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Games Lost by Francona being cute with the Bullpen


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#1 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:36 PM

WHY DO YOU PUT LACKEY OUT THERE TO START THE NINTH?

Then you have to jerk Papelbon around in the bullpen, he comes out and pitches terrible. Then you are slow on the trigger with Bard.

Francona lost this game. He was trying to be cute and ended up doing what he was trying to avoid and losing the game. This happens a lot with Francona and it is obnoxious as all hell.

#2 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:42 PM

Lackey had thrown 91 pitches entering the 9th. I was perfectly comfortable with letting Lackey start the 9th -- and even though he had let up the run in the 8th, he was still looking pretty strong.

Edited by CaptainLaddie, 12 August 2010 - 02:42 PM.


#3 Dummy Hoy


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:42 PM

WHY DO YOU PUT LACKEY OUT THERE TO START THE NINTH?

Then you have to jerk Papelbon around in the bullpen, he comes out and pitches terrible. Then you are slow on the trigger with Bard.

Francona lost this game. He was trying to be cute and ended up doing what he was trying to avoid and losing the game. This happens a lot with Francona and it is obnoxious as all hell.


If Lackey comes out and takes care of business, as he had all afternoon, then we've saved the bullpen, given doofus a shot of confidence, and roll on out. I do agree Bard should have been in earlier.

I blame Papelbon's inability to find his greenie supply. Or maybe Tito should have told him to take a greenie just in case.

#4 yecul


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:43 PM

That has always been a characteristic of Francona's staff management. One batter too many across the board. It's the reason people differentiate his regular and post season styles.

I hate the idea of giving a pitcher "one more batter". Either you think he can get 3 outs or you can't. If Lackey's only way of finishing the game is to go 1-2-3 then you'd better just give the reliever a fresh start.

All that said, Papelbon is not an elite pitcher at this point and is going to get obliterated from time to time, be mediocre at other times, and also manage to string together some good appearances. He's just a regular good reliever who happens to have the rep and paycheck of an uber elite closer. He lost this game. Francona definitely gets the assist though.

#5 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:44 PM

What I don't get is, if you're going to bring Lackey out for the ninth to try to rest the bullpen, why pull him after one goddamn hitter?

He was cruising through eight, only 98 pitches, and Bautista is (somehow) no slouch. Okay, he gives up the solo HR. It's still a two-run lead; why not see if Lackey can settle back down? At worst, that gives you time to get Papelbon and Bard back up to warm up normally instead of hurriedly rushing Papelbon in.

That was thoroughly confusing. If Lackey's leash is that short, then start the inning clean with Bard or Papelbon. This isn't April or September with a big lead; there's no room to fuck around now.

#6 yecul


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:45 PM

Lackey had thrown 91 pitches entering the 9th. I was perfectly comfortable with letting Lackey start the 9th -- and even though he had let up the run in the 8th, he was still looking pretty strong.


And he was at, what, 94 pitches, after the home run?

You have confidence in Lackey to get 3 outs with a 3 run lead at 91 pitches, but not to get 3 outs with a 2 run lead at 94 pitches?

That's really the argument here. What changed? Surrendering a HR to the guy leading the league in HRs?

#7 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:46 PM

And he was at, what, 94 pitches, after the home run?

You have confidence in Lackey to get 3 outs with a 3 run lead at 91 pitches, but not to get 3 outs with a 2 run lead at 94 pitches?

That's really the argument here. What changed? Surrendering a HR to the guy leading the league in HRs?

98 after Bautista. But the point remains, the guy can throw another 10.

#8 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:50 PM

Have to agree, here. Bullpen was rested. When it's 5-2 and you have a rested pen, you bring in your closer to start the inning. Not sure why Lackey is trusted to preserve a 5-2 lead but not a 5-3 one. The entire series, Tito didn't seem to show much respect for Bautista and repeatedly got burned. Might Papelbon have spit the bit if brought in to start the 9th, sure...but that situation is generally his, and he's been good lately (before today) so not really sure why they deviated from that plan. Probably because Lack or Johnny or whatever he goes by had been pitching poorly lately and Tito wanted to show him he still believed in him or whatever. Tired to get cute and got burned. Shitty.

