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Nearly 1,000 Games Into Managing, Mike Matheny Is Still Mishandling the Bullpen

Six seasons into the job, and with the training wheels off, Mike Matheny still struggles to manage a bullpen.

I’m actually being too polite there, so please allow me to rephrase:

Mike Matheny still doesn’t  know how  to run a bullpen.

The best managers make mistakes, and lots of them. And yessir,  pitches are accountable for their performance. When bullpens implode late in games there’s more to it than the manager’s decisions.

Except: a substantial part of a manager’s job is putting his players in the best position to succeed. That may be the most important aspect of a manager’s mission. Maximize your players’ chances for success when it’s at all reasonable to do so. Don’t utilize them in a way that puts them at a certain disadvantage.

The Cardinals opened their post All-Star-break schedule by dropping two of three games in Pittsburgh.

Unfortunately Matheny’s hand prints were all over the losses on Friday and Sunday.

Friday, 9th Inning: Seung Hwan Oh vs. Josh Bell

In the ninth inning of a 2-2 game, Matheny had RH reliever Seung Hwan Oh give a free pass to the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen, and the intentional walk brought up young Pirates slugger Josh Bell. Now, in a sense you can understand the reluctance to take on McCutchen. There was a runner on second with one out. The Pirates needed a run to win, walk-off style. And McCutchen has been on a scorching hot streak. Get the ground ball. Get a double play. End of threat.

Yeah, except it wasn’t that simple. Bell is a switch hitter, meaning that he’d take the AB from his left side. Understand that Bell is better from the left side; this season his OPS against RH pitchers is 54 points higher than his OPS vs. lefties.

And considering with Seung Hwan Oh’s horrendous numbers against LH hitters this season, it’s a terrible idea to choose him face a dangerous left-side hitter.

Here’s Oh vs. LH bats this season:  88 batters faced … shredded for a .363 batting average … .414 onbase percentage … .688 slugging percentage … 7 homers and 5 doubles in 80 at-bats … a 1.102 OPS. Among active and qualifying MLB relievers in 2017, none have been crushed for higher OPS by LH batters than Oh.

Oh’s stats against RH bats are much calmer and reassuring: a  .209 average, .266 OBP, .279 SLG, only 1 homer in 86 at-bats, and a .545 OPS. When there is a negative 557 percentage-point difference in Oh’s OPS splits based on RH and LH hitters, why would you put Oh in such a tremendous matchup disadvantage with the game on the line? Does this make any sense? of course not. And by the way, even though its a mini sample, McCutchen is 1 for 5 against Oh over the last two seasons.

You know how it ended.

Bell hit a three-run homer off Oh.

Pirates win 5-2.

With a chance to snuff a ninth-inning threat and extend his team’s opportunity to grab the first game of a three-game set at PNC Park, Matheny literally selected the worst pitcher possible  for the assignment vs. Bell — not just the worst choice among Cardinals relievers; we are talking about the worst possible relief option in the entire major leagues  to face LH batters in 2017.

Sunday: Brett Cecil in the 9th instead of Trevor Rosenthal

After the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead on Yadier Molina’s solo homer in the top of the 8th, Matheny summoned Trevor Rosenthal in to attack the  Pirates on the bottom of the inning. Good choice. But not the right choice.

By pitching Rosenthal in the 8th, Matheny made a decision to hand custody of this game to Brett Cecil in the ninth. Get three outs, the save, and a series win. To open the inning rookie STL shortstop Paul DeJong couldn’t make a play on a grounder; the fumble was generously scored  as a “hit.” That was a big moment. Cecil couldn’t overcome it.  After two more hits and two runs allowed, Cecil was charged with a blown save. He didn’t pitch well. It was a bad performance.

Again … not so simple.

Cecil came into the contest on a streak of 15 consecutive scoreless relief appearances; during his positive stretch opponents batted .137 against him. But just about all of that fine work came before the ninth inning, in non-save scenarios? Cecil was becoming an eighth-inning shutdown arm, and that’s a valuable piece. So why slot him in the 9th?

The 9th inning takes Cecil out of his comfort zone. And while I completely agree that it’s ludicrous for relievers to be gripped with anxiety over roles — if you can pitch well in the 8th, then why would you dissolve in the 9th? — we aren’t going to change the modern reality. This is how how relievers are wired; they prefer a specific role and get antsy when taken out of their designated bubble.

As a big-league reliever Cecil has a career 2.48 ERA and .620 opponent OPS in non-save situations.

