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Gardy's Bullpen Usage Tonight

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:42 PM

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.

#2 jctwins

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:45 PM

1) Wrong 2) Wrong Gardy isn't a good manager and he burns bullpens like nobody's business. DPJ

#3 DaveW

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:45 PM

Honestly, it is/was in-defense-able, at this point it is best to just try to put it past us all and laugh/cry about it. I get the idea of not throwing Perkins out there at that point, I don't think it's right but I understand his point. Perhaps he would have brought Perkins out for the 10th if they made it? Still, you gotta go with your best arm at that point regardless. What I don't understand is why Jeff Gray is even on this roster, hopefully this was the last straw and we will see someone up from the minors soon.

#4 70charger

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:05 PM

1) More or less agree 2) More or less agree How is the Jeff Gray move defensible? No freakin' idea. Honestly, I think a smart use of the bullpen would have been putting out the mini-rally the Sux had going in the 7th. And who the hell cares about tomorrow night if you can't win tonight? Cross that bridge when you come to it. At least if you win tonight, you're assured of winning the series.

#5 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:08 PM

You mean Butera was unavailable as well?
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#6 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:12 PM

talked about it in another thread......altho the team always tries to win, there are games that they dont try to win. Tonight was one. Resting Burnett/Burton/Perkins was more important than trying to win the game. Granted it was tied & not a lead but this is the way Gardy thinks. Wish this woulda gone about 15 innings/Blackburn was knocked out in about 2 innings , so gardy really looked like a fool. Hate the way he handles the staff/tho most of that is Rick Anderson....who I like less.

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:42 AM

I didn't like to see Gray in that situation and the end-results were not at all surprising, but I didn't have a huge problem with it. Regardless of the words chosen after the game, I agree that Burton, Perkins and Burnett have all been used too much. So for me, it came down to using Gray, Fien or Perdomo. Again, Gray's probably my third choice in that group, but he's been on the roster all year, and I don't have a problem with the manager expecting him to get outs when he puts him in.

#8 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:18 AM

I'm worried about Burton. Coming off major surgery, I'm starting to wonder if a quick DL stint to rest the arm wouldn't be a good idea.

#9 old nurse

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:01 AM

If Perkind pitched the ninth who pitches the tenth, eleventh innings?

#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:11 AM

If Perkind pitched the ninth who pitches the tenth, eleventh innings?


Who cares? Cross that bridge when you come to it.

Baseball games should not be managed for a statistic. It's that simple. The fact that Gardy actually admitted this is proof that the tail is wagging the dog. You know it won't happen but JR should have been in Gardy's office five minutes after that press conference, screaming at him about the stupidity of what he just did. You manage to win, statistics be damned.

And the best way to win is to do as good a job you can at preventing the other team from scoring late in the game.

PS. If Gardy feels Perkins has been used too much, that's fine. Go to someone else. But never, never, ever try to use an arbitrary statistic to defend an action that caused you to keep your best reliever out of a game that you subsequently lost.

#11 gil4

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:55 AM

If Perkind pitched the ninth who pitches the tenth, eleventh innings?


The Twins did score in the bottom of the ninth, so hopefully nobody.

I know, there's no guarantee they score if it's a tie game, and there's no guarantee Perkins goes 1-2-3. I guess I've always been of the opinion that you play your best cards while you have them and let the chips fall where they may, rather than hold them for a situation that might never come.

I'd rather have perkins in a high-leverage situation than Gray. The situation in the top of the 9th and top pf the 11th are essentially the same. I would rather use Perkins forst and try to prevent a top of the 11th.

#12 Fire Dan Gladden

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:07 AM

Who cares? Cross that bridge when you come to it.

Baseball games should not be managed for a statistic. It's that simple. The fact that Gardy actually admitted this is proof that the tail is wagging the dog. You know it won't happen but JR should have been in Gardy's office five minutes after that press conference, screaming at him about the stupidity of what he just did. You manage to win, statistics be damned.

