04-03-2012, 04:43 PM #61
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
04-03-2012, 04:54 PM #62
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There's a lot of factors that go into deciding when to use which pitcher, and obviously there's no way to guarantee you'll always have your best pitcher available whenever you want. That being said, my main complaint is this (and it's not just a Gardy thing, but all of baseball):
So, if the Twins are batting top of the 8th with a 1-run lead, presumably that is the time when the manager decides who to warm up. If for some reason you have 2 relievers left who haven't put in a lot of work over the last few games, Alex Burnett and Matt Capps, and the other team's 3 best hitters are up in the bottom of the 8th, who's gonna be pitching? Assuming the game remains a 1-run lead going into the bottom of the 8th, you still know that Alex Burnett is going in to pitch, it's just how everybody (Gardy included) does it. Capps is warming up "just in case", but not pitching until Burnett messes up, so that Capps can pitch the 9th. If Perkins (i.e. a setup man who is also considered a very good pitcher, apologies to Alex Burnett, he just appears to be the weakest member of the bullpen at the moment, I hope he proves me wrong) is available, I don't honestly care, that's not really my beef. But if the situation I described above happens, Burnett's going in, and that drives me nuts.
It's also not unusual to see the Twins in a save situation and the closer warming up, only to have the Twins score 3-4 runs making it a non-save situation and the closer doesn't pitch, even though he warmed up already. And I don't necessarily think that he has to pitch that situation (save his arm for another day, etc...), but suddenly it's not a situation which gives him his "stat", so he doesn't pitch now. Even though a relatively pressure-free chance to pitch might be beneficial.
It's not about miraculously knowing when you're going to have a high-leverage situation innings/days ahead of time, it's about recognizing there will be a high leverage situation in the next half inning and acting appropriately. In reality there are only going to be a very, very small number of these situations in a season, so it's not likely a season breaker. But that doesn't mean that in a few rare cases you couldn't use the best pitcher for the situation instead of pitching to the "role." I am fully aware that managers are not oracles capable of predicting that the highest-leverage situation will be in the 6th inning any given game before the situation arises, but there are some moments that you will have time to recognize such as my example, but the closer is still being saved for the ninth, even though you have time to prepare him for the 8th for an obviously high-leverage situation.
04-03-2012, 05:26 PM #63
---Maybe in terms of the regular season. Gardy's teams have generally finished with better records than the '87 Twins. But once the playoffs were expanded, you couldn't really do what the Twins did that year and basically ride 2 pitchers to a title. If there had been a wildcard in '87, the Twins would have had to beat Toronto, who won 96 games that year, before even getting to Detroit, who they would have had to beat 4 times, not 3. TK would have been forced to go deeper into his rotation, and that would have made things a lot tougher.
So there's an argument to be made for some of Gardy's rotations being better for the long haul of a 162-game season. But if you're looking for 2 guys to get you through a short series, I would take Viola/Blyleven over Santana/Radke without hesitation. Santana was a true ace and Radke a nice pitcher. But Sweet Music and Bert were big-time gamers.
04-03-2012, 05:32 PM #64
---Helpful tip: there is a "Reply with Quote" button you can use to include the original post when responding to others. Had you known this, you could have saved yourself a few keystrokes and not had to re-type or copy/paste the "Gardenhire is perfect" argument that has been advanced so many types by so many people on this thread.
04-03-2012, 05:45 PM #65
I can buy an argument that some players perform better if they know their role and when they are expected to pitch, as it probably affects their routine. I'm not sure their is any statistical evidence to back that up though, I doubt it.
04-03-2012, 05:52 PM #66
04-03-2012, 06:30 PM #67
04-03-2012, 08:06 PM #68
Go back to the 11-man (or early in the season with extra off days and starters being skipped, a GASP!!! 10-man) pitching staff and stop trying to play matchups so often with the relievers. This gets an extra bench player (hopefully not a third catcher) to allow more late-game offensive machinations especially with all the moving parts (Mauer/Doumit/Morneau/Parmelee).
04-03-2012, 10:06 PM #69
As for Gardenhire doing a lot with a little, maybe the last 2 years he hasn't, but from 2002-2009 he certainly did.
How about taking a team with the 4th-lowest opening day payroll in baseball and getting them to within 3 win of a World Series appearance?
How about consistently winning division titles, even though your rivals are making big offseason splashes while your front office jettisons your most talented players when they become too expensive and replaces them with bargain bin free agents.
How about 2008 when most of the "experts" picked the Twins to finish dead last after the departures of Santana and Hunter while prematurely crowning the Tigers based on moves to bring in Willis, Cabrera and Renteria. But Gardy had the Twins playing past game 162 again.
How about the comeback in '09, this time capped by a win in game 163, in which Gardy pieced together a late run using a bunch of September callups while guys like Morneau were out.
These were all pretty impressive performances, that I think, unfortunately, have been largely overshadowed by postseason disappointments and taken for granted because they happened so often. But winning year in and year out despite roster upheavel is a tough thing to do. Tom Kelly was a great manager had the 2 unforgettable post season runs, but even he couldn't manage to keep the team in the mix consistently. In his 15 years of managing, he had only 5 winning seasons.