#9 Joshv02

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:52 PM

And he was at, what, 94 pitches, after the home run?

You have confidence in Lackey to get 3 outs with a 3 run lead at 91 pitches, but not to get 3 outs with a 2 run lead at 94 pitches?

That's really the argument here. What changed? Surrendering a HR to the guy leading the league in HRs?

That's an argument for never taking action ever.

You leave Lackey in b/c he'd thrown 91 pitches until then, but you debate taking him out b/c some of the outs previously were "loud." In the end, you allow him to stay b/c he is doing well and it lets you rest your pen another day deep in the season during a day game on a get-away day. You give him no leash because the prior innings his outs were loud and you don't want to lose the game. That's a very, very defensible move. I can understand taking him out b/c he wasn't cruising as much as his box score indicates, but its very reasonable to leave him in there.

This loss was because Papelbon gave up two hits on two pitches, couldn't locate his FB, had no slide on his slider, and couldn't get many bites on his splitter (which I thought looked good, actually). If your second best reliever can't hold a two run lead, its his fault you lose, not the manager's.

#10 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:53 PM

Lets look at Papelbon's blown saves this year

August 12, Lackey pitches to 1 hitter in the 9th
August 1st, Buchholz pitches to 2 hitters in the 9th
July 22nd, Delcarmen pitches to 4 hitters in the 9th
June 24, 2 IP
June 23, Plain out sucked
May 17, Plain out sucked

Papelbon absolutely sucks when he doesn't start the frame. Maybe it is a focus problem who knows but the fact is why are you using Papelbon when he simply isn't equipped to run in on a moment's notice when you have Bard in the bullpen.

Edit - I can see the argument for leaving Lackey in if you keep him in. Bautista is on the juice hard this season. I just simply don't understand putting Papelbon in a middle of frame, a role he sucks in.

Edited by TomRicardo, 12 August 2010 - 02:58 PM.


#11 Joshv02

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:57 PM

Papelbon absolutely sucks when he doesn't start the frame. Maybe it is a focus problem who knows but the fact is why are you using Papelbon when he simply isn't equipped to run in on a moment's notice when you have Bard in the bullpen.

I'd rather use Bard because he is probably the better pitcher these days. But the bases were empty, so I don't why it would matter if he started the frame or not.

#12 Remagellan

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:00 PM

Lets look at Papelbon's blown saves this year

August 12, lackey pitches to 1 hitter in the 9th
August 1st, Buchholz pitches to 2 hitters in the 9th
July 22nd, Delcarmen pitches to 4 hitters in the 9th
June 24, 2 IP
June 23, Plain out sucked
May 17, Plain out sucked

Papelbon absolutely sucks when he doesn't start the frame. Maybe it is a focus problem who knows but the fact is why are you using Papelbon when he simply isn't equipped to run in on a moment's notice when you have Bard in the bullpen.


I think there can be some truth to this. But it's no wonder why guys like Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter look at today's closers as pampered pussies--the job of the relief ace used to be to come in whenever guys were on base and the lead was threatened. You didn't get to hold the job if you couldn't come into an inning with men on base and hold the lead. That's why they used to call them "firemen"--they came into a developing disaster and put out the flames.

#13 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:03 PM

I'd rather use Bard because he is probably the better pitcher these days. But the bases were empty, so I don't why it would matter if he started the frame or not.


I think it has a ton more to do with Papelbon's warming up. Clean frame he knows exactly when he is going out. Has his pitches and can run out when ready. Start Lackey and Space Cadet can lose focus waiting to get in if he is even going to get in.

#14 Pandemonium67

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:04 PM

Tito pulled Lackey when the lead was cut to two because allowing another baserunner brings the potential tying run to the plate. You'd rather not bring in Paps or Bard against a HR-hitting team in that situation.

Tito's mistake was that Bard was more rested than Papelbon, and probably more warmed up too, as he'd already been up in the 8th. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that was a huge mistake.

