Monday, April 12, 2010

Gaston Loses This One

Good old Brian Tallet........and good old Cito Gaston loyal to the end even at the expense of a loss.

You've got Jake Peavy on the ropes, a 2 run lead after 5, and your starter is in line for his second win while not having a great day, wouldn't it make sense with the strength of our bullpen to get out of Dodge with the lead and hand it over to some fresh arms? Not Gaston! He's got to ride his starter another inning, throw 27 pitches, and let Tallet put himself in a position to lose the "W" for him AND his team. Fortunately, Jays scratch and claw for another run in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 7-6 before Gaston decides the prudent thing is to hand it over to the pen.

This is the part of Gaston's managing style that drives people crazy. We all appreciate loyalty and the players love him for it. Letting his pitchers struggle a little to gain confidence by facing adversity is an admirable goal, but not at the expense of the team goal which is to win the game. Tallet had already thrown 75 pitches and didn't have his best stuff today. With a bullpen that hasn't been taxed so far this year due to the number of quality starts, and with 2 pithers who haven't even made an appearance, today was the day to hand it over and run 2-3-4 relievers out there if necessary to put this game to bed.

Heading into this game, how many of us would have loved to get to the 6th inning with a 2 run lead on Jake Peavy? Can you say ALL OF US! It is such tough games against the opposition's ace that will show what we're made of as a team. When the team performs against the top teams, we don't need the manager to put the game at risk.

The relievers as it turned out, turned it over to Jason Frasor in the 9th with just a one run lead instead of 2 or 3. Did the extra pressure of a small margin of error contribute to the homer Frasor gave up? We will never know, but the extra run always makes a difference. So after Frasor gives up the tying run who does Gaston go to but ..................Jeremy Accardo, a fresh arm for his first outing of the year. After a solid first inning, he is forced to stay in the game now that we're in extra innings and gives up a triple to Mark Teahen to give the Sox the lead.

The way it should have played out would have been Accardo in the 6th, then Camp and Downs leading to Frasor in the 9th with a 2 or 3 run lead. The outcome likely would almost certainly have been a victory instead of a blown save and loss in extra innings.

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