Gardy's Bullpen Usage Tonight
In a (likely) ineffective attempt to short-circuit the sound of Other Voices,,,
1) I think Gardy is a good manager.
2) I think his bullpen use is usually a strength.
But how the hell do you justify tonight. I'll be honest - I'm not sure if I'm more dissappointed by his strategy, his deception, or by the media not calling him on it. And I'll admit - I could have been there and called him on it myself, so I can only be so critical of it. To recap....
The Twins entered the game in the top of the ninth tied and Blackburn was done. We found out that the top two right-handers, Burton and Burnett, were unavailable because they pitched last night. But rather than bring in Perkins, Gardenhire brought in Jeff Gray. That move is semi-defendable - the first, third and fourth hitters were all right-handed.
It didn't go well. The second batter, LHer AJ Pierzynski, hit a two-run homer that won the game for the Sox.
That's bad, but what was worse was the post game explanation. "Perkins was save only. If we pitch him any other way tonight, he's not available tomorrow."
Of course, there was no possibility of a save tonight one the game entered the 9th in a tie. And "tomorrow" Burton and Burnet would likely have been available with a day's rest. So was Perkins really unavailable? Was Gardy confused about the possibility of a save? Did he really think a possible lead tomorrow was higher leverage than a tie game tonight? Did he just think he could sneak through that 9th with a right-hander?
It's hard to say, because nobody asked.