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It's Pouring in Marinerville
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 4/19/2007 6:18:00 PM
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It's going to be a long year in Marinerville, so from time to time I'm going to have to use this as a sounding board for the betterment of my mental health. Perhaps consider this the first installment of "Hargrove Watch."

Wednesday's game situation: 2-1 lead, 7th inning, bases loaded, one out, a righty due up for the Twins

OK, so Mike Hargrove looks to his pen and tabs ... Julio Mateo?? Yes. The worst righty late-inning reliever in his pen. Forget Chris Reitsma (not that he's nails, but still), he's a set-up man so he can only pitch the eighth inning, of course. Forget Brandon Morrow, his mid-90s fastball was good enough to land him a spot on the team where he can pitch once a week and waste his No. 1 draft pick arm istead of being groomed as starter in the minors, but he's still apparently too green to pitch in such a high-leverage situation.

No, instead, let's go with a guy who's "fastball" tops out at about 88 mph, who allowed more than third of his inherrited runners to score last season, and, most important, a guy who is a fly-ball pitcher (career G/F 0.61) when you are praying for a inning-ending double-play ball.

Think managers don't make a difference?

This is also a perfect example of why trading Rafael Soriano was so bad. Last year, it would have been either Soriano or Mark Lowe is this situation. Soriano is gone, Lowe is injured, so the answer is now ... Mateo??


I've caught the end of their last two games -- what exciting finishes. Last night the tying run got thrown out at the plate and tonight Guillen struck out with the tying run at second. Frustrating, huh...
Posted by jtopper at 4/19/2007 7:50:00 PM
You and I traded IM's on this, but this is a blatant example of managing by the save rule. Why not J.J. Putz here? Was there a more important part of the game? Just hilarious to see managers save their closers for a save situation that never occurs.
Posted by Erickson at 4/19/2007 11:41:00 PM
Here's the counterargument:

In a nutshell, if you bring in Reitsma to face Cuddyer with the lefty Morneau on deck then your set-up man will have faced only one batter. To which I say, so what? Reitsma -- if he doesn't get a double play -- faces one batter, lefty Sherrill faces Morneau. Then Morrow pitches the eighth with Putz pitching the ninth. Is it a waste if your set-up man only faces one batter? Not if the game is on the line.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 4/20/2007 7:37:00 AM

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