#15 Toe Nash

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:19 PM

Lets look at Papelbon's blown saves this year

August 12, Plain out sucked
August 1st, Buchholz pitches to 2 hitters in the 9th
July 22nd, Delcarmen pitches to 4 hitters in the 9th, Papelbon also walked two guys
June 24, 2 IP
June 23, Plain out sucked
May 17, Plain out sucked

Maybe there's something to his mindset when someone else starts the inning but if your closer can't save a game with the bases empty and none out and a 2 run lead, you're in trouble.

Plus it was a "clean" inning either way -- he came in with the bases empty and no out and a 2-run lead instead of a 3-run lead if he had actually started the inning. What's the difference, really? He gets a few less warmup pitches on the actual mound?

Papelbon is the closer and that was a situation to go to your closer, and a situation that a closer should finish. The game is on Papelbon, not Francona and not Bard.

#16 TheoShmeo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:19 PM

I have no problem with anything Tito did today.

Lackey had pitched very well through eight and had a relatively low pitch count. A complete game win could have paid dividends going forward for Lackey and would have saved the pen, which is short on reliable pitchers. True, there were a few loud outs in the 8th, but Lackey had pitched well enough that there was reason to believe it would continue.

As to pulling Lackey after one batter, I wanted exactly that to happen if "one bad thing" happened. Paps had been pitching well lately and there was no reason to screw around if Lackey showed any signs of faltering in the ninth. (Ironically, that's exactly what I wanted Gump to do if and when Pedro gave up even one hit or walk when up 5-2 in 2003; not tht Pedro should have been out there in the first place).

The problem today wasn't the manager...it was the closer, who sucked, again.

If I had to find fault with Tito, it's that his closer wasn't Bard. But, of course, that wasn't a today thing.

Edited by TheoShmeo, 12 August 2010 - 04:03 PM.


#17 mikeford


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:21 PM

You're paying Lackey 18 million a damn season and he's at 91 pitches to start the inning... Let the man finish the damn game.

#18 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:26 PM

Has the bar been set that low, that Papelbon now has to come into an inning fresh as a daisy? It's not as if the bases were loaded and no one out. From what I understand (I didn't watch or listen to the game) there was no one on and the Sox had a two-run lead against the Blue Jays. It was as if he was coming into a fresh inning. BTW, this is the same Blue Jays who have looked like a dead-ass team during the last two nights.

Don't give me this crap that it's Tito's fault. Papelbon hasn't been the same going on two years.

#19 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:34 PM

Has the bar been set that low, that Papelbon now has to come into an inning fresh as a daisy? It's not as if the bases were loaded and no one out. From what I understand (I didn't watch or listen to the game) there was no one on and the Sox had a two-run lead against the Blue Jays. It was as if he was coming into a fresh inning. BTW, this is the same Blue Jays who have looked like a dead-ass team during the last two nights.

Don't give me this crap that it's Tito's fault. Papelbon hasn't been the same going on two years.


Possibly. Honestly if a player doesn't succeed in a situation, you have two better otpions (leave Lackey in or pitch Bard) why set someone up to fail? Papelbon has been shit all season running in a middle of an inning. "Well he is the closer and he shouldn't be" is a god awful excuse for Francona putting someone in to fail.

Francona choose the worst path possible, bringing Papelbon in with little warm up which forced Bard to pitch anyway. End result all his pitchers were used and he lost the game. Terrible managing. If you want to continue "b-b-but Papelbon is the closer, he should be better" fine but that is stupid. It is easy to see the hand being dealt and Francona should have adjusted.

#20 Pandemonium67

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:34 PM

Don't give me this crap that it's Tito's fault. Papelbon hasn't been the same going on two years.

There's a contradiction here.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if Papelbon was fully warmed up. The results suggest not. In any case, Bard was clearly more rested. Maybe he was more warmed up too.

In other words, Bad Tito.

Edited by Pandemonium67, 12 August 2010 - 03:36 PM.


#21 Sprowl


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:35 PM

Papelbon absolutely sucks when he doesn't start the frame. Maybe it is a focus problem who knows but the fact is why are you using Papelbon when he simply isn't equipped to run in on a moment's notice when you have Bard in the bullpen.

