Okay, at least Joe Torre’s giving answers to the otherwise unexplainable decision to have James McDonald pitch to four lefties while George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton sat and watched last night. Via Dodger Thoughts:
Now we hear: George Sherrill did not pitch for the Dodgers in Tuesday’s extra-inning loss to Colorado because of he “felt a little catch in his side,” Dodger manager Joe Torre told reporters before today’s game.
Sherrill had an MRI that was negative, with Stan Conte adding that Sherrill “threw hard today and is ok. We ruled out the oblique. He had no idea when he hurt it.”
Fine. That’s totally fair, and there’s going to be occasions when fans and bloggers just don’t have that information immediately. Really, half of what bothered me was that it didn’t seem any of the local media thought that was a question worth discussing after the game. So Joe gets some points back on this one. On this one, however…
Torre did declare that he was saving Jonathan Broxton for a save situation, and it doesn’t appear there was a follow-up question on that issue.
Well, there should have been, because this flies directly in the face of his inspired decision to use Broxton in the 8th inning against the meat of the Cubs lineup last week. This is a shining example of why the save rule has really destroyed bullpen management. Sure, if you use Broxton here, score in the 11th or 14th or 19th inning and you don’t have him to close out the game, that’s a little unfortunate. But it’s way less unfortunate than not having ever used him at all, because in holding out your best reliever for a save situation, you allowed the opposition to face a righty rookie while four lefties in a row were up.
Forget “saves”. Ever. Use your best pitcher when the situation called for it, and that situation did. Hell, even if you really really felt the need to allow James McDonald to start the inning, why not bring in Broxton when the situation got dire? It may not go in the books as a “save”, but that would have absolutely saved the game.
Things aren’t as bad as they seemed in the aftermath of last night’s loss when it comes to managerial decisions, but Torre’s not free of blame on this one.