Let's Talk about the manager -- The John Farrell Thread

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EllisTheRimMan

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kieckeredinthehead said:
 
Are you sure? They're 8-4 in the postseason. That seems like a pretty good indication that this construction is working.
 
Obviously I'm not... that's why the "may" was strategically inserted between the "depth" and the "not".
 

CR67dream

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Yeah, Paul, the 9th drove me nuts. I would've led off with Nava, gone to Carp for Salty (He's just overmatched against 95+), and let Drew hit against a hard throwing righty. No guarantee the result is any different, but three lefties who have shown they can hit a plus fastball sure seemed a better play than what we saw.
 
Ah well, live and learn, go get 'em Saturday.
 
Sox in 6, it's about time we win one of these things at home.
 

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There was absolutely nothing wrong with that play until Breslow throws it into the stands... sac fly with 1 out and bases juiced... oh well... that's baseball.  Gomes made a decent throw, Salty decided that he might cut down the tying run by staying put and trying a sweep tag (good baseball calculus, IMHO) and Breslow backed it up (good fundamentals) at this point... STOP!!!! STOP!!!!
 
Then, Craig "The Eli" decides that since the run scored and it is tied, he needs to get the Sox out of this inning by gunning down the runner at 3rd... Ballgame.  When he throws that ball away there were 2 outs and the scored tied at 2.  Go back to the mound and get the next guy.  I'll say it again... 2 outs.  Gomes had nothing to do with the debacle in the 7th.  Maybe that's why his pretty good, but slightly off-line throw has gone unchallenged.


FWIW I disagree.

There were two unforgivable errors on this play. Breslow's is the one that's obvious to a grade schooler. But why the FUCK Salty would be stretching to catch that ball is mind boggling to me. There is NO chance of a tag there. Go up the line, catch the ball, and shut down the action. Trying to do too much is a oft-hidden sin in baseball.

As for Gomes' throw, it's no gimme, but since I've been on a post-season long jihad to free Daniel Nava, let me suggest that he may have made a better throw.
 

JimD

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So, if Salty doesn't do the stretch play - he cleanly fields Gomes's throw and concedes the run but is standing and ready to throw - did *he* have a shot at the runner going to third?
 

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The runner doesn't go to third if Salty fields the ball cleanly.  He went on the dribble.
 

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smastroyin said:
The runner doesn't go to third if Salty fields the ball cleanly.  He went on the dribble.
Exactly, that is why the official scoring was 2 errors on the play, runner from 2nd-3rd on Salty's error dropping the ball, runner 3rd-home and trail runner advance on Breslow's throwing error.
 

Toe Nash

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Am I the only one who would have left Lackey in to face Descalso? He's not that good of a hitter and Lackey was at 95 pitches. Lackey had been nails and no matter what you think about Breslow you're taking a risk that any of our non-Koji relievers are not going to have their best stuff. The walk was killer and I have a hard time thinking Lackey allows that to a guy with a career .655 OPS.
 

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Am I the only one who would have left Lackey in to face Descalso? He's not that good of a hitter and Lackey was at 95 pitches. Lackey had been nails and no matter what you think about Breslow you're taking a risk that any of our non-Koji relievers are not going to have their best stuff. The walk was killer and I have a hard time thinking Lackey allows that to a guy with a career .655 OPS.

Not the only one. I was thinking the same.
 

Paul M

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Not for nothing, but Lackey is also been a pretty reverse RHP, meaning he's better vs. LHB. .657 for the year. But, he also walked Freese and it wasn't a terrible move or overmanaging, yet I think the numbers would again not support it. By the numbers, Lackey gets the chance to stay in I think.
 

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Paul M said:
Not for nothing, but Lackey is also been a pretty reverse RHP, meaning he's better vs. LHB. .657 for the year. But, he also walked Freese and it wasn't a terrible move or overmanaging, yet I think the numbers would again not support it. By the numbers, Lackey gets the chance to stay in I think.
I was having similar thoughts.  I was at the game and haven't seen the lowlights, but it didn't appear from where I was sitting that Lackey was his usual surly self when he was removed.  I'm not sure what, if anything, to read into that but it could be the case that Lackey felt a bit spent, low pitch count notwithstanding.
 

