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NFH is asleep now. This is Rob here. John Gibbons is a Slave To The Save and it cost this team the game. No argument, no "but that's second-guessing," no nothing.

It was a terrible move to bring Walker out. Just terrible.

Slave To The Save!
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Ron - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:01 AM EDT (#125672) #
When the bases are loaded with one out and your number 3 and 4 hitter can't cash in a run, you don't deserve to win.

Also I thought it was very strange in the 6th inning for Gibby to call for a pitch out when the count was already 2-0.
Rob - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:09 AM EDT (#125673) #
Overheard on the radio: "John Gibbons managed a masterful game tonight."
King Ryan - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:15 AM EDT (#125674) #
Couple things:

1. This game was very entertaining, despite the loss.

2. You know, I was very upset when I saw Walker come into the game, and certainly it seems that Gibbons was saving Batista for a "save situation," which is preposterous, but maybe that's not what he was doing. Consider:


ERA: 3.10
WHIP: 1.29


ERA: 2.63
WHIP: 1.32

There's no question in my mind that Batista is the better pitcher, but maybe Gibbons legitimately trusts Walker more.

So yeah. Still very frustrating to lose a game in extras with your supposed best pitcher sitting on the bench.
Rob - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:19 AM EDT (#125675) #
Oh, and just in case the RBI POOL carries over to tomorrow's (today's?) game:

Rios - Rob
Wells - The Game
Shea - Mike Forbes
Zaun - CaramonLS
Adams - smcs
Koskie - SheaShea
Hill - VBF

The chat log is the source for this, and I believe that covers everyone.
Mike D - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:27 AM EDT (#125676) #
Don't forget that Batista pitched a 23-pitch inning in 95-degree heat...and that many of those pitches were pretty damn poor yesterday. Sure, most of the bullpen also pitched yesterday, but it wasn't a no-brainer to put in Batista. None of them pitched any one inning as long, taxing or stressful as did Miguel.

I would've put in Walker then. It's simplistic to call it a slave-to-the-save move. In any event, Cabrera hit a fluke double, fair by inches, on an excellent pitch.

Don't agree, rook...I don't agree.
Mike D - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:29 AM EDT (#125677) #
Great ballgame, by the way. It's easy to lose sight of that when the Jays lose.

Gibbons made a bunch of gutsy moves, most notably the first-second-two-outs walk of Vladdy and the decision NOT to walk (I think) Rivera with first base open and a 3-0 count.
King Ryan - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:33 AM EDT (#125678) #
So Mike, if the Jays have a lead does Walker still pitch?
XooM - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:40 AM EDT (#125679) #
I'm pretty sure if the Jays had the lead at the time, Batista would have been the right call.. but there's no telling how effective he would have been. Besides if Batista runs into trouble, Walker can be strteched out a few more innings so the Jays aren't without a closer the next game..
Rob - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 02:56 AM EDT (#125680) #
I don't buy it, Mike. If Batista was tired on Monday...well, why was he pitching in a low-leverage situation on Sunday in the first place?

To get the save.

Pistol - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#125681) #
Gibbons: "We hung tough, fell back, took the lead there. It was a tough ballgame on both sides. I thought this one had 15 [innings] written all over it."


I suspect that's why Walker was in the game, because Gibbons thought he needed several innings.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#125683) #
I suspect that's why Walker was in the game, because Gibbons thought he needed several innings.

Which is all fine and well after you have let Batista, ostensibly your ace reliever, pitch an inning. The slave-to-the-save mentality is unpardonable.

On an unrelated note, anyone catch who the hitting hero in Detroit was last night? Against the Foulkian closer, Curt Schilling, John McDonald singled home a pair to win it in the bottom of the 9th. McDonald was in the game as a late-inning replacement for Infante, who was shown the bench due to a baserunning gaffe. I am presuming that the absence of a PH was due to Trammell having no other options at SS. I mean, no one lets McDonald bat in key situations vs. a RHP, do they?

