Saturday, July 01, 2006

I'm confused

Well, I tried. I tried here to call for a Giants four-game winning streak, but I suck, apparently.

The Giants reeled off a sweep of the Rangers after I wrote that piece on the 27th setting themselves up for the four-gamer, but ran into a brick wall named Father Alou.

Felipe doesn't seem to mind doing unorthodox things with his position players, whether it be starting Jose Vizcain'to at first base, or starting Mark Sweeney in left field several times over Jason Ellison. He's hit many of his players three or four different places in the lineup, not always paying attention to whether a hitter was hot or not.

That's fine. I can deal with that.

But for some strange reason, he refuses to alter his set roles for anyone in the bullpen. When he makes up his mind on a role for a bullpen pitcher, that's what they're going to do.

It's possible this type of thinking has already cost the Giants a few wins this year, including last night's 6-5 loss to the Padres.

A couple of Felipe's patterns is obvious -- he overuses pitchers that he trusts, and doesn't mind warming up relievers multiple times to be ready for various scenarios. The only problems are, sometimes those trusted guys become too tired to be effective, and those over-warmed pitchers end up being more taxed than they should be.

Case in point from last night:
  • Kevin Correia warmed up three seperate times. Once, to possibly relieve a faltering Jamey Wright. They left Wright in, and had to warm Correia up a second time to possibly relieve a faltering Wright -- but then decided to put in Jonathen Sanchez instead. Third time was the charm, as Correia finally came in after warming up again in the 8th to relieve a faltering Sanchez.
  • Correia faced one batter. He struck him out to end the 8th.
  • Felipe, meanwhile, was having Jeremy Accardo warming up around the end of the 8th and inbetween innings to close out the 9th inning of the then one-run game. Only problem was, this was to be Accardo's 7th appearance in nine days.

Now, I'm not a major league manager, but with a double header being played against the Padres the very next day, why put yourself into a position where you heavily tax three relievers? And make no mistake, Correia's one batter appearance was much more than that with all of the warmups.

My move would've been to leave Correia in the game to close the 9th in order to save Accardo for the next day's two games. But no, Felipe apparently was doing the Accardo-is-the-closer-and-it-is-a-save-situation-therefore-in-comes-Accardo dance, and in came Accardo, and out went the victory.

Could the Padres have won anyway even if Correia had stayed in? Well, of course they could've, but give me a choice between a loss with three tired relievers as opposed to a loss with two tired relievers, and I'll take the latter...unless I'm 72 years old and set in my ways.

So, out goes the four-game winning streak, and now a losing streak is set up to be extremely possible if the games today and Sunday just happen to be close...and with the Giants, close games are a given, it seems.


allfrank said...

There is nothing wrong with your o
logic. I may even prefer it to Felipe's. But I don't think you give enough credit to Felipe's (possible) logic. If Sanchez?Correia are the set up men and Accardo the closer, isn't it better to bring in the closer to start the ninth, rather than wait until (in this case) Corriea gets in trouble, then bring in the closer with, probably 2 men on?
I do not see where fatigue has rendered Accardo less effective: 1) his comments after the blown save were that he put the pitches right where he wanted, they just managed to have good at bats and doink them to where the fielders weren't. 2) He was damned effective in a 2 inning stint the next day.
I also think there is a tendency for people who hate Benitiez to see Accardo as the better alternative. Thus, when Accardo fails, it must be Felipe's fault. I don not think Accardo is ready for the ninth inning on a consistent basis. He too often has had trouble getting the last out. He's a kid. I would oprefer to keep him in the set up role this year, and then have a competition between he, Wilson, and Benitez in Spring Training.

Daniel said...

Accardo's fatigue in that particular game wasn't the issue -- it was setting up Accardo for fatigue in the ensuing doubleheader the next day.

I think Felipe should anticipate the Giants' games to be close, so saving the bullpen in a night game the day before a doubleheader seems to be something a smart manager would want to accomplish.