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He was at 95 or so when removed, correct? That's in a reasonable range for removal.
 
Drew vs Middlebrooks will start to get interesting. Drew is providing excellent defense, but his bat is abysmal at this point. Middlebrooks has his own struggles at the plate, but do you shift XB over at any point?
 
Peavy doesn't provide confidence and Buch is less than 100%. They're going to need plenty of runs the next couple games.
 

lexrageorge

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I think last night proves that at some point it's really the players on the field that have to get the job done.  Farrell didn't ground into double plays, didn't throw the ball wide, didn't walk the #9 hitter, etc.  Breslow should be able to get the outs he was asked to get, and Breslow looked absolutely solid in the Detroit series.  
 
Having said that, it's time to see Nava's bat in the lineup.  That is something in the manager's control. 
 

rembrat

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I'd like to see WMB start for Xander who, while providing quality at bats, has had a hard time playing the 3B position. 
 

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rembrat said:
I'd like to see WMB start for Xander who, while providing quality at bats, has had a hard time playing the 3B position. 
 
And gain what, exactly? Bogaerts isn't exactly butchering it out in the field, so whatever marginal upgrade you get on defense, you'd more than lose at the plate.
 
Just to summarize: in a game which you'd lose Napoli's bat in favor of the pitcher's, you want to weaken your offense further by bringing in Middlebrooks? Does not compute.
 

rembrat

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If we're going into a low scoring environment I want to field the best defense I can. You want to add offense which is fine. We can both have our opinions.
 

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rembrat said:
If we're going into a low scoring environment I want to field the best defense I can.
So it's safe to say Berry would be your preferred starting LF, correct?

:)
 

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Toe Nash said:
Am I the only one who would have left Lackey in to face Descalso? He's not that good of a hitter and Lackey was at 95 pitches. Lackey had been nails and no matter what you think about Breslow you're taking a risk that any of our non-Koji relievers are not going to have their best stuff. The walk was killer and I have a hard time thinking Lackey allows that to a guy with a career .655 OPS.
 
And if you leave him in and the next guy hits a wallball double everyone here would say "but Breslow and Tazawa and Uehara have been lights out and it's only 8 outs to go, you have to go to those bullpen guys".
 
It was absolutely the right move given that it was the 7th inning.
 
In the 6th you can think twice.
 

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I think Drew could take a dump at home plate before all of his Game Three at bats and still be in the line-up for Game 4.  JF values his defense so highly that he seems willing to suffer an offensive goose egg from that position.
 
And in Farrell's defense, there were at least two plays last night that Drew made that made me wonder whether Bogaerts would have converted.  And with Papi in there at first for most likely at least two of the games, I want the SS who I think will make the least challenging throws.
 
Separate question: Will Farrell use Ross at catcher instead of Salty?  My guess is that he will.  Ross is better defensively, Salty isn't really hitting and Salty was kind of shaky last night behind the plate.  Seems like a good time to let the veteran catcher help guide Peavy through the biggest start of his career.
 

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CaptainLaddie said:
I fucking hate bullpen usage.  Use Koji when you pulled Lackey.  Deal with the 9th in the 9th.  Get the fucking outs when it matters.  FUCK.
 
Man I've been thinking and saying this for years.  Leaving your best reliever on the bench during the highest leverage situation in the game is nonsensical.  If you don't get out of that jam there's no save chance for him 2 innings later.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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CR67dream said:
Yeah, Paul, the 9th drove me nuts. I would've led off with Nava, gone to Carp for Salty (He's just overmatched against 95+), and let Drew hit against a hard throwing righty. No guarantee the result is any different, but three lefties who have shown they can hit a plus fastball sure seemed a better play than what we saw.
 
 
This is where I was last night. 
 
The single best thing Nava does against righties is get on base. He's maybe historically good at it. You're down 2, so you need a baserunner to even make the thing interesting. That's exactly the place you have to hit Nava. 
 
Now, sure, he struck out later in the inning, but there's no knowing what happens if he's hitting with zero outs and how they may have approached the AB differently. 
 
That felt a lot like, "well, Gomes has had some big hits in the 9th, let's see what happens!" Which is bullshit. 
 

