Posted by Steve
Hello everyone. I’m just returning from a beautiful Labor Day at the ballpark. How fun.
Question, though. Did Yost really let Greg Aquino blow the lead? That did happen, right? Ok then. Here goes.
Ned has no idea what he’s doing. None. Greg Aquino?! With an eighth-inning two-run lead, runners on first and second and two out, here are people I would rather see pitching to Hunter Pence than Greg Aquino:
- Francisco Freaking Cordero
- Brian Shouse
- Matt Wise
- Chris Spurling
- Steve Bray (still somehow in AAA with a 1.62 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 77.2 innings)
- Manny Parra with a broken thumb
- Corey Koskie
- Danny Almonte
- Haley Joel Osment
Yost said he wanted to use a righty and play the percentages (just like Mench over Jenkins against Dempster!). That’s why he didn’t leave Shouse in to face Pence. That’s fine. I’m completely okay with that, and I even agree with it.
But not when the choice is… Greg Aquino. First of all, the guy imploded with inherited runners during his time in Milwaukee. Secondly, it’s incredibly unfair to ask a guy to make his first major league appearance in months when you’re trying to hold a late lead (especially one who isn’t an established major-league player).
I won’t even rag on Ned for sac bunting with Hardy (most managers don’t realize it lowers your chances of scoring a run anyway, or at least they ignore that fact) or subbing out Braun and Gross and burning through his September call-upped bench in a nine-inning game.
For me, it’s all about the bullpen, baby. Why in the name of Winklesas would you use Seth McClung with a two-run lead in the seventh inning? Especially if Linebrink was your backup plan for that inning to begin with? This isn’t 2004 Neddy Bear. You aren’t using September to give guys confidence anymore. You’re trying to win your division.
And of course, why didn’t he consider using Francisco Cordero to face Pence in the eighth? Is it so preposterous to ask your closer to get four outs once in a while? Of course not. Instead, Yost let his team blow a three-run eighth inning lead without using his best reliever.
Now I’m not completely blaming the loss on Ned. Turnbow was not good today, Estrada is slow and lazy, Gross screwed up, etc. But as manager, there’s no excuse for not putting your team in the best position to win. And once again, (broken record?) there’s no way Ned could convincingly argue that he did that today.
Even more infuriating is the fact that the Cardinals and Cubs both got worked today, so they should have picked up a game. I’ve had enough of Ned’s in-game decision making, and his keen ability to mismanage a bullpen. Let’s take care of that any day now, Mr. Melvin.