Two managerial decisions that puzzled me while watching Game 3 of the World Series last night. Both touched up on by ThePrinceofNewYork, in his daily blog.
Why not pinch hit for Gabe Gross in the ninth inning against JC Romero? Gabe Gross is a lefty, JC Romero is a lefty. At the time of this, I thought to myself that Baldelli should be pinch hitting. But I didn’t have any numbers handy, even though I assumed that Baldelli against a lefty would make a lot more sense than Gross against a lefty. Excuse me for not knowing Gabe Gross’ splits off the top of my head while away from my computer. But I would have known this, and known it by heart, had I been managing the Rays last night. This was a bad managerial miscue in my opinion.
Why walk two batters to load the bases? I understand what they were trying to accomplish by walking the bases loaded. But the downside to doing that is having nowhere for the hitter to go. And “The Prince of New York” makes some good points as to why this may have been a poor idea. My opinion? Grant Balfour walked 24 hitters in 58 innings this season, which happens to be the only season worth mentioning. His career numbers indicate that he has had more trouble allowing free passes than one would like. But in the postseason, Balfour has eight walks in ten innings, and has displayed at times an inability to control where the ball is going. Now, I don’t know that I agree with walking the bases loaded with anyone on the mound, especially someone who knows how to stike batters out. But to make the decision to walk the bases loaded with a guy on the mound who may very well walk a batter on his own, may not have been the best decision. But Balfour gave up a weak grounder that ended the game anyway. However! That weak grounder may not not have scored that run, because the runner on third was forced home, and would not have been forced home with no one occupying the other two bases.