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glennhoffmania said:
 
Man I've been thinking and saying this for years.  Leaving your best reliever on the bench during the highest leverage situation in the game is nonsensical.  If you don't get out of that jam there's no save chance for him 2 innings later.
 
Would you start to warm up Koji at the bottom of the 3rd so that he can come in after the Holliday leadoff triple in the 4th?
 

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
Thats actually not a bad pitch to throw on as he's already out of his crouch when he catches it. He just needs to make the transfer cleanly.
 
I'm I'm remembering correctly, it wasn't that the pitch was high, which in general makes it an easier pitch to handle on a steal attempt.  It's that it was way off target so Salty had to lunge over and up, no?  If he was expecting a high inside fastball he should've made the play.
 
Paul M said:
 
Last, more on a comment on Gomes, but didn't like his set up on the throw to home which was off-line and not a great play by Salty to keep his foot on the plate given there was little chance of a tag-out.
 
Totally agree with both, especially the first part.  As I was watching the play I didn't understand why Gomes was setting up that way.  It looked like he had time to reposition himself so that he would've been facing home as he caught the ball.
 

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HriniakPosterChild said:
 
Would you start to warm up Koji at the bottom of the 3rd so that he can come in after the Holliday leadoff triple in the 4th?
 
I think that the leverage situation is a tad different in the 3rd inning of a scoreless game than it is in the 7th with the starter approaching 100 pitches, 2 guys on base, up a run.  You're welcome to disagree.
 

rembrat

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glennhoffmania said:
 
I think that the leverage situation is a tad different in the 3rd inning of a scoreless game than it is in the 7th with the starter approaching 100 pitches, 2 guys on base, up a run.  You're welcome to disagree.
 
What if an even greater leverage situation presents itself in the 9th but Koji has long been used. What then? 
 
Hopefully you see what we're getting at here.
 

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glennhoffmania said:
 
I think that the leverage situation is a tad different in the 3rd inning of a scoreless game than it is in the 7th with the starter approaching 100 pitches, 2 guys on base, up a run.  You're welcome to disagree.
 
I need to know what I'm disagreeing with first. 
 
I think you're saying you'd wait until the second baserunner reaches in the 7th to bring in Koji. How many times are you willing to get him up and throw in the bullpen and then let him sit down again without bringing him in? Do you get him up right after David Freese walks? Is he warming when Freese gets to a three-ball count? 
 

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rembrat said:
 
What if an even greater leverage situation presents itself in the 9th but Koji has long been used. What then? 
 
Hopefully you see what we're getting at here.
Yeah, but my goal is to give the team the best shot to at least be in that subsequent high leverage situation. 
 
HriniakPosterChild said:
 
I need to know what I'm disagreeing with first. 
 
I think you're saying you'd wait until the second baserunner reaches in the 7th to bring in Koji. How many times are you willing to get him up and throw in the bullpen and then let him sit down again without bringing him in? Do you get him up right after David Freese walks? Is he warming when Freese gets to a three-ball count? 
 
At this point in the season?  As many as it takes.  I really don't know how long he needs to get warm.  But with all of the recent off days, the fact that he didn't pitch in game 1, the off day today, and the possibility of taking a 2-0 lead to St. Louis, I would've used him there.
 
To be clear, I'm not saying it was a horrible decision to use Breslow.  He's been effective but I've never felt totally secure when he's been pitching.  I'm only saying that I wish Farrell would consider using his best reliever in situations other than the 9th or with 2 outs in the 8th if the situation calls for it.  Whether last night was such a situation is one thing.  Whether he'd ever do it is another.
 

JimD

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Farrell has talked on multiple occasions about his belief in the value of relievers knowing their roles.  Under his leadership, Koji knows that the ninth is his, and also that he may be called on to pitch in the eighth.  Maybe in an elimination game he could be told to be ready to come in earlier, but nothing we've seen from Farrell would indicate that he was going to do this in Game 2 with the Sox up 1-0 in the series. 
 

Paul M

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Let's put it this way, I'm not sure even Playoff Francona deploys Foulke in that way in Game 2, but I do think in a game that is a potential series clincher you do have to be willing to make that kind of move. Just not sure they have the kind of bullpen right now that is deep enough. But, I appreciate the logic behind that kind of bullpen usage. Probably sounding a little Rainman-esque, but I think they are a reliever short given this rotation. Luckily Lester stands in the way of a worst case scenaro of being down 3-1 in Game 5.
 

