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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blowing the Game

Adam writes on last night's Cards-Brewers game, one in walk off fashion by the Brewers:

I was perusing the Cards-Brewers play-by-play to see how Isringhausen blew another save tonight and I noticed two things.

** 1 - The unwritten law that managers live by of going to their closer in save situations automatically. Even though Ryan Franklin went 1-2-3 in the 8th, retiring Cameron, Braun and Fielder (the 2-3-4 hitters) on 5 pitches, Larussa gives the ball to Izzy for the 9th, who promptly blew his 5th save and raised his ERA to 7.47.

** 2 - From Cameron's pop out to open the 8th inning thru Bill Hall's flyout for the 2nd out of the 9th, the Cardinals recorded 5 outs on 5 pitches. Each of the next 4 batters swung at and were retired on the first pitch. Seemed kind of odd, but who knows, maybe it happens all the time!!

Something I've talked about before is the more often a manager changes pitchers, the more likely he's going to find one having a bad day. If a reliever is brought in and pitches well, and hasn't reached a credible pitch limit, why not let him continue? Franklin did the heavy lifting, facing Cameron, Braun and Fielder in the eighth. The rest of the lineup should have been a bit easier. On top of that, Franklin is pitching better than Izzy this season. It's amazing to me that a manager who thinks outside the box on lineup construction is sticky to the conventional wisdom on relievers.

Not really. Tony invented the conventional wisdom with the Athletics, so why should he be wrong now.

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