Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Value of Hindsight

You know that moment after your lefty specialist gives up a three run homer to David Ortiz/Jim Thome/Jason Giambi/Prince Fielder/Adrian Gonzalez/Carlos Pena/Ryan Howard and you scream at your TV that your manager is some type of giant idiot? Yeah, let’s stop doing that. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t question your manager, but managing 2 plays behind the game is a totally different beast than managing in the moment, largely in that you know exactly what not to do.

As an example of when it’s appropriate to question your manager, Joe Girardi looked to be provoking fate last night with Freddy Garcia last night, Garcia was gassed, and his command wasn’t there through most of his 4.2 innings last night. Sure Garcia’s a veteran, and he should be able to get out of a jam or two, but when you’re routinely missing the plate by over a foot, and your spot by well more than that, it’s time to come out. Garcia’s selective stat line from last night (4.2IP, 3ER, 3K, 3BB) only illuminates his trouble spotting his pitches. Looking at some other stats, he had 5 wild pitches, and a WHIP of 1.50 in less than 5 innings of play. His command wasn’t there, and a wild pitch in the 5th gave Robert Andino a chance to jog in from 3rd. Girardi second guessed himself, walking out to the mound, and making a near immediate about face rather than calling to the ‘pen, and ended up putting his team in a 4-1 hole because of it. Everyone watching saw Freddy was done, laboring to 98 pitches. There was no doubt that a pitching change was coming, but most fans had to expect the change earlier.

However, had Boone Logan given up a solo shot in the 9th to end the game, it would have been unfair to hammer Girardi for going with the lefty on lefty split. There’s no reason to assume that your manager is perfect, but calling for him to be fired if he pinch hits for your No. 9 hitter and it doesn’t pan out is just as foolish.

1 comment:

  1. As I'm reading this, Jaime Garcia has a pitch count of 70 in the 5th after giving up 10 hits and 1 ER (lots of singles and one double), but no walks. And in CitiField, Strasburgh has 2 innings under his belt with 45 pitches and Santana has 60 in 2+ innings. A lot of pitchers getting up in pitch counts early. I think bats usually are further along in developing and/or "getting in groove".