In career save situations, Cecil has a 4.73 ERA and .699 OPS allowed.

This season: 1.11 ERA in non-save situations; 8.53 ERA in save scenarios.

That’s only one part of this. The other is Rosenthal’s history as a very good closer when healthy.

Rosenthal had one rough stretch earlier this season, but he’s been roaring in his last six appearances. All scoreless. He faced 19 batters and didn’t allow a hit or walk. The only blemish was one hit by pitch. And in retiring 18 of the 19 batters faced, Rosenthal struck out 10.

This season Rosenthal ranks 6th among qualifying MLB relievers in strikeouts per 9 innings (14.37.) Rosenthal’s overall strikeout rate of 38.2 percent is seventh among relievers. His fielding independent (FIP) ERA, 2.15, is tied for 12th. This month, Rosenthal has a 1.19 FIP.  Except for June, when he labored, Rosenthal’s monthly FIPs have been 1.64 or less. And his wildness has been tamed in June; his walk rate this month is only 8 percent — and with a 44 percent strikeout rate.

Botton line: Rosenthal’s 1.2 WAR is tied for 14th among relievers. His Wins Above Replacement is equal to that of Cubs’ All-Star closer Wade Davis. As an added bonus, Rosenthal has been equally potent against LH batters and RH batters.

Why would anyone be surprised by this?

The young Rosenthal took over as the Cards closer in the final month of the 2013 regular season. From that time through the 2015 season, Rosenthal bagged 96 saves in 106 opportunities, a strong save rate of just under 91 percent. He pitched in the heat of postseason, powering to a 1.04 ERA from 2013-2015.) Rosenthal had 45 saves in 2014, and followed with a team-record 48 saves in ’15. Last year Rosenthal was decommissioned as the closer because of arm trouble, but he’s clearly returned to form this season.

Rosenthal should be closing.

He’s having his most wicked strikeout-punch display of his career. He’s has the experienced head for these pressure assignments. He got through last season’s injury, and this season’s slump. To his benefit, TR has learned to diversify his pitch selection, and vary the speed on his fastball.

The Cardinals have their closer. And if the manager was willing to Rosenthal for a third consecutive day, the ninth inning should have belonged to him Sunday. It’s absurd to use Rosenthal as a setup guy and push Cecil into a closing/save situation. One reliever has a positive history as a closer, Rosenthal. The other reliever, Cecil, is excellent in the setup innings but has a poor history in the quest for saves.

In post-game comments relayed by  STLtoday and the Post-Dispatch, Cecil had some revealing thoughts on the subject. The bullpen chaos and blurring of roles. The indecision over who should be the closer.

“That is our fault because we haven’t really solidified any roles for anybody,” Cecil said. “Just kind of grind and be ready when the phone rings. I think it all starts with that last inning. Once we get that solidified no matter who that is, the rest will take care of itself. That’s really what needs to happen. Need it. Definitely need it.”

Agreed. But Matheny has managed the Cardinals for 944 games including postseason. And he’s still doing the same screwy things with his bullpen management. When does he get smarter? Will it take eight seasons? Maybe 10 or 12 seasons? You got me.; I don’t know the answer. I’m the fool who thought Matheny would get it figured after two or three seasons of managing. Nope.

It’s easy to point at Matheny, which I am doing here. But I think it’s appropriate to shift focus. The longer this goes on — with the Cardinals giving away too many games that they can’t afford to lose — the burden of responsibility should be placed on the executives who hired Matheny. The executives who fully support Matheny. The executives who almost get offended by criticism of Matheny or questions concerning Matheny’s job security.

If DeWitt and Mozeliak are cool with all of this, if they won’t hold Matheny to a higher standard … well, Matheny isn’t the real problem. The true problem is upstairs, with the team chairman and the president of baseball operations.

Thanks for reading…

–Bernie

More: To Make the Playoffs, the Cardinals Have Many Boxes To Check; Here’s a List

  • Patty Gary Craig

    I think the problem is not only with Matheny Its with the front office who will not get us good players our players are sub par we have no voted All-Stars rightfully so.We have no All-Stars on this cardinal team just like last year it’s time we get some better players this is very frustrating

    • Jody Wassmer

      You’re correct about the lack of really good players but Matheny only adds to the problems with his inept handling of the team. Dewitt needs to drop the loyalty and realize he has a problem in the dugout.