Al Zarilla

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Paul M said:
Let's put it this way, I'm not sure even Playoff Francona deploys Foulke in that way in Game 2, but I do think in a game that is a potential series clincher you do have to be willing to make that kind of move. Just not sure they have the kind of bullpen right now that is deep enough. But, I appreciate the logic behind that kind of bullpen usage. Probably sounding a little Rainman-esque, but I think they are a reliever short given this rotation. Luckily Lester stands in the way of a worst case scenaro of being down 3-1 in Game 5.
So, you're advocating throwing Lester on Sunday if the Sox are down 2 - 1 in games?
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Fwiw, Jonah Keri agrees that Uehara should have been the call: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/79858/world-series-game-2-the-soxs-mound-mismanagement

Take that for what you will - I generally think Keri is pretty spot on in most cases. I think it's a great debate and I come down on the side of using Koji to face Carpenter (they could have gotten him warm) but I can see both sides. Either way I think the entire bullpen should be up stretching and loosening while the sox bat in the 6th the rest of the series, even if the starter is still looking good. Shit can go down too quick.

Whatever stance one takes on that point, I think it's obvious breslow should have been pulled rather than allowed to face Beltran. Seasonal splits or not, he clearly didn't have it last night and right after that throwing error, you have to assume he's rattled.
Do we think this hasn't been considered, like really meaningfully considered? For a decade now, teams have been looking at advanced metrics in one sense or another. Our team even employs Bill James, who has opined along these lines. And yet they still stick with relievers knowing their roles. I'm willing to accept that there are subtle arts to the sport that can't be appreciated by the numbers, and relievers knowing their roles actually does help them pitch better. That plus the flawed logic that, in the 7th inning, it was clear that this would be the biggest confrontation of the night. I can think of numerous scenarios that could have developed later in the game, at which point the Sabermetricians would probably complain that the Sox failed to use their best guy in the biggest moment. Unless you can see into the future, it's hard to say (before the 8th inning anyway) that NOW is the key moment of the entire game. [I think in the 8th you can start mapping out a plan that gets you through 9.]
 

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chrisfont9 said:
That plus the flawed logic that, in the 7th inning, it was clear that this would be the biggest confrontation of the night. I can think of numerous scenarios that could have developed later in the game, at which point the Sabermetricians would probably complain that the Sox failed to use their best guy in the biggest moment. Unless you can see into the future, it's hard to say (before the 8th inning anyway) that NOW is the key moment of the entire game. [I think in the 8th you can start mapping out a plan that gets you through 9.]
 
Of course we don't know that, but what we did know was that the 7th was going to be very important one way or another.  If you bring Koji in there he can at least get you through the 8th.  Maybe by then the lead is larger.  But either way you get through the middle of the order after 8, and then you can mix and match with Taz, Breslow, Workman, etc. in the 9th against the bottom of the order.
 

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chrisfont9 said:
Do we think this hasn't been considered, like really meaningfully considered? For a decade now, teams have been looking at advanced metrics in one sense or another. Our team even employs Bill James, who has opined along these lines. And yet they still stick with relievers knowing their roles. I'm willing to accept that there are subtle arts to the sport that can't be appreciated by the numbers, and relievers knowing their roles actually does help them pitch better. That plus the flawed logic that, in the 7th inning, it was clear that this would be the biggest confrontation of the night. I can think of numerous scenarios that could have developed later in the game, at which point the Sabermetricians would probably complain that the Sox failed to use their best guy in the biggest moment. Unless you can see into the future, it's hard to say (before the 8th inning anyway) that NOW is the key moment of the entire game. [I think in the 8th you can start mapping out a plan that gets you through 9.]
 
Unfortunately, the "Relievers knowing their roles" can become a self fulfilling prophecy .. if you trained your relievers from spring training on to expect coming in anytime, any situation they might be flexible enough to handle it. But to do it one way for 173 games and then suddenly throw your closer into the 7th inning - well .. that's asking for trouble.
 