Francona fairly often brings Papelbon in in the eighth inning with men on base, and Papelbon has usually been very good in that situation. That's one of the reason his regular season strand rate was so good in 2009: he got rid of other pitchers' mistakes. Indeed, in 2009 it sometimes seemed that Papelbon needed to put men on base via walks or hits before he could summon the intensity needed to punch out the last few hitters, so it's not so clear to me that he sucks when he doesn't start the frame, nor that he can't handle inherited runners.

#22 gammoseditor


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:48 PM

I think the problem was that Papelbon is getting a little over worked. He was pitching for the 7th time in 12 days. He had been lights out going back nearly 2 months, roughly 17 innings. Given how much he had pitched, Bard or sticking with Lackey would have been the right move.

#23 Pumpsie


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:00 PM

We've had more "Bad Tito" this season than in the previous three years combined. I'm of the opinion that not having Brad Mills on the bench is a bigger thing than we thought. Tito has been MUCH more likely to make a poor decision this year than before. I don't think it's random or that Tito is getting forgetful in his old age. I think we're lacking a real strategic thinker on the bench this year and its become a problem.

#24 reggiecleveland


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:05 PM

I think it has a ton more to do with Papelbon's warming up. Clean frame he knows exactly when he is going out. Has his pitches and can run out when ready. Start Lackey and Space Cadet can lose focus waiting to get in if he is even going to get in.


This is it. Tito has always said if Papelbon warms up he is coming in. He wasn't warming. So if Lackey is only good for one batter then you need somebody up. Either way you may as well pitch the closer.

#25 wutang112878


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:05 PM

If Lackey or Paps close out the 9th, we arent talking about Tito. He wasnt pulling a Dusty Baker and letting Lackey throw 150. Its interesting that if a hitter cant get it done at the plate to win a game we generally blame the player, but when a pitcher cant get it done managers are often blamed for bullpen management

#26 Joshv02

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:08 PM

We've had more "Bad Tito" this season than in the previous three years combined.

I think this is 100% the opposite of the truth.

#27 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:09 PM

Francona fairly often brings Papelbon in in the eighth inning with men on base, and Papelbon has usually been very good in that situation. That's one of the reason his regular season strand rate was so good in 2009: he got rid of other pitchers' mistakes. Indeed, in 2009 it sometimes seemed that Papelbon needed to put men on base via walks or hits before he could summon the intensity needed to punch out the last few hitters, so it's not so clear to me that he sucks when he doesn't start the frame, nor that he can't handle inherited runners.


Sprowl what you described has only happened 2 times.

The Yankees Game on August 9th (Bard runs out of gas no other options get Austin Kearns to ground out) man on second and first (knew he was coming in and was warming when the inning began)

The Tigers Game on May 15th Okajima supernovas and Papelbon comes in to get Adam Everett out with runners on 2nd and 3rd.


There is only one other time he runs in the eigth but no runners:

The Angels Game on July 26th he comes in the 8th after Atchinson gives up a HR with 2 outs


He has been "successful" in running in the ninth

April 24 against the Orioles: I mean he doesn't blow the save but he runs in for Ramirez with 1 out. He lets two runs score in the before getting his two outs.

August 5 Papelbon comes in ninth after Okajima blows up and gets two outs with runners on second and first.


He really isn't as good as you were thinking.

#28 smastroyin


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

We've had more "Bad Tito" this season than in the previous three years combined. I'm of the opinion that not having Brad Mills on the bench is a bigger thing than we thought. Tito has been MUCH more likely to make a poor decision this year than before. I don't think it's random or that Tito is getting forgetful in his old age. I think we're lacking a real strategic thinker on the bench this year and its become a problem.


This is because Papelbon has been awful. You were whining constantly like this when Foulke was awful in 2005 as well.

#29 Toe Nash

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

We've had more "Bad Tito" this season than in the previous three years combined. I'm of the opinion that not having Brad Mills on the bench is a bigger thing than we thought. Tito has been MUCH more likely to make a poor decision this year than before. I don't think it's random or that Tito is getting forgetful in his old age. I think we're lacking a real strategic thinker on the bench this year and its become a problem.

We've also had a worse bullpen this year than the previous three years combined. When you only have one and a half guys you can count on it's tough for anyone to look smart.

