Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sometime you can over manage...

Here's the situation, you make the call.

1 on, 2 outs for the Devil Rays in the top of the 8th, and Tigers were leading Tampa 6-2. Nate Robertson was literally cruising along, with only 96 pitches thrown. Then, out of nowhere, for some ungodly reason, Jim Leyland felt the need to suddenly channel his inner Tony LaRussa, and "Manage."

So what would you do if you were in the Marlboro Man's spikeless cleats?

A: Do nothing.

B: Grab a smoke.

C: Go out to the mound, say a few encouraging words to Robertson, and trot back to the dugout.

D: Tell Robertson to call it a night, and bring in anyone but Jason Grilli.

E: Tell Robertson to call it a night, and bring in Jason Grilli.

Jim Leyland decided on -- E. Yes, Tigers fans, he thought it was a good managerial decision to bring in their worst reliever, the gas can named Jason Grilli. Any of the other moves could have been argued as the correct one, EXCEPT for that one.

4 hits, 1 grand slam, and 10 pitches later, the games was tied 6-6. Grilli was mercilessly, furiously, and deservedly booed off the mound. Leyland had no choice but to get his pitcher out of there, or there would have been a riot at Comerica. They wanted Grilli's head on a pike. The crowd was THAT incensed.

Leyland and Grilli are a very, very, very lucky men tonight, as the offense bailed them out with a huge 3 run rally in the bottom of the 8th, along with Todd Jones and Curtis Granderson doing their thing in the 9th to finally finish the Devil Rays.

What could have been a horrific, season changing, gut punch of a loss, was miraculously avoided.

The Tigers somehow end up winning 9-6. And to show you that if there is a God, he's a merciful one, as Grilli avoids the loss. The Tigers have consecutive wins for the first time in 3 weeks, and all is somewhat well in the world.

Baseball's a funny damn game...

1 comment:

  1. I was following this game on gametracker on mlb.com, and when I checked in the 8th, I saw Robertson was getting yanked. I started going through the gamelog of the previous few batters, wondering if I was missing something. I didn't understand it then, and while Mr. Henning's "Burning Questions" tries to clear the air about it in today's News, I still don't get it.
    I'm just glad I didn't sit in front of the computer to watch Grilli almost give the game away.