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Ron Gardenhire, Super Genius
Posted by Jeff Erickson at 8/14/2007 11:44:00 PM
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On Monday night, in a 3-3 game against the Mariners, the Twins went to the bottom of the ninth using Matt Guerrier in his second inning of work. Guerrier gave up the game-winning homer to Richie Sexson. Why was Guerrier still in the game? Why wasn't Joe Nathan used? Nathan hadn't pitches since Aug. 5, so it wasn't a matter of overuse. No, it was just the latest example of a manager "saving" his best reliever until there was a save situation, instead of using him with the game on the line. The Twins would have been much better off using Nathan right there, and even using him for two innings if necessary. If there's any pretense of the Twins competing in the AL Central, that's a game they had to win. Instead, by managing by the save rule, they lost a critical game.

Meanwhile, Mariners closer J.J. Putz *was* brought in to work the ninth in a tie game. That's ok though, Gardy was able to let Nathan get his work in on Tuesday night, protecting a precarious eight-run lead.


Sadly this isn't just Gardy, but how most managers. The old school guys lament the "stat heads" but then manage to a stat - the save.
Posted by schoenke at 8/15/2007 1:00:00 AM
That's how 99% of managers use their bullpens late in the game when it's tied. In a tie game on the road, the closer never comes in until they take the lead. At home though, it's OK to use the closer in the ninth inning of a tie game. I doesn't make sense, but every manager does it. Ned Yost abides by that rule every time, and I've seem most other managers do the same thing.

I don't think it has anything to do with the manager not wanting to use the closer unless it's a save situation, becuase they don't do it in home games. They all have some wierd idea that on the road they'll need one more pitcher even after they take the lead so they need to save the closer to pitch that innnig, instead of another reliever.
Posted by herbilk at 8/15/2007 6:42:00 AM
It is all about the save rule. On the road, the skippers save the closer for that possible save, come hell or high water. At home, you can't have a save chance once the game heads to the top of the ninth tied, so the newer version of "the book" says bring in your closer then. (I actually like the latter strategy, but otherwise, I generally hate how teams handle their bullpens. Use your best guy when the game situation appears to be at its most critical, dammit.)
Posted by spianow at 8/15/2007 9:59:00 PM
I assume all who complained are also the ones who boo when a visiting pitcher throws over to first during an at bat.
Posted by tojos15 at 8/16/2007 1:58:00 PM

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