Posted by Steve
I’m not someone who gives Ned a hard time often because I think a manager’s influence is often over-valued. But last night I was really having a tough time sticking to that.
The main thing was his handling of Supppan. Ned let him hit in the seventh with one on and one out. Suppan was a little over 80 pitches. Ok, fine, I can see letting him hit if you want to try for one more inning from him.
Well then in the bottom of the seventh, on a 1-2 count, Suppan hit Cliff Floyd on a pitch that was just a little too inside to lead off the inning. And then Yost… took him out??
How can you let Suppan hit in the top of the seventh if you were only going to give him one baserunner in the bottom of the seventh? That’s nothing short of taking an out away from your offense. You have to do one or the other.
The handling of Suppan was my biggest beef, but another came in the same inning. First and second, nobody out, Jacque Jones at the plate. Now it’s not exactly a secret that Jacque Jones is bad against lefties. His career batting average/OPS against righties is .293/.827. His career batting average/OPS against lefties is .230/.631. At the same time, Shouse has been insanely good for a couple months now. Jason Kendall was on deck, who is certainly not scaring anyone more than Jones (who has been hot lately anyway).
Why not bring in Shouse to face Jones?
This all stems, in my opinion, from Ned’s insistence on having bullpen roles. Linebrink is his seventh inning guy, Turnbow is his eighth inning guy, and Cordero is the closer. And that’s the way it’s gonna be.
I don’t see why he refuses to let each situation dictate which pitcher to use. Last night was a great example of a reason to use Shouse.
Now yesterday was only one game, and you can bet I’ll be watching Sheets vs. “Big Z” tonight, but the Brewers have blown 12 three-run leads this season–the most in the majors. Some of the blame for that has to be put on Yost, who more than a few times has failed to react to the situation late in games. That’s one of the main reasons that, barring an impressive turnaround, I’d be very surprised to see Yost managing the Brewers next season.