      • JDinSTL

        No one is following the Leader of Men

  • Dal Black

    I have no issues with Matheny trying out Cecil as closer. Rosenthal has already proven that he’s not consistent. We’ve tried Oh, Rosenthal, and now Cecil for 1 game. We do not have a consistent closer, period. Matheny has no legitimate options for a closer.

    Given Cecil’s history during save situations and his performance yesterday, I would agree that he is not closer material. But it was worth a shot. Is Rosenthal now the best option? Probably. But don’t be surprised when he loads the bases with nobody out and then proceeds to give up a game-losing hit. He’s now just the best of multiple bad options. If he can save 9 out of his next 10 opportunities, I might change my mind. But I haven’t seen anything this year that makes me think he’s capable of that.

    • Big T

      Bernie can cite stats and reasons why someone is a bad choice but the truth is OH’S pitch was middle of the plate with no movement. Essentially a mistake and BP pitch. Right handed or left handed big league hitters would have crushed it. You can’t blame MM on that one.

      What if he had Seigrist or Cecil pitched and they made a mistake pitch and Bell crushed it. Then MM is a genius for having the right guy fail? Too much blame for poor job by OH who is not pitching well most of this year.

      Same can be said of Cecil yesterday. All of the hits against him were mistake pitches. Not just bad results but clear misses some by 6 inches or more. Yadi’s target was not close to two of the batted balls or the guy he walked. The winning hit was right down the middle of the plate, no movement, and crushed. How is that MM fault?

      If Cecil pitches eighth and fails we hear the cite that Cecil is not strong against lefties and Rosie should have been used. Again just bad results from failed execution.

      Speaking of failed execution how about Carlos Martinez grooving a fastball to a 4-48 hitter after being given a lead? Middle of the plate pitch no bite and he crushes it. His first and only big league home run. I guess MM should have pulled Martinez before that inning??

      • EJetson

        Actually, not enough blame is put on Matheny. A one game tryout for a new closer? Ridiculous. 90+% of closers are guys who are flame throwers who can strike out anyone at anytime. We only have one of those guys in our bullpen. Rosenthal.

        When a pitcher struggles, yes he’s to blame. However, when a manager continually puts pitchers in situations that are unfavorable, then the blame goes mostly onto his shoulders. We’ve seen YEARS of this mismanagement of the bullpen now with Matheny. As Bernie said, he’s not getting any better at it. He may even be getting worse. It’s time for him to hit the road.

    • William Thom

      Wrong! Rosenthal has had inconsistencies, but is still overpowering and has a lot of closer experience. A manager has to put the best people in the best roles.

      • Big T

        Rosenthal is hands down our best closer option when healthy and I see no reason to believe he is anything but healthy! Give him the role and the ball and let this team ride his back in close games.

      • Dal Black

        Can’t argue with “Wrong!”. That’s a great argument. I take it back. Your information makes a lot of sense.

      • maryville

        If you use Rosenthal in the 9th (i.e., closer) who would have pitched, and held, the Pirates in the 8th? It’s very easy to say that the bullpen is being mismanaged without explaining all the options which are few and far between. Isn’t this called ‘second guessing’?

        • EJetson

          Nobody is saying that it would have been guaranteed to work if Cecil had pitched the 8th and Rosenthal the 9th. But, it would have improved the odds of it working and it would have made the most sense.

          When you do the right thing and it doesn’t work, then there’s no blame on you. When you do the wrong thing and it doesn’t work, then the blame is all yours.

        • Bernie has been trying to tell you for yrs now, Muttheny can’t manage. But apparently you’ve had one too many foul balls off of your catcher’s mask, much like Matheny.

          So you want to blame it on the players in deference to the mgr, when you forgot who selected these players in the first place. Who you suggest they blame when a team fails? How many yrs is enough to prove Matheny can’t bring a championship to this city? Whatever lies between your ears, most definitely will not be confused for brain matter.

    • Christopher Michael Meister

      Not really. You want a series win coming out of the break. It does wonders for team cohesiveness. Not time to experiment, especially with Rosie pitching well. If anything, like CECIL said himself, you want structure at this point – security for the players. Matheny is like a guy who repainted a room seven times when it was fine with the first color.

      Stability in the lineup and bullpen is what the cards need and MM gives neither.

  • William Thom

    Spot on. No pitcher is a guarantee. Still, a good manager uses the best right people in the right situations. Rosenthal has had his inconsistencies, but is still overpowering and has a lot of closer experience. Maybe they have won, or lost, still using Rosenthal in the 8th and Cecil is the 9th was stupid.

