It's the top of the seventh inning of the Blue Jays at Orioles on Friday night, 2-2 game, two out. Daniel Cabrera (righty) just walked Frank Thomas to load the bases on his 109th pitch. Matt Stairs (lefty) is 5-for-16 against Cabrera lifetime, including 1-for-3 during that game. The Orioles have Chad Bradford (righty) and John Parrish (lefty) up in the bullpen: Stairs is 1-for-2 against Bradford and hasn't faced Parrish. The catch is the Blue Jays didn't start Vernon Wells (righty), on account of his 1-for-19 mark against Cabrera. Wells is 4-for-10 career against Bradford, 3-for-7 against Parrish.
You're Orioles' manager Sam Perlozzo. Do you:(1) Leave Cabrera in the game and hope he can get Stairs out
(2) Insert Parrish, (0.00 ERA, 13 K), who will probably have to face a pinch-hitting Wells
(3) Insert Bradford, (1.69 ERA, 1 K), who might face the lefty Stairs, or a pinch-hitting Wells
Perlozzo chose Parrish, who gave up a rocket shot that deflected off a diving Melvin Mora's glove at third base, scoring two runs and putting the Blue Jays up 4-2. My initial reaction was that Bradford should have been the choice. Wells-Parrish is not the matchup that you want, and if the Blue Jays leave the left-handed Stairs in to face Bradford, Bradford's slow submarine delivery could contrast nicely against Cabrera's high-90s fastball. Or, if they bring in Wells, you get the righty-righty matchup, though Wells has hit Bradford well in the past. Thinking about it further, Parrish has been the team's best reliever this season, so it's not surprising Perlozzo chose him. But still, Perlozzo had to know they'd pinch hit with Wells against Parrish -- maybe he should have taken his chances with Stairs against either Bradford or Cabrera.