Nobody, especially me, is claiming Gardenhire is a perfect manager. But I will say that he's one of the best in the business, and largely underappreciated by the flock.
04-04-2012, 01:40 PM #70
My advice to Gardenhire:
1. It is permitted by the rules of baseball for someone other than the SS or 2B to bat second in the order.
2. Thursday afternoon games count just as much as other games at the end of the season. Games in April count the same as games in September.
3. Try to avoid playing the Yankees, if at all possible.
4. Getting your lead-off man on base doesn't mean you automatically have to give up an out on the next batter. There's something called a "rally".
5. You are not playing in the National League and this isn't 1985.
04-04-2012, 01:57 PM #71
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04-06-2012, 08:32 PM #72
There were a couple of interesting bullpen moves today worth examining....
1) Bringing in Jeff Gray in the 8th down 4-0. At the time, I thought this was fine, since Gray strikes me as a end of the bullpen guy and one that might be used when the team is probably going to lose the game. But I was a little surprised that when he started giving up baserunners (as one might expect from Jeff Gray) he pulled him and went with the lefty, which raised the second question....
2) Bringing in Duensing to face Markakis made perfect sense because Markakis hits left-handed. But then he kept him in to face Jones, who is right-handed. And the hitters after Jones - Wieters, Betemit, and Reynolds - are all switch hitters or right-handed. It may be that Wieters is more susceptible to lefties or something, but I was surprised Gardenhire left Duensing in there. BTW, Duensing struck out Jones on a low fastball, albeit after falling behind 3-1.
04-06-2012, 09:27 PM #73
1. As you say, Gray makes sense because you're trailing 4-0. A four run lead is sort of the unofficial cutoff for what's a blowout and what isn't (a four run lead can still be made up with one swing of the bat) so you would rather not give up any more runs. I suspect if the lead was 5 or more, Gardy would've been more likely to let Gray stay out there to sink or swim.
2. Since it was 4, once Gray gets into trouble, Gardy goes and gets the LHer to face Markakis. He's not going to use his top LHer though, so it's Duensing instead of Perkins.
3. I suspect if Duensing walks Markakis, or if Markakis was the 1st out of the inning, Burnett faces Jones. Since Duensing got Markakis, and with now 2 out, might as well let Duensing pitch to Jones and see if he can get you out of the inning without using another pitcher. It's not like there is a boatload of solid RH options out of the pen anyway, and if you DO bring Burnett in to face Jones, and he doesn't retire him, you lose the platoon advantage for the next two hitters after that anyway, so you'd be burning a 3rd pitcher in the inning (while trailing by 4) just to get the platoon advantage on one of three hitters, all with with 2 out. Ergo, you let Duensing face Jones.
Last edited by USAFChief; 04-06-2012 at 09:29 PM.
04-06-2012, 09:58 PM #74
Now getting back to the question...the 100 pitch limit, coddling players, and having "favorites" on the team that generally are sure outs (see Hocking, Punto, Butera) are my biggest issues with Gardy.
Last edited by mysonlikes7; 04-06-2012 at 10:06 PM.
04-06-2012, 10:43 PM #75
2) Can you give examples of "coddling players"?
3) Punto was the only guy there that you could maybe consider a "favorite". He had his ups and downs, but watching last year's team was a pretty good lesson in why he was valued. The results weren't always what you'd hoped, and he could make some maddeningly dumb mistakes at times, but Punto's effort and commitment were never in question. Also, he did have seasons where he hit .284 and .290, so he was hardly always a "sure out". Butera was only used regularly when it was a necessity. Hocking played under Gardy for 2 seasons and appeared in slightly more than half the teams games in those, which was less action than he was seeing under TK.
So unless you can come up with specific, verifiable examples of "coddling", I think you struck out on 3 pitches here, chief.
04-07-2012, 12:26 AM #76
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Here is something that has to stop right now. Gardy has an irrational fear of running out of catchers during the course of a game or losing the DH spot if Mauer has to leave the DH and put the pads back on... due to injury or ejection.
Umm... Everytime Butera swung a bat last year. It was no better then letting Blackburn hit. Once you let Butera swing a bat and I mean once. You can't act like losing the DH spot for an inning or two... due to mid game catcher injury is a death blow.
Mauer or Doumit will have to DH sometime this year to keep their bats in the lineup. Go ahead and close your eyes and roll the dice Gardy. Just remember you can pitch hit for a pitcher when his turn comes up in the rare instance its necessary. It will be OK. Let's not beg Terry Ryan to call up that 3rd catcher who will rarely play.
By the way. Thanks for the division titles. Go get em this year.
Last edited by Riverbrian; 04-07-2012 at 08:59 AM.
04-07-2012, 06:30 AM #77
This "complain about Gardy" thread could eventually catch up to the GopherHole (36500+ views) "Oops-- wrong forum" thread.
Last edited by Highabove; 04-07-2012 at 06:44 AM.