Mike D - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#125684) #
It's an exaggeration to call it a "low-leverage" situation on Sunday. A three-run lead with the Orioles' 9-1-2 hitters coming up -- at Camden Yards -- is at least medium-leverage. And there was no point in stretching out Chulk in the heat. So what would you have done? There were two pitchers left -- Speier and Batista. Both were rested and could have used the work. "Because it's a save situation that isn't truly high-leverage, I'll use Speier rather than Batista just to make a statement about the statistic. That should please Batter's Box."

Yesterday, Speier, Chulk, Schoeneweis, Frasor and Walker were all inserted in high-leverage situations. Your "why not Batista" critique would apply with equal force to any of those moves, but every other one (except, arguably, SS) worked out. It's nice to cherry-pick the eleventh inning as the one in which Gibbons suddenly spurned his better judgment to pursue a save situation. Why not the outrage when Frasor entered in the ninth -- or came out again in the tenth?

The ninth inning, the first do-or-die inning of the game, is when a non-save-conscious manager would presumably use his "best" relief option. Other considerations come into play in the eleventh inning, as XooM mentioned. If you're playing to win, you have to assume that the pitcher you put in can be there for the long haul and log some innings. It's not at all a sure thing that Batista could have been stretched out after a long, struggling inning the day before. I don't even think Batista ever warmed up.

And it's not like Walker's a stiff. Cabrera got lucky, that's all. John Gibbons has used Batista too creatively and too well this season to suddenly become dumb. It's not right to say so.
Mike D - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#125685) #
Chuck's point is a fair one (again, assuming that Batista was A-OK after his rocky Sunday outing). But the criticism, therefore, should relate to using Frasor how he did -- not Walker.
Pistol - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#125687) #
Just a quick look, but Batista's pitched in 52 games this year, of which 25 were save situations, so he's apparently been used by Gibbons a lot in situation where a save isn't a factor. And he's often come into the game in the 8th inning when most managers aren't doing that.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#125690) #

I wasn't watching yesterday or today, but bullpen watching has been my seasonal work so here is my analysis.

The bullpen chart will be coming on Friday, but here is a little abbreviated piece:

day     pitchers   innings
Thurs.  Frasor     .2
        Batista    1.1

Fri.    CG

Sat.    CG

Sun.    Walker     1.2
        Scho        .2
        Frasor     1.1
        Chulk      1.0
        Batista    1.0

So, first question, was it a good idea to bring in Batista with the score 8-5 in the ninth against Baltimore? The reasonable options were Batista and Speier. I would have chosen Speier because he needed the work more, but I really have no great quarrel with Gibbons' decision there.

Last night was a different matter entirely. Speier hadn't pitched in 4 days. After 7 innings, the Jays lead 4-3 and Speier has pitched an inning, giving up 2 hits but no runs. I would definitely have kept him in for the eighth inning, and in fact would have kept him for the long save unless there was evidence that he was tiring.

Mike D - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#125691) #
The problem, Mike G, is that Speier was getting squeezed last night. He threw 28 pitches to get through his one inning. There's no way he could have gone another two innings.

One more inning? Possibly, but it's hard to say for sure.
King Rat - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#125693) #
I thought bringing in Walker was an entirely defensible move. I was just glad that Frasor was out of there-he had been scaring me for the preceding two innings and I was worried that Rance was right and he was going to be out there for a third inning of work.

As several people have already noted, Walker pitched well-he got ahead of both Cabrera and Erstad, and they both hit good pitches. Gibbons managed a very good game-he wasn't afraid to take risks, as the walk of Guerrero showed, and the Jays really ought to have scored more runs. Obviously, the standout example here is Wells and Hillenbrand failing to cash those runs in in the ninth, but the thing that strikes me in retrospect is another play entirely: why was Cat running on the play that got Butterfield thrown out? He was going from first, he's not the fastest guy on the team, it isn't as though Guerrero's got a rag arm out there-it didn't make sense. I suppose it's possible that he managed to dodge the tag at the plate, but the throw beat him by a mile, and I was entirely unsurprised to see him called out to end the inning. So why was he sent?

