When a Manager is Afraid to Pull the Trigger
Tough times for Fredi Gonzalez in Atlanta right now. He’s got the second coming of Mariano Rivera greased and ready in the bullpen and all Kimbrel can do is pace around the bullpen with a ball in his glove. In an elimination game, Gonzalez had a decision to make: use the best closer in the game for a 2 inning save or just keep everyone in their *role* and do what his book tells him to do.
Kimbrel had pitched once in the playoffs, a 1.1 inning save last Friday night in Atlanta. He was needed to come in and relieve an ineffective David Carpenter, the same pitcher Gonzalez had pitching the 8th inning last night. Kimbrel had pitched exactly 3.1 innings in the last 13 days. He was hardly overworked. Last night, as he stood in the bullpen with his hands on his hips waiting for a call that never came, he looked like a man begging to work.
Carpenter had a very nice year for the Braves but he’s no Craig Kimbrel. And with everything on the line, you don’t leave it up to David Carpenter et al. You bring in The Great Kimbrel…
Of course, if you have read Baseball’s Starry Night, you’ll know that not even The Great Kimbrel is immune to failure.
Sadly, the Dodgers have moved on to the NLCS–a round I thought they’d all be watching on tv. So far, this post season sucks.