#30 bosockboy


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

All of this boils down to the bullpen shortage. Tito knows he has two competent relievers and will need them dearly down the stretch. Any chance he gets to save a few of their bullets, he has to take it. He took a shot today by trying to let Lackey finish it, and he overreacted by pulling him. If we had a legit 7th inning guy, he would have been out there today to start the ninth.

#31 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:18 PM

This is because Papelbon has been awful. You were whining constantly like this when Foulke was awful in 2005 as well.


Papelbon is not having a good year, especially not by his standards, but can we stop with this idea that he's been awful? His season performance, in terms of peripherals and actual production, is not nearly as bad as Lidge '07, Foulke '05, etc.- guys that had truly abysmal seasons.

Foulke '05: 3.5 BB / 9, 6.7 K/9, 1.6 HR/9, 1.56 WHIP, 5.91 ERA
Papelbon '10: 3.4 BB / 9, 8.2 K/9, 1.1 HR/9, 1.15 WHIP, 3.26 ERA

On a seperate note, it's also bizarre to me that so many people who bemoaned the fact that some idiots booed Foulke in '05 are now trashing Papelbon every chance they get. I know gamethreads are not to be taken too seriously, but there's been this ugly overtone of hatred towards Papelbon for awhile now, and I'm really not sure why. It happened to guys like Millar and Timlin in the past too, and I don't get it.

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 12 August 2010 - 04:19 PM.


#32 Toe Nash

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:19 PM

Sprowl what you described has only happened 2 times.

The Yankees Game on August 9th (Bard runs out of gas no other options get Austin Kearns to ground out) man on second and first (knew he was coming in and was warming when the inning began)

The Tigers Game on May 15th Okajima supernovas and Papelbon comes in to get Adam Everett out with runners on 2nd and 3rd.


There is only one other time he runs in the eigth but no runners:

The Angels Game on July 26th he comes in the 8th after Atchinson gives up a HR with 2 outs


He has been "successful" in running in the ninth

April 24 against the Orioles: I mean he doesn't blow the save but he runs in for Ramirez with 1 out. He lets two runs score in the before getting his two outs.

August 5 Papelbon comes in ninth after Okajima blows up and gets two outs with runners on second and first.


He really isn't as good as you were thinking.


Okay, so in the very small sample size of "Times Papelbon has come in in the middle of an inning this year" he has been successful four and a half times and unsuccessful three times (just going from what you listed) including today when he still had no one on when he came in (which doesn't really make it like the other situations) and you have concluded that he has a problem coming in in the middle of innings? Even though he has two blown saves where he came in to start an inning and "Plain out sucked" and lots of other appearances where he has allowed runners? And based on this you think that Francona shouldn't have allowed Lackey to start the inning with a 3-run lead and 91 pitches and that the loss is absolutely Tito's fault?

#33 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:32 PM

Okay, so in the very small sample size of "Times Papelbon has come in in the middle of an inning this year" he has been successful four and a half times and unsuccessful three times (just going from what you listed) including today when he still had no one on when he came in (which doesn't really make it like the other situations) and you have concluded that he has a problem coming in in the middle of innings? Even though he has two blown saves where he came in to start an inning and "Plain out sucked" and lots of other appearances where he has allowed runners? And based on this you think that Francona shouldn't have allowed Lackey to start the inning with a 3-run lead and 91 pitches and that the loss is absolutely Tito's fault?


He has blown up 50% of the time he has come in the middle of an inning. That is horrendous.

I have said a bunch of times but to repeat I think Francona had three better options:

Let Lackey go more then use Bard if necessary
Be happy Lackey finally got more than 5 deep before exploding and let lying dogs lie bring in Papelbon to begin the inning
Bring in Bard after the HR.

So he choose option four with 57% success rate before. Awesome.

#34 joe dokes

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:39 PM

So on the one hand we have "Games lost by Francona being cute with the pen," the number of which stands at what, say 3? 5? 10?

And on the other, we have "games won by Francona because he's likely the best manager any of us have seen managing the Red Sox, and one of the few managers that would have been able to get anything out of a team made up of the players that have often worn the uniform this season (not to mention a 2.5 man bullpen)," which stands at about 60.

