Thursday, June 23, 2005

Game 73 at Petco Park... and a question of strategy

Posted by Hello

Today's game (a day game with a much higher attendance than Tuesday night - do these San Diegans not have work to go to?) was the final game in a 4 game set with the Dodgers.

In the top of the 8th, with the Padres 3-0 ahead, starter Brian Lawrence allowed a lead off double, followed by a walk. With 2 men on and 0 outs, manager Bruce Bochy (with his back pocket bulging with his new 2 year contract extension) went to his bullpen, calling on Akinori Otsuka, presumably with the intention of getting Trevor Hoffman into the game in the 9th inning to close out the game.

Otsuka got Cesar Izturis to pop out on his first pitch, before Mike Edwards ground out, moving the runners up to 2nd and 3rd. So 2 outs, men on 2nd and 3rd, Jayson Werth at the plate - no disrespect Jayson, but this was an out that Otsuka had to make. However, Otsuka walked him on 5 pitches - warning bells - bringing Jeff Kent to the plate. Kent singled, but this only brought one run in - Padres still ahead 3-1.

At this point, with 2 outs, the move has to be bring in your best pitcher - presumably, Trevor Hoffman. I can't believe that Olmedo Saenz has such extreme success against Hoffman that it wasn't the move to make - my thought at the time was that Hoffman may have been overused in the series and simply wasn't available.

Bochy stuck with Otsuka, who promptly gave up a 2 run single that tied the game - allowing Hoffman to be brought into the game in the 10th (blowing the unavailable excuse) in a non save situation... and promptly blow the game!

You often hear the arguement that managers are too rigid about the roles that they allot to pitchers in the bullpen - but in this situation, the game was clearly on the line. If Bochy did not believe that Hoffman could get 4 outs (which I struggle to believe), ask him to get the key out and allow some other reliever to do the bases empty stint in the ninth, even if it comes at the expense of a save for Hoffman.

0 threw a strike:

Post a Comment

<< Home