  • Brandon Vaughn

    Amen Bernie

  • David B

    As much as I don’t like to “blame the manager” for performance on the field, I have to agree with you, Bernie. Lately, each time MM brings in Rosenthal to pitch in the 8th, I ask myself, “Who is he planning to use in the 9th?” After the Friday collapse, it wasn’t going to be Oh. We’ll never know if Cecil would have pitched well in the 8th inning on Sunday, and Rosenthal would have closed things out in the 9th. But I was thinking before it happened, why is MM doing it this way? I really don’t get it.

  • Joe Belkin

    For some ridiculous reason this team carries 8 relievers. One of them, Sam Tuivalala, has had some success saving games at the AAA level. Given the current situation, why isn’t he at least being given a shot? Can he be any worse than Oh or Cecil were this weekend?
    If Matheny insists on Rosie in the 9th then why not try Tui in the 7th or 8th?

  • Scott Warren

    Anyone shocked by this should take off their Cardinal colored underwear and pay attention. It’s not going to get better either because you have a front office and owner that subscribe to his buffoonery.

  • jswat

    I call BS. the “role” for any pitcher is to get the batter(s) out, regardless of what inning the scoreboard shows.
    That said, I think it is time to give Rosey the closer role back. But saying that, Bernie, it makes you out to be hypocritical and inconsistent. Why? Because Rosey is flourishing in the 8th inning role and now you want to take him out of his “comfort zone” and put him in a high pressure closer role. Or, are you admitting pitchers should be able to pitch effectively regardless of the inning? Hmmmm

    • silencedogoodreturns

      Rosie loves the closer role and the high pressure. That IS his comfort zone

  • Mike Hutson

    Not trying to defend matheny, as I doubt this was his thought process, but wouldn’t you rather have your best pitcher, Rosenthal, face their best hitters,1-4, and have your second best, Cecil, face the bottom of the order in the ninth?

    • Michael Aaron

      Yep…our best relief option vs their best hitters = good matchup…the “closer role” is stupid.

      • JDinSTL

        Why let evidence get in the way of a good theory?

    • EJetson

      It may not be how it SHOULD be, but relievers today have to have their roles defined. They struggle outside of their comfort zone. So, no, in this situation I’d rather have Rosenthal pitch the 9th.

      When you take a lower in the lineup hitter who is only going to get on base 3 out of 10 times, normally, and have him face a pitcher who is uncomfortable in his role, his chances of getting on base increase dramatically.

      In the 8th inning, if Cecil pitches then in his normal role, he’s comfortable, and even the best hitters only get on base 35-40% of the time.

      I don’t understand Matheny’s reluctance to use Rosenthal as the closer. It makes no sense. But, most of his moves make little to no sense. He needs to go soon.

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  • M W

    But what about his winning percentage Bernie?

    That’s the Karraker go to argument.

    • bob

      He had some really get ball teams in his earlier year They won in spite of his managing mistakes I’ve been watching baseball for over 60 years and this manager was the most under prepare for his job and continued to refused to learn from his mistakes

  • Eugene Geekie

    Does anyone seriously believe that Matheny will ever improve in or better learn any aspect of managing? He seems to take arrogant pride in doing stupid things that blow up in his face.

  • Anti ruling class

    One rhetorical question: does versatility increase a player’s value, or decrease it? One wildass trade prediction: Mozeliak will acquire a designated closer in a trade that will include either Carpenter or Wong.

    • Big T

      Hopefully Wong…

  • LawrenceKScardsfan

    I said before the beginning of the season the Cardinals need a bonafide closer. I like Rosie has much as the next guy but he is just too wild. And Oh was never supposed to be a closer. He was brought in as a set-up guy. My choice was Chapman but the Cardinals never made an offer (inquiry?). And while some have said that Chapman was signed sealed and delivered to the Yankees before the free agent period, I think you have to make a run at someone like this even if it’s a futile run – especially when the closer role is up in the air. Talent like Chapman comes along only infrequently.

    Chapman is water under the bridge. However, I still believe – as I’ve said consistently over the last few weeks – that the Cardinals would benefit most from obtaining a closer vs. a middle of the lineup slugger. The problem with this year’s Cardinals as I see it was pointed out by Bernie a couple of weeks ago – they suck in holding the lead and have no ability to come from behind in close games. The former issue can be solved with a bonafide closer (Re: Not Oh, not Rosie, and not Cecil).