In a vacuum (or a stratomatic game) its the correct thing to do .. in the real world not so much
 

swingin val

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I know not totally realistic to expect, but man, if Gomes somehow could have thrown behind the boneheaded Jay, he would have been doubled off second. Cardinals got some nice breaks on some questionable baserunning (Kozma running while Breslow still had the ball and Jay somehow thinking that ball to Gomes was going to drop, and perhaps even the double steal).
 

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swingin val said:
I know not totally realistic to expect, but man, if Gomes somehow could have thrown behind the boneheaded Jay, he would have been doubled off second. Cardinals got some nice breaks on some questionable baserunning (Kozma running while Breslow still had the ball and Jay somehow thinking that ball to Gomes was going to drop, and perhaps even the double steal).
I don't think he would have had him. If you watch the replay, Jay's sliding into second base and the ball's just in the infield dirt. 
 
http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?topic_id=11493214&content_id=31177753
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Fwiw, Jonah Keri agrees that Uehara should have been the call: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/79858/world-series-game-2-the-soxs-mound-mismanagement

Take that for what you will - I generally think Keri is pretty spot on in most cases. I think it's a great debate and I come down on the side of using Koji to face Carpenter (they could have gotten him warm) but I can see both sides. Either way I think the entire bullpen should be up stretching and loosening while the sox bat in the 6th the rest of the series, even if the starter is still looking good. Shit can go down too quick.

Whatever stance one takes on that point, I think it's obvious breslow should have been pulled rather than allowed to face Beltran. Seasonal splits or not, he clearly didn't have it last night and right after that throwing error, you have to assume he's rattled.
 
Peel back the situation.  Lackey had a relatively quiet 6th getting through the heart of the order, and he'd thrown less than 90 pitches by then.   You have nine outs to go, and the bottom of the order coming up, two of whom bat left-handed.   Why would you have Koji warming up?  Are you planning on asking him to get nine outs?  Because if not, you are going to have to ask someone else to get some of those other outs.  Let's say you're fine with Koji getting five or six outs.  Would there have been a better option than possibly asking Breslow to get out Jay, Descalso, and Carpenter, either in the seventh or the start of the eighth?  
 
Breslow failed to do his job, but that is his job.  If you want to ding Farrell for letting him face Beltran, fine, although the damage was done by then.  
 

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Al Zarilla said:
So, you're advocating throwing Lester on Sunday if the Sox are down 2 - 1 in games?
No, sorry. I mean he's waiting in Game 5 even if the worst case scenario happens and they lose Games 3 and 4. Shouldn't have even written they'd lose both 3 and 4. I expect a split, but it's a minor comfort knowing they have a Game 5 starter who I think is ideally suited to beat this St. Louis team. And then at that point I'd expect extreme aggressive bullpen mgmt in 6 & 7.
 

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Remagellan said:
Peel back the situation.  Lackey had a relatively quiet 6th getting through the heart of the order, and he'd thrown less than 90 pitches by then.   You have nine outs to go, and the bottom of the order coming up, two of whom bat left-handed.   Why would you have Koji warming up?  Are you planning on asking him to get nine outs?  Because if not, you are going to have to ask someone else to get some of those other outs.  Let's say you're fine with Koji getting five or six outs.  Would there have been a better option than possibly asking Breslow to get out Jay, Descalso, and Carpenter, either in the seventh or the start of the eighth?  
 
Breslow failed to do his job, but that is his job.  If you want to ding Farrell for letting him face Beltran, fine, although the damage was done by then.
Exactly. Breslow was warming to start the inning. A number of us commented on it during the game thread, I believe. Start Lackey, with Breslow warming, and if Lackey gets into trouble, put in Breslow.

That's exactly what happened. In order for Koji to pitch in that spot, he would have to have been warming up before Lackey took the mound in the 7th. And there are precisely zero managers out there that would have done that, not when you have a very capable guy in Breslow who handles that part of the lineup 9 times out of 10.

It just didn't work out. It happens.
 

