The World According to Keitho

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Baseball the corporate way

Posted by keithosaunders on April 17, 2010

Back in the ’70s when I was growing up, if a pitcher was pitching a shutout you expected him to finish the game.  Relief pitchers were used to get out of late inning jams and for mop up work.  If there was a bases loaded, 1 out situation in the 7th inning, you might even see the closer enter the game , because that was when he was really needed.  That same closer might even pitch the remaining 2.2. innings.  Kent Tekulve, who was the closer for the World Series winning Pittsburgh Pirates, often pitched well over 100 innings a season. 

Fast forward to present day when a six inning, 3 run performance is considered a quality start.  Complete games, unless your name is Roy Halliday, have gone the way of the dinosaur, and closers would prefer that you bring them in to start the inning lest their delicate psyche be damaged.

Last night’s Mets game, in which Oliver Perez was removed from a game with one out in the 7th inning that he was winning 1-0, was an abomination.  After a shaky first inning Perez had dominated a depleted Cardinal lineup, when in the 7th inning he allowed a leadoff infield single.  This was Jerry Manuel’s cue to go to his bullpen, thus opening the flood gates.  Hit by pitch, walk, Felipe Lopez dinger:  Ballgame.

It isn’t that the bullpen failed –that can happen on any given night  —  this was Oliver Perez’s game to win or lose.  If your lefty can’t remain in the game when he is pitching a shutout, when can he stay in?  At least give him the chance to get into a real jam.  This was asking for trouble. 

What kind of message are you sending to your staff by babying them?  That they can let up after 6 innings of work because help is on the way?  If you expect to win big games in September and October you are going to need more than 6 innings from your starters.   Even in this push button age I expect more from my manager than the gutless strategy he employed last night.

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One Response to “Baseball the corporate way”

  1. niklasba said

    Jerry Manuel is an abomination!!! Now I have to agree with him bringing Ike Davis up, but that was a no brainer, and either way, he has to go, soon!!!

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