I miss the days Lou would stick Jeff Nelson in LF for a batter so he can keep him in the game.
So dig this scenario:
- McClendon had just reamed the M's out to start the 2nd half
- Saying things like the ballclub had embarrassed our owners, our GM, our fans, etc, all year (his words)
- M's faced against a monster opponent on their home field
- If you want an explanation why this team was a monster on this night in this context, we live to serve
- M's played sharply, crisply, with conviction and intelligence
- M's, using their #7 starter against the monster's 26-0 Japanese starter, were impressively tied 3-3 after 6 innings
- You can't fall behind, cuz Betances & Miller have made NY forget Mariano Rivera entirely
- Fringe slopball LH Beimel comes in to face LH Gardner, fans him
- McClendon leaves fringe slopball LH Beimel in to face RH 673-homer ARod, who has an OPS of 900
- Blowers says quietly to the TV audience "Hm, he's going to leave Beimel in?"
- In Blowers-speak this translates to "Five times a year you question the manager, this obviously being one of them"
- Fringe slopball LH Beimel throws two 86 left hand fastballs to RH ARod, who gleefully swats the 2nd for a homer
- Betances (14.4 strikeouts/gm) and Miller (14.7 strikeouts/gm) gleefully celebrate the win on the mound
- McClendon says after the game, "There aren't many guys in baseball who do NOT hit a home run on that pitch"
- Literally he said "There aren't many guys in baseball who miss that pitch" so, see above
Now, first of all, SSI is not saying that one blown pitching change makes, or does not make, a manager competent. Whattaya think this is, the P-I board
And, second of all, playing the NYY even in this situation = being a 90-win team
Or, third of all, the bullpen going 3 IP 0 ER is not the minimum acceptable standard
But, fourth of all, that pitching change was really weird
Bill Krueger interpreted the decision on TV for us. Importantly, Mr. Krueger spent his life in baseball, and you did not. Kreuger confidently laid it out for us:
- Charlie Furbush was on the DL
- So if you go to Mark Lowe to get ARod out, fine, 2 out 0 on ....
- But then all the Yankee switch hitters get to bat LH, where they are better
- So, with no LH "behind" Beimel, you cannot use the RH Lowe
Except, Vidal Nuno.
And except: the platoon advantage in the bullpen is merely .040 AVG
And except: Beimel throws 86 MPH left handed. vs. $25M lefties, ou want a BAD left hander rather than a GREAT right hander?
None of the above qualifies as "info-tainment." That comes NEXT.
They ax McClendon, on the postgame, what the hey with Beimel. McClendon says ... wait for it ... ARod is batting .203* (or something) against lefties this year. (Like this means the 45-year-old ARod can crush RH-on-RH but suddenly, in 2015, cannot hit with the extra time he gets vs LH.) And the guy behind him, Mark Tei$eira, "is hitting .111 against left hand breaking pitches." Quote unquote.
McClendon emphasizes, three times, "We had the matchups we wanted. We just didn't execute the pitch."
:: jaw drops ::
Beimel executed his usual 86-MPH fastball, outside, on the black ... it happened to be up, but it was on the black. What, Joe Beimel is going to throw knee-high every fastball the rest of his life?
ARod, by the way, is slugging .474 against LHP's this year with a K:BB of 23:18. He is slugging .530 vs RHP's with a K:BB of 50:28. So he's actually hitting better this year against LHP's, like he always does. This is because Alex Rodriguez is better against LHP's than RHP's, especially the old ARod, and short-term fluctuations wouldn't matter anyway.
McClendon was a fine old-school ballplayer. He's age 56 and has been in baseball 53 years. And now he's let a saberdweeb hand him a .111 vs LH Offspeed stat sheet and he forgets that HOF right hand batters hit lefties better than they hit righties?
The M's start the 2nd half with a re-boot, and they start their re-boot with McClendon's bizarre decision that lost the ballgame. If Blowers and Krueger were stunned in real time, you don't think the bench was?
I like McClendon. I'm just reporting the news.
There must be SOME situations in which the math works out. Maybe it's a cover-your-backside issue.
One thing it's ruined is taking out most of the managerial spontainiety.
It might be stupid, it might not work, but at least it's more fun?
That is the scenario that McLendon and everyone else missed. You can cheat a little and keep your lefty in the game if needed.
I like McClendon. I bet he's a great guy.
He's not a great manager.
And this team is going nowhere with him.
Time to change.......
Well, it was time to change about 3 weeks ago. Maybe 4.......
It's frustrating to hear the pitching things about McLendon because it paints a picture of him as a leader with no conviction.
Earlier, you'd roll your eyes with him sticking with Rodney or that CF that escapes my brain, but now, with all the numbers stuff, it just sounds like he's grasping at straws and also getting caught up in the spreadsheets.
The Scioscia v. DiPoto implosion in LAAAAA is interesting because despite the circus, they're right in the pennant race and they're winning. Again.