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Paul M said:
No, sorry. I mean he's waiting in Game 5 even if the worst case scenario happens and they lose Games 3 and 4. Shouldn't have even written they'd lose both 3 and 4. I expect a split, but it's a minor comfort knowing they have a Game 5 starter who I think is ideally suited to beat this St. Louis team. And then at that point I'd expect extreme aggressive bullpen mgmt in 6 & 7.
OK. I'll take a split in 3 and 4 also, and then our big lefty on the mound on Monday. Strange that the Cardinals do worse against lefties than righties because they seem like a predominantly right handed team. Holliday (R) and Beltran (S) do worse against lefties, for example. 
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
True but if he makes the throw to second, it's on a line and he doesn't need the crow hop. It would have been close but I think he gets him if it's accurate.
I think there's a bit of an optical illusion and the throw to second looks closer than it really is. Even if he doesn't have to take the full crow hop, he's still got to set his feet. It's possible he might have had a play if he planned to throw to second before he caught the ball and caught it in position to make that throw, but I don't think he had any chance with the way he did catch the ball.
 

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chrisfont9 said:
That plus the flawed logic that, in the 7th inning, it was clear that this would be the biggest confrontation of the night. I can think of numerous scenarios that could have developed later in the game, at which point the Sabermetricians would probably complain that the Sox failed to use their best guy in the biggest moment. Unless you can see into the future, it's hard to say (before the 8th inning anyway) that NOW is the key moment of the entire game. [I think in the 8th you can start mapping out a plan that gets you through 9.]
No one has said anything remotely close to the first sentence. (Frankly, the fact that you would express it in these terms is a pretty clear indication that you're out of your depth here.)

There are really three separate questions under discussion here:

1) Was there a seventh-inning AB (either Descalso or Carpenter) that was of high-enough leverage that using the top reliever was theoretically optimal?

2) If so, was there a realistic opportunity for Farrell to anticipate this situation far enough in advance in order to give Koji enough warm-up time?

3) If so, do the benefits of this approach outweigh the downside of monkeying with the comfort factor of the relievers' well-defined roles?

My answers would be:

1) No for Descalso, Yes for Carpenter
2) Yes - but this would have involved letting Lackey pitch to Descalso, or even (shudder) using Morales, rather than burning Breslow
3) Maybe - it's one of those soft factors that none of us are in position to evaluate with any degree of confidence, particularly in a non-elimination game

Given 3), I'm not particularly inclined to waste time giving an extended defense of my answers to 1) and 2). But I will certainly say that people who are objecting to Koji in the 7th on the grounds that "there might be an even higher-leverage situation later!!11" are missing the point entirely, and would be well-advised to go read some of the widely-available literature on the notion of leverage.
 

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Bellhorn said:
No one has said anything remotely close to the first sentence. (Frankly, the fact that you would express it in these terms is a pretty clear indication that you're out of your depth here.)
 
Well golly gee, I guess I'll go back to slopping the hogs.
 
rembrat said:
 
What if an even greater leverage situation presents itself in the 9th but Koji has long been used. What then? 
 
Hopefully you see what we're getting at here.
Whoops! But other than that, nobody was talking about the possibility that using a reliever in a high-leverage situation in the 7th would deprive them of using that reliever in a higher leverage situation later. Or was your complaint about tone? I try not to hear tones that aren't there myself, but I concede that the written word is a poor substitute for actual in person conversation.
 

Dummy Hoy

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Given all the concern for Buchholz tomorrow, especially after hearing reports of how he looked throwing today, why the hell would you burn Doubront today when Clay may need someone sooner?
 

djhb20

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Because it's a one run game and you have a chance to win this game now if you keep it close. And, presumably, you think Doubie gives you the best chance to do so.
 

JimD

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No problem with bringing in Doubront there. Who knows what the situation will be tomorrow. Try and win tonight.
 

smastroyin

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Taking him out, on the other hand, is the move of a guy who is trying to prove he can hang in the NL.
 
If either Salty or WMB had done something, I would be fine.  But your bullpen can't handle this load over and over, it's more important to keep the guy in who is getting outs than to get a guy riding a 1-15 slump to pinch hit with none on and two out.
 
I'm really unhappy with that top of the 7th from Farrell.
 

djhb20

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Agreed. Especially now with the way the bottom of the inning has gone. (On the replay, it looks like WMB got a bad read on that double.) Doubie was doing well, and you clearly wanted a lefty to go with Carpenter and Beltran, why not stay with Doubie?
 
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