Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to extend a losing streak

1. Bring in your only lefty in the bullpen to start a clean inning against the bottom of your opponents lineup.
2. Watch as that lefty hits the next two batters and walks a third on four pitches. To add insult to injury, that batter was actually trying to sacrifice. The bases are now loaded with no outs.
3. Despite the fact that your opponent has a lefty up and a switch hitter on deck, bring in Dan Wheeler, leaving high strikeout guys like Bard and Jenks on the bench. Oh, and Dan Wheeler gets killed by lefties, allowing 11 HR in 11 IP over the last 3 years against them.
4. Miraculously, this move doesn't bite you in the ass. Instead of capitalizing on a potential double play line drive, drop it. Tag third, throw to the catcher, and watch as the catcher, the major league veteran of nearly twenty years oft praised for his baseball IQ, lets the runner cross home without tagging him out.
5. Now facing that switch hitter, leave that reliever in who gets killed by anyone batting left handed at all. Try not to hurt your neck as you turn to watch the ball fly out of the park.

A lot of mistakes here, but the one that worries me the most is Francona's misuse of Wheeler. There is just no way that Wheeler should face a left handed hitter in a close game. The reason Wheeler has been an effective pitcher over the last few years is that Joe Maddon has done a spectacular job picking the right match-ups and protecting him from left handed hitters. And to leave Bard and Jenks on the bench, the two guys who had the best shot at getting the Red Sox out of that jam with a strikeout or two, is unforgivable.

1 comment:

  1. Well, they found a new way to lose today. Nothing quite kills a two out rally in the ninth like falling down rounding second base and getting thrown out after a single.