Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The LCSes and confusing managerial decisions 

I'm at a loss as to why Phil Garner is starting Brandon Backe on 3 days rest today, in game 1 of the Houston/St. Louis series. Pete Munro, who would otherwise be the game 1 starter, just slides back a day and pitches game 2. Garner apparently wants Backe ready to pitch on regular rest in game 5, but I just don't see what the advantage is. If I'm Garner, since Clemens and Oswalt can't pitch in either of the first two games anyway, I'd just as soon go with Munro in game 1 and a rested Backe in game 2.

And on a related note...with the Red Sox down 8-7 in the bottom of the 8th last night, it would appear to be an ideal situation to bring in closer Keith Foulke. He can pitch multiple innings, so it isn't as if using him in the 8th would mean that he couldn't pitch the 9th. And down a run, with Mariano Rivera pitching the 9th, it is critical that you keep the score as close as possible.

But Foulke didn't come in to start the inning...instead, Mike Timlin did. And gave up 2 runs. At which point, with a 3 run deficit, Foulke came into the game.

So the question for Terry Francona is...if you are willing to use Foulke with a 3 run deficit in the 8th, why didn't you just bring him in to start the inning?

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