Fire the bastid.

#35 Rasputin


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:46 PM

I'd sign Francona to a lifetime extension today. He's not perfect but he's good for this situation and he's the best we've ever had.

#36 TomRicardo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:48 PM

I am not advocating firing him. He is a great manager. It is annoying habit of his to blow games there is simply no reason to. There is a difference to point out a flaw and screaming someone should be fired over the flaw.

#37 Pumpsie


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:56 PM

This is because Papelbon has been awful. You were whining constantly like this when Foulke was awful in 2005 as well.


Well, at least I'm consistent!

#38 nvalvo


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:02 PM

We've had more "Bad Tito" this season than in the previous three years combined. I'm of the opinion that not having Brad Mills on the bench is a bigger thing than we thought. Tito has been MUCH more likely to make a poor decision this year than before. I don't think it's random or that Tito is getting forgetful in his old age. I think we're lacking a real strategic thinker on the bench this year and its become a problem.


I don't really watch a lot of Houston games or really know anything about that team, but this seems like it could be subject to empirical investigation. Does Mills run a successful 'pen in Houston, considering the talent he has available?

#39 SMU_Sox


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:25 PM

I posted this in the game thread but I think it merits repeating here.

Aaron Hill had a .326 OPS against Paps in 16 PA's.
Vernon Wells had a .389 OPS against Paps in 18 PA's.
Adam Lind had a .432 OPS against Paps in 11 PA's.

Today it didn't work out. But in hindsight those looked like good match-ups.

#40 Remagellan

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:35 PM

I'd sign Francona to a lifetime extension today. He's not perfect but he's good for this situation and he's the best we've ever had.


I heartily endorse this post. He's done a hell of a job keeping this team in contention despite all their injuries.

The one thing I think we often forget is that Francona is privy to information that we don't have--like who is feeling strong that day, and who might, for one reason or another, not be feeling his best. Not to mention this, which johnlimberakis posted in the game thread:

"Aaron Hill has a .326 OPS against Paps in 16 PA's.

Vernon Wells has a .389 OPS against Paps in 18 PA's.
Adam Lind has a .432 OPS against Paps in 11 PA's.

Today it didn't work out. But in hindsight those look like good match-ups."

SSS and all that, but if a manager is not going to look at those numbers when choosing his match-ups, why bother keeping stats on opposing hitters?

#41 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:49 PM

Possibly. Honestly if a player doesn't succeed in a situation, you have two better otpions (leave Lackey in or pitch Bard) why set someone up to fail? Papelbon has been shit all season running in a middle of an inning. "Well he is the closer and he shouldn't be" is a god awful excuse for Francona putting someone in to fail.

Francona choose the worst path possible, bringing Papelbon in with little warm up which forced Bard to pitch anyway. End result all his pitchers were used and he lost the game. Terrible managing. If you want to continue "b-b-but Papelbon is the closer, he should be better" fine but that is stupid. It is easy to see the hand being dealt and Francona should have adjusted.


Was Bard even warm? I'm not sure, like I said, I wasn't watching the game. And if he brings Bard into a situation like this that brings up a lot of questions: why did you bring Bard in instead of Papelbon? is Bard your new closer? etc. You know how it is with a save situation and not using your "closer". Whenever a manager goes against the grain, it turns into a crap show.

And Tom, Papelbon has the closer's role for a reason. It's an established heirarchy in the bullpen and Papelbon should be able to handle it as one of the better pitchers on the team. If a pitcher can't enter an inning when the manager needs him, especially one of the two best guys in the pen, then the Red Sox have a huge problem. That means only Daniel Bard is truly indispensible and he's a rookie. Not being able to bring Papelbon into high pressure (and this wasn't even high pressure) makes him almost useless. Just an expensive bauble that can't be used.

#42 BucketOBalls


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:52 PM

The only thing I think Tito might have screwed up are:
1)Waiting to long to bring in Bard, although that is debatable
2)Not giving Paps sufficient warm up time. - Hard to know really

I think the Lackey thing was a coin flip. Lackey had been good so far and wasn't even at 100 pitches yet. I was on gameday, so I couldn't tell, was he obviously laboring?