  • JeremyR

    I think more accurately, the GM has failed to give Matheny a competent bullpen.

    It’s funny though how almost everything gets ascribed to “luck” by you, but suddenly now the mental state of the pitcher and which inning he pitches is super important?

    • bob

      That’s been plenty of good pitchers in that Cardinal bullpen over the past 6 to 7 years that have failed. It’s not been the cars it’s been the driver

  • badgerboy23

    Whitey’s Rule # 1 was “Never put a player in a position that you are almost certain that his will fail”. MM broke that rule Friday night, and he has done it a lot. Adams in LF? Please.

  • rightthinker4

    Matheny is a really unlucky manager. Every time he makes a move it backfires. I’m sure his luck will change. There must be a stat for unlucky managers!

    • James Berry

      I see what you did there.

  • Rich Tolleson

    Bernie you are correct. Matheny needs to go. If things don’t change there will be lots of empty seats at the ball park. DeWitt will start losing money. He better wake up and hold Mike and Mo accountable.

  • James Berry

    I’ve been saying this since the start of last season. Matheny believes himself to be the smartest man in the room. So, he tries to reinvent the wheel. Well, it’s coming back to bite him deep in the keester. And it’s not only his mishandling of the BP all these years. It’s every aspect. Allowing players to dictate PT and position. The constant all RH lineup he throws out there at times. The fact that he keeps his BFF as the lead hitting coach. Constantly lying about going to get Yadi more time off each ST. There is a plethora of ways he has failed this team…but the bigger failure is extending him to another 3 year contract. That is Mo’s biggest failure.

    • George Belt

      It’s been my theory that MM is a hunch manager… much in the mold of long ago Solly Hemus. There just doesn’t seem to be a much logic in his moves.

      • James Berry

        Hunches are okay when it only affects the person making the hunch. When it affects business and other’s careers, then it’s mostly folly. There has been a huge lack of logic within the organization these past 2+ years.

    • EJetson

      He learned that from Tony Larussa. The problem is, Tony usually was the smartest baseball man in the room. Matheny’s not even close.

  • I think it’s high time for Muttheny to be “promoted” in the identical way they awarded Modumbiak for his recent fine body of work.

    As for Mutt’s brilliant handling of the bullpen, that’s merely one aspect of the many items he screws up. It was Forrest Gump who once said, “stupid is as stupid does”.

    The hard part is to determine who is the dumbest, this skipper, this GM, or this owner who continues to defend this tandem? I guess I will never be too serious about accusing a billionaire like DeWitt of being dumb. More like he’s making genuine fools of us. DeWitt must clearly believe the rest of us are simple. He’s confident we’ll continue to buy & support his dog & pony act. And if you look around the stadium with some of the brain dead yahoos you see a couple of things. They remind me of sheep trampling through the turnstile, while they sit around with their heads up their cracks tapping away on their “smart” phones. These are the donkeys they actually claim are the smartest fans in baseball, much in the same way they claim the Cards are the best org in baseball. Please, don’t make me laugh.

    Yes, DeWitt is pretty confident and secure about the continued support for his team. And nothing is ever going to change, until these bozo’s wake up and realize what is going on. When will they question how MLB’S most profitable owner now carries the 15th ranked payroll, now incredibly even lower than the KC Royals? And how low will that payroll go after the upcoming fire sale? And those transactions which will probably be screwed up on an equal proportion, to nearly every other personnel decision this F.O. has made over the course of the last 2 yrs.

    • maryville

      You need to find another team to root for or start a huge campaign to boycott the Cards. One or the other . . . .

      • You need to go suck a duck, along with your mother. Any questions, professor know nothing?

        • maryville

          Intelligent reply. When all else fails head to the gutter. You must be a real charmer to be around . . . .

          • They don’t call you “Mary” for nothing. And look whose talking, the guy who ALWAYS initiates the first insulting blow? Your audacity is astounding. You might want to research the character traits of the narcissist, you appear to fit that bill perfectly.

            One other thing dipstick, how are you enjoying the Cardinals/Mets game tonight? Keep talking about how they’re 4 1/2 games out of first place. That, while conveniently forgetting how they’re also 1/2 game out of fourth place, in the weakest division in baseball–DUHHHHH!

