not being quite as ready.
Or, as likely, just a one-game thing, don’t read too much into a small sample size. But then there were several high-scoring games yesterday. You’d think that we would have seen more low-scoring games with every team throwing out their number one starter.
In the ninth inning, with Whit Merrifield on third and Kevin Kiermaier on first, George Springer had one of those seeing-eye singles. Merrifield waited at third to see that it dropped, but Kiermaier, I thought, read it well and went first to third. If the ball had been caught, Kiermaier could have been doubled off first.
But someone on Twitter suggested that Kiermaier tempted the Cardinals to throw behind him. If the ball had been caught, throwing to double up Kiermaier, it would have easily allowed Merrifield to score the tying run.
If that’s what he was doing, he’s a brilliant baseball player. I still think it is more likely that, from his angle, he could see that it would fall for a hit. And getting to third, he scored easily on Vladimir Guerrero’s fly ball. Vlad does deserve credit for not trying to do too much, just popping that ball into center, plenty deep enough to score the winning run.
I see that GameDay now shows Bo Bichette’s overthrow in the first inning as an error, which it should have been in the first place. But then maybe it was initially an error, and GameDay mislabeled it.
Jordan Romano was terrific in the bottom of the ninth. His fastball got to 98.4 MPH (not quite the 103.8 Jordan Hicks put up, but Hicks gave up 3 hits, 1 walk and 2 earned).
Lastly, I’m thrilled that real life didn’t go the same way as my OOTP opening day game, where Springer got injured and is out for the first two months of the season. It has put me off from playing the game. The Jays might have some depth, but losing Springer hurts the team’s offense.