If Paps has a 1,2,3 inning, Tito gets killed for burning him unnecessarily. If he leaves Lackey in and he blows the game, Tito gets blamed for that. I think the only right decision there is one that works.

It's hard to say if he should have brought Bard in earlier. Paps blew the game really, really quickly. And on gameday they didn't look like terrible pitches either. Nothing really over the middle of the plate and his velocity was pretty good. Was he missing spots badly? It's was actually kinda weird that it seemed like the Jays were right on almost every pitch.

This was mostly on Paps. He came in with a 2 run lead and clean bases and couldn't get it done. That shouldn't happen to an elite closer to often.

Edit: It would actually be kind of neat if the Sox would just take some good relief pitcher in the minors, have them specialize in cleaning up the bases and just say "we'll pay you like a closer". Would be useful.

Edited by BucketOBalls, 12 August 2010 - 05:57 PM.


#43 ToeKneeArmAss


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 06:55 PM

What I don't get is, if you're going to bring Lackey out for the ninth to try to rest the bullpen, why pull him after one goddamn hitter?

He was cruising through eight, only 98 pitches, and Bautista is (somehow) no slouch. Okay, he gives up the solo HR. It's still a two-run lead; why not see if Lackey can settle back down? At worst, that gives you time to get Papelbon and Bard back up to warm up normally instead of hurriedly rushing Papelbon in.

That was thoroughly confusing. If Lackey's leash is that short, then start the inning clean with Bard or Papelbon. This isn't April or September with a big lead; there's no room to fuck around now.


This.

Not only do we blow the game, but we potentially burn Paps and Bard for later in the Rangers series. Might be the closest thing I've see to Terry panicking.

#44 Pumpsie


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 07:17 PM

Not giving Paps sufficient warm up time


This. If anything has been consistent about Paps' performance this year and last is that whenever he's rushed into a game without sufficient warm-up time, he's blown up. I also do not understand why our genius manager can't understand this.

#45 SMU_Sox


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Posted 12 August 2010 - 07:33 PM

Bard was warm in the 7th to pitch the 8th. I think he warmed up twice.

#46 irinmike

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:18 PM

There was one out and two men in scoring position with the number nine hitter in the lineup coming up for the Jays in the ninth. Sure conventional baseball wisdom calls for walking the next hitter and loading the bases. And Francona will always go by the book in these cases. However it was the number nine hitter in the lineup and once he was walked, and Bard was brought in, he had no place to put anyone else if he issued a walk. Thats not how it went down in the end once the fly ball brought in the winning run, but it would seem Francona might have considered bringing in Bard with first base open and pitching to the number nine hitter. Bard is a strike out pitcher, but he too was coming into this game in the middle of an inning. If nothing else I was shocked that Papelbon was removed by Francona with the game still on the line. This seems to indicate that he too is getting a bit leery of Papelbon in certain instances. However after being hit as hard as he was by four out of five Blue Jay hitters, it would seem that any manager could tell it was time for the hook.

#47 BucketOBalls


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Posted 13 August 2010 - 01:27 AM

This. If anything has been consistent about Paps' performance this year and last is that whenever he's rushed into a game without sufficient warm-up time, he's blown up. I also do not understand why our genius manager can't understand this.


Honestly, Tito seems to do this with everyone. It's one of his few flaws. If a pitcher gets in trouble and tito doesn't have a guy already warming...he has alot of trouble getting someone up in time. He's just not good at delaying when he needs to.

#48 JimBoSox9


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Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:44 AM

Can we please please stop trying to apply the "Papelbon sucks coming in the middle of an inning" argument to this game? Coming in with the bases empty/2 run lead isn't remotely similar to coming on with tying run up or on base.


Go ahead and quantify the number of games Francona has lost in the regular season by being cute with the bullpen. Then quantify the number of games Francona has won in Sept and Oct by working to ensure relievers are not over- or under-worked during the regular season. At that point, it's a good conversation. As is, it's just an overreaction thread.

#49 judyb

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:12 AM

Bard and Papelbon are 1-2 