Sunday, October 10, 2004

Overmanage, undermanage, doesn't average out 

Atomizer is ranting mightily about the Twins loss. I attended both games, and Saturday's game was a case where a guy whom I've said overmanages games, undermanaged his second game of the Series. I don't have a major problem with pulling Santana after five innings, as he was not nearly as sharp as he was during the regular season. He was quite slow between pitches. No, the problem was that Gardy let himself lose the lead with the second-best reliever he has on the mound. Grant Balfour, who had pitched well the previous two innings with a four-run lead, was pulled because, well, it's the eighth inning and it's Rincon's inning. Then, as everything collapses around Rincon, where's Nathan? Until the homerun, he's sitting down. I swear, it was the only f-bomb I dropped in two games, which most people will tell you is under my norm. When Sierra's own bomb went off to right-center, the whole stadium knew it was a matter of time.

In doing this Gardy replayed the error from last Wednesday, again pulling Balfour for Rincon on the basis of roles being assigned by inning rather than by who is performing. As Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus pointed out, in that case it cost the Twins a quality righty for the 12th to protect Torii's homer instead of a tired Nathan.

Oh well, at least it sets up a new chapter in the epic struggle of the Red Sox. All roads to our own greatness pass through New York. Tom Maguire says bring it on. Careful what you wish for, pally.

UPDATE (10/11): Et tu, Saint Paul?