And the best way to win is to do as good a job you can at preventing the other team from scoring late in the game.

PS. If Gardy feels Perkins has been used too much, that's fine. Go to someone else. But never, never, ever try to use an arbitrary statistic to defend an action that caused you to keep your best reliever out of a game that you subsequently lost.


Gardy has always let the save stat determine how he uses his bullpen, it is one of his bigger faults. He wouldn't pitch Burton or Perkins until the save situation came up or he had no other choice. The Save, in it's current form, is a joke. I like rewarding pitchers for excelling in high leverage situations, but starting an inning with a 3 run lead is not high leverage.

#13 glanzer

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:07 AM

Technically if the game enters the ninth inning in a tie, there is no possible way for the home team to earn a save. Any home team lead from there on out means game over and no lead to protect. So essentially Perkins' night was over when the game went to the 9th.

#14 JB_Iowa

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:14 AM

I could understand this move if they were testing Gray to see if he should be replaced on the roster ... but that's about the only way it makes sense. And if Mr. Gardenhire doesn't care whether this team wins, why should the rest of us give a rat's a** about them?

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:15 AM

Gardy has always let the save stat determine how he uses his bullpen, it is one of his bigger faults. He wouldn't pitch Burton or Perkins until the save situation came up or he had no other choice. The Save, in it's current form, is a joke. I like rewarding pitchers for excelling in high leverage situations, but starting an inning with a 3 run lead is not high leverage.


What's baffling is that we as fans can recognize just how useless the statistic is but management of well over half of baseball can't do the same.

I thought the goal of baseball was to win games. I didn't realize it was to accumulate statistics that are completely arbitrary. Hell, even the "win" stat has more relevance than the save. Well, most of the time, anyway.

#16 The Dread Pirate

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:26 AM

This is nothing new. Look at this beauty of a boxscore from seven years ago when Gardy saved Joe Nathan for a save against the White Sox.

#17 DPJ

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:28 AM

I don't know if I was more distubed by Gray in the 9th or sending Blackburn back out there for 7th and 8th innings.

#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:36 AM

I don't know if I was more distubed by Gray in the 9th or sending Blackburn back out there for 7th and 8th innings.


Given the state of the bullpen, I don't really fault him for that. If Blackburn is dealing, leave him out there. God knows he'll only post a performance like that once a blue moon.

#19 JB_Iowa

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:43 AM

Okay, this isn't really a defense of Gardenhire because as most of you know, I believe that the Twins need some significant changes on and off the field, but here's my take: I believe that the reason Gardenhire and the Twins were able to win the Central fairly regularly over the last 10 years was that he took a "long view" at the season. More than most managers, he epitomizes "keeping an even keel". It is frequently evident in his comments (we'll get 'em next time and we battled our tails off and there's another game tomorrow). It is evident in his lineup construction (please remember the frustration many fans have had when he has failed to move "hot hitters" up in the line-up). It is evident in his BP usage (relievers have a slotted "spot" and he doesn't like to vary from that). And for the most part it has worked in the regular season. Even now, for those of you who are optimistic and refer to the improvements you've seen this season, I think a large part of it is Gardenhire's willingness to stick with his methods even in the face of defeat. But while it has generally made him a successful regular season manager, I've always believed that it contributed to (note I didn't say it was the reason for), the Twins downfall in the playoffs. Then, there ISN'T always another game (or at least not many). Success takes on a new urgency in the post-season and sometimes you have to be creative about what you are doing as a manager and the team needs to be able to shift gears (of course, some power pitching wouldn't hurt). Gardenhire's use of Gray last night really wasn't anything new. And it wasn't anything different from his pattern in years past. With a little better quality BP, he may have "gotten away with it" a little more often but there were plenty of frustrating moments then, too. Gardenhire isn't going to change ,,, the question is whether the Twins need to make one.

#20 Thrylos

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:46 AM

Why is Gray still in the majors? Guerra has been back off the DL in Rochester. Obvious move.
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