Who was pulling the strings after Molitor's ejection?
If they wanted to bunt Esco to third, they should bat Adrianza for Gimenez and do that.
Then hit Garver for Goodrum with a runner on third.
Gotta get that guy in from second with no one out in the ninth.
I'd like to know what Vavra was thinking in the 9th. I'm not going to claim that Vavra or whoever was wrong... but I'd like to know the thought process because I'm having a hard time with benefit of the doubt.
Disclaimer: I don't believe that I spend a ton of time criticizing the manager for in-game decisions. I usually can live with whatever batting order or however the bullpen is used because I'm ok with a Manager thinking for themselves and not for me. I think I expressed criticism or deep confusion back in late May when Rucinski and Wheeler were called up before a series with the Astros because the bullpen was really really really spent and Molitor did not throw either of them with an 8-2 lead and the really really really spent bullpen coughed up like 30 runs in 8th and became extra really really really spent in the process of losing game one of the series which then forced Molitor to debut Wheeler the next day in a much closer situation. I only mention that game for the context that I don't criticize the manager often.
WIth that said... What was going on with Gimenez in the 9th? It says in the Trib "I did it on my own" quoting Gimenez when asked about the bunt attempt. He popped it up and got away with it but then Vavra is quoted as saying "we decided it wasn’t the right play".
1. Why isn't Vavra managing the game with both hands on the wheel in the 9th inning and a one run deficit, nobody out and a runner on 2nd? Gimenez saying "I did it on my own" in a clear bunting situation makes it sound like Vavra expected Gimenez to hit away.
2. Why did Vavra decide "it wasn't the right play". Gimenez is hitting .198, he strikes out 27.6% of the time. He is a veteran career back up catcher with a .214 career batting average. I have to assume that he has been asked to bunt before.
3. If it wasn't the right play because of Gimenez's bunting ability. Castro was available to catch with Garver all used up and Adrianaza was available to pinch hit or pinch bunt. Adrianaza at least has been one of our best contact hitters with a 13.1 K%.
No idea what the thought process was... runner on 2nd... 9th inning... down by 1 run. The manager's job was to get that tying run to third and that was a big uncomfortable ugly looking fail.
If the strategy was to let the guy hitting .198 swing away... I question that strategy.
If the Vet catcher hitting .198 can't move the runner to third in that situation with a playoff spot on the line in September. I question his value.
I hate over reacting to one at-bat but... the game died right there. Either Gimenez or Vavra or both screwed up.