            You’re exactly the type of genius DeWitt loves. One who tramples through the turnstile watching his underachieving team with it’s deplorable fundamentals, yet having no earthly clue about what you’re seeing. You’re the type of clown that allows DeWitt to continue on his path of racking up MLB highest profits, while carrying the mid range 15th highest payroll. They’re now below the KC Royals in payrolls. I just wonder how much of these dynamics, melon heads like you actually understand. The burning question remains, is there any hope for you, will you eventually smarten up? Personally, I doubt it.

  • Larsen Scott

    ” … well, Matheny isn’t the real problem. The true problem is upstairs, with the team chairman and the president of baseball operations.” You are so right Bernie: these two arrogant, egotistical people just simply cannot accept that they made a mistake.

    • EJetson

      I’ll go with the long track record of success with the front office over the last few years of incompetency by the manager. It’s not necessarily that they made a mistake in hiring him (although I think it was a HUGE mistake), but it’s definitely a mistake to keep him around much longer.

      It was nice of you to cutoff the beginning of the quote to attempt to change it’s intent. That IF at the beginning is a big part of what he was getting at.

      “If DeWitt and Mozeliak are cool with all of this, if they won’t hold Matheny to a higher standard … well, Matheny isn’t the real problem. The true problem is upstairs, with the team chairman and the president of baseball operations.”

  • Greg Gibson

    Bernie, couldn’t agree more. Matheny has not gotten better as a manager, flat line. And to your point, the front office needs to look at this seriously. Bernie, folks get fired every day.

    • David Dwyer

      Spot on about the front office ‘love affair’ with Magic Mike. It’s time the ownership and front office looks at the reality of the current environment.
      1. Magic hasn’t learned to improve, adjust as he asks his players;
      2. the ‘Manifesto’ is great for grade schoolers, not professionals;
      3. The leadership group is on record recently as saying ‘..we can win with this roster’…Yeah, if they keep Grichuk & Piscotty OFF the 25 man and Sierra, Zach Duke ON the 25 man. If you can move Carp for a quality defensive 1B, with some pop, that would help.

      4. Cardinal Nation is NOT SHOWING up at the ballpark. Season ticket holders aren’t ‘butts in seats’; Special ticket offers for very good seats (not nose bleed in the 4th deck) are becoming the rule rather than the exception. Sold is not as important as ‘butts in seats’.
      5. This year, like last year is SSDD “Same S*@#, Different Day”
      I will accept the common theme about Magic; “He’s a nice guy.” So was Gandhi, but he would have been a terrible MLB Manager! Compared to Bruce Bochy, Magic is the bullpen catcher.

  • EJetson

    A lot of you are bad-mouthing the ownership group. This group has been responsible for the greatest run of successful baseball in the history of this club, and that’s saying a lot considering the rich history.

    Everyone makes mistakes. Hiring Matheny was a high-risk, low reward decision and an even more obvious mistake now after the last few years than it was at the time of his hiring.

    I do believe that the higher-ups will eventually decide to let Matheny go. We, as fans in today’s world of immediate gratification, want the fix to be done NOW. Some of you are so far out there that you’d want to send Aaron Judge back to the minors because he hasn’t hit a HR since the all-star break.

    This season is a loss. There’s no recovering from all of Mike’s bonehead moves. Let’s hope that by next year, we have someone competent in his place.

  • June Jones

    How good was Jeff Luhnow? Since his departure to the Astros, the two teams have moved in opposite directions. Of course, to be fair, the Astros only had one direction to go.

  • keith walker

    Trevor IS the closer PERIOD. big dog has it right, this isn’t brain surgery the stats saysi t all and 9th IS a different beast. MM chose poorly, again. he still gets so many things wrong. won’t start a runner with less than twoou t and 3 and 2 count even with good runners at first. had sierra BUNTING theo ther night when he had runner at first and NO OUTS which is seriously INSANE as he isn’t going to get doubled up is not a good bunter and it was stupid. MM is worst Major league manager by several observers and it’s not close.

  • keith walker

    why not give brebbia? opportunity in pressure situations now that Oh has lost his mojo? kid is lightsout and done remarkable job.

  • sal

    I wonder if we could get Jose Oquendo to be our manager and dump Matheny. As Bernie Says … 1,000 games in and he still can’t manage a bullpen. Additionally, at least until we brought up the AAA coaches, we were/are among the very worst fielding and running teams in the league.

    I would like to think that a former Gold Glove Catcher would understand baserunning, fielding, the cut-off man, relief pitching etc. But it is apparent that Matheny does NOT!! And his early winning record was because of who he inherited .. because he really has’t developed much since then.