Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yakety Nats and Second Guessing

I had to do it.

Obviously the Nats certainly earned their loss today with seven men left on base, grounding into three double plays, and Guzman's three errors. Those are the actual reasons for the loss. And hindsight is 20-20, but I am scratching my head a bit about the lineup juggling in the late innings that led to moving Guzman to right field.

The thing I hate most isn't really all that related to how the game ended up playing out, except for the fact that it indirectly created the need to move Guzman to right field. I despise that Riggleman double switched Willingham - one of his best hitters - out of the game trailing by one run in the eighth inning.

This is what I understand happened with the lineup:

Trailing 3-2 at the start of the bottom of the 8th, Tyler Clippard came in to pitch. The pitchers spot was in the number six spot in the lineup, which was due to lead off the top of the 9th. Clippard was inserted into Josh Willingham's number five spot in the lineup, Willie Harris (EDIT: who was double switched in with Storen in the 6th) moved to LF and Guzman was moved to right field. Desmond replaced Guzman at SS in the number six spot, so that he would lead off the top of the 9th.

I understand the desire not to have Clippard's spot lead off the 9th, but did the Nats really need to hedge their ability to have Clippard to pitch both the 8th and the 9th innings? The Nats were trailing by one run, and Clippard would only pitch the bottom of the 9th if the Nats tied it in the top of the inning. If the Nats took the lead in the top of the 9th, Capps would pitch the bottom of the inning, and if Clippard allowed more runs in the 8th, you probably wouldn't want him to pitch the theoretical bottom of the 9th anyway.

Riggleman did safeguard his (likely unnecessary) ability to have Clippard pitch the ninth inning, but he also gave up his ability to decide who would lead off the 9th after the 8th inning ended. You could always pinch hit for Clippard instead, and maybe Alberto Gonzalez would have been a better choice if Clippard allowed a run or two and the Nats were trailing by more than one run to the start the ninth.

Anyway, this is all very theoretical, and I'm not sure what my point is. It's just what I was thinking about after my Guzman induced rage subsided a bit.

1 comment:

  1. The whole roster mismanagement started in the bottom of the sixth when he double switched in Harris in RF for Bernadina. That is way too early to start doing that, especially when you are trailing. That ultimately led to the fatal mistake of having Goozie in RF in a save situation. That loss is mainly on Riggles.