Nevin comes in clutch for us, and it's wasted. You can't waste clutchness. During the game discussion last night, bktabinga blamed this one on Bochy and I have to agree. In the chess match that is managing a baseball game, dear reader, Bochy lost.
Going back to the deciding run of the game, it's easy to point out that Aki hasn't been as solid as he was last season. However, look at it one batter at a time.
- Aki gets Matheny to fly out. One down
- Infield single to shortstop. One down, runner on first
- Ellison steals second, taking away the double play, but...
- Vizquel grounds out, advancing the runner.
Now, if it's me, I seriously consider sending the pitching coach up there to have a quick chat. Don't give Snow anything good to hit. Lose a pitch low and away to start off. Avoid the strike zone. If you lose Snow to first base, no harm no foul. You go after Alfonzo. Hoffman's in the bullpen. It's not all on you.
Instead... First pitcher slider, right down the middle, which Snow proceeds to crush for a double. Ellison struts in from third, and does a quick model turn on home plate. Padres can't muster anything in the 9th, and that's a ballgame.
Up to that point, Bochy seemed to be making decent enough calls though nothing spectacular. Hyzdu getting inserted in the 7th inning for Klesko might have been a little strange. Didn't Klesko just hit an RBI double? Didn't he just clobber the Giants yesterday? Is Hyzdu that much better than Klesko in left field? If you're doing defensive substitutions everywhere else, why not stick Nevin in at first while you're at it?
Anyways, I only get angry because I care. Other thoughts:
- Alou sported a little gamesmanship late in the game with Ojeda on first by letting his pitcher throw over like 11 times to give his bullpen a chance to warm up. Bruce tried to call foul, but instead he should take notes. In basketball, if the other team starts putting up unanswered points, you call timeout. In baseball, you rely on stuff like that to bring the momentum back.
- Mark Sweeney has a bald spot. It's probably hard enough on a guy's psyche to be a bench player, but to have a bald spot on a team that sports so many well groomed heads of hair probably keeps him up at nights.
- I guess Phil Nevin is a little bit clutch.
- So is Ramon Hernandez as evidenced by his homerun and his wild brown hair.