Anyway, all of that aside, I thought it was another good effort, and while I was disappointed that they lost, the Angels played a pretty good game. The only request I have is that if they're going to keep me up until three in the morning (Atlantic time zone, dontcha know) that they win.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#125694) #
Fair enough, Mike D. On 4 days rest, he can go 40 pitches. He should have been left in to start the eighth. After Sunday's serial relief changes (which made sense because of the prior complete games), it is best to avoid doing that again.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#125695) #
No argument, no "but that's second-guessing," no nothing. It was a terrible move to bring Walker out. Just terrible.

I missed everything past Frasor with two outs in the ninth -- why was it a terrible move? Does Walker suddenly stink? I thought he was doing quite well out of the bullpen, much better than as a starter. Am I totally out to lunch with that impression?
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#125699) #
No, Walker is not a terrible pitcher. He's a fine long/middle man. In the 11th inning, Gibbons had a choice- Batista or Walker. Walker had gone 1.2 on Sunday, and has almost always had 2 days rest or more this season. Batista had gone an inning on Sunday and has regularly appeared back-to-back.

At that point, Gibbons was in a spot. To get the win, he wasn't going to have get 2 innings more from his bullpen and he didn't have a lot of mileage left there. Batista in the 11th, and possibly the 12th, was not exactly an enticing option.
Mike D - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#125700) #
I was concerned with the in-inning pitch counts. More than 20 in any one inning is tough on a pitcher. Walker pitched more innings than Batista in the same heat, but with fewer pitches per inning and in a less stressful situation. (He also pitched better than did Batista on Sunday.)

Speier's one inning was really taxing. 40 pitches over two innings was arguably doable...if Speier avoided throwing more than 20 or so in his first inning of work. A 28-pitch inning is hard to overcome for a short reliever.
King Rat - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#125702) #
One other thing about last night's televisual experience: I normally hate it when non-Jays baseball preempts the first inning or two of a Jays game-I score games in quite abit of detail, and everything gets screwed up when I miss the first inning or so. A game earlier this season that got held up for a game between the Giants and Phillies, two teams that no one out here follows sent me into something of a fit.

So last night, as the Red Sox rounded the turn into the bottom of the ninth, I was mildly less stressed, simply because Red Sox fans outnumber Jays fans in Nova Scotia and it felt like less of an imposion. I was resigned, though, to watching the hated Bosox nail down yet another win. And then the Tigers rallied. It was wonderful. I can think of very few batters I would rather see get a game winning hit for the slightly-less-hated Tigers than McDonald, and I really think I'd rather watch Curt Schilling spit the bit than more or less any other pitcher. That includes Boomer Wells. It almost made up for the coming Jays loss.

Oh, and Rance Mulliniks rocks the house.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#125705) #
Yikes, brain cramp. To get the win, Gibbons was going to have to get at least 2 innings more of relief from a bullpen without much mileage left on it after Sunday's game. I checked and in fact Speier has rarely gone beyond 30 pitches this season (he has faced only 3 batters in this situation). Mike D has a point.
costanza - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#125710) #
With Speier, it's just how many pitches he'd thrown in the 7th, but was looking quite spotty (compared to most nights). As Rance nicely pointed out, Speier's pitches didn't have the movement they normally do, and it was my impression that the Jays were lucky to escape the inning with the game still tied.
binnister - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#125714) #
2 words:

Brandon League

If this guy isn't going to pitch in a 12-inning game, why is he on the team at all?
Rob - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#125715) #
Why not the outrage when Frasor entered in the ninth -- or came out again in the tenth?

Well, I didn't like that move, either. I questioned the move in the chat, saying that it was the perfect time to bring in Batista. However, I was not mad with Frasor coming in, so with the benefit of sleep, I recant my outrage at the Pete Walker move. I still don't like it. (Hold on, I think I need to use the word "move" once more in this paragraph. There we go.)

I'm not saying Gibby's a bad manager -- I think he's better than most -- but this move really bugged me. Walker wasn't going to go four innings or anything. A manager can make a mistake without being dumb, and Gibby made one. I didn't say he was stupid -- at least, I don't remember saying that. It was 2:30...

But to repeat what you said earlier, Mike, this was a great game. Let's not forget that. We can agree to disagree on this,, that was some game.

King Rat - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#125720) #
I don't think anyone would have wanted to see League in a game that tight against a team as good as Anaheim. If people are complaining about Walker's insertion into the game because he wasn't the "best" reliever for the situation, what would the cry have been if League had come in?
Nigel - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#125722) #
The tough pitching decisions were in the 8th and the 11th. In the 8th the choices were:

-leave Speier in
-bring in Frasor
-bring in Chulk

Had Speier been pitching well or thrown less pitches then I think it would have been indefensible to have pulled Speier. Neither was true. Given that both Frasor and Chulk pitched on Sunday, it was a pick-em choice between the three options in my view. Although I would have gone with Frasor, I can't fault the manager for his choice.

In the 11th I think it all comes down to whether Batista could go at all last night. If Gibbons was able to use him (say for a save) then I agree that Batista was the right choice (just like using K-Rod in the 9th was for LAA) for the 11th. If not, then Walker was the best available choice.

In reality, the game was lost in the top of the 9th though.

What makes the team so fun and so painful (in some ways) are all these close games. You can second guess decisions in each of the last three games (Detroit 9-8; Baltimore 1-0 and last night).
Chuck - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#125724) #
Oh, and Rance Mulliniks rocks the house.

Hear, hear. Mulliniks and Fletcher are so much better than Tabler and Candiotti that I'd wish they'd just jettison the latter two altogether. Broadcasts are so much more enjoyable when I'm not telling my TV to shut up.

When you hear Mulliniks speak, you know exactly how a man with limited physical skills could become a major leaguer, and an effective one to boot. I'd just love to drop his brain into Vernon Wells' body.

Named For Hank - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#125725) #
I asked this in the Game Report thread, but the conversation seems to be here: Rob, your Game Report says that Batista's not a great closer. So why, in light of that, is it still a mistake to not bring him in?
Luke Easter fan - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#125726) #
Gibbons wasted Chulk in the 8th-Speier should have been left in to start the inning to at least make it look like he was going to pitch to Molina the lesser-then when Kotchman pinch hit Schoenweiss could have been brought in. Instead Chulk had to pitch to Kotchman who hit a long fly into the left field corner.Schoenweiss was probably going to pitch to Kennedy whatever happened and certainly once Iszturis got his 2 stike slap single to left off Chulk.If Schoenweiss had pitched from Kotchman on he would not have been in the position of being hurt by 1 hit-he did pitch well to Figgins after the Kennedy hit and almost got out of it- and Chulk would have still been available
Pepper Moffatt - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#125741) #
Thought you guys might be interested in this. It's from Jim Baker's twice-a-week column at Prospectus, and just one of many reasons to consider subscribing:

"The Blue Jays are easily the best-kept secret in baseball. This is a team that has crept into the upper-third of the games best teams with hardly anyone noticing. Not that folks are at fault for that. For one thing, the Jays are in the upper third because so few National League teams have their acts together this year. For another, any team that has Shea Hillenbrand as its VORP leader among its position players is not going to generate a lot of hype.

This is not meant as a slight to Hillenbrand because, all denigrations about his lack of selectivity aside, hes turned out to be a pretty decent hitter. His EqA is just under .300 this year, right about where it was last year. Hes ended up having a lot longer shelf life than many of us would have believed, and I include myself in that us. Hes also figured out a dandy way to increase his value without having to lay off the hacking: getting hit by pitches. Hes been plunked 20 times so far this year, by far a career high and good for a comfortable lead over the next-most prolific plunkee, Jason Giambi of the Yankees, with 16."
Named For Hank - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#125811) #
Does this mean that the Shea Hillenbrand Fan Club has two members now? I'll have to invite Baker to our treehouse meetings.

"All those who think Shea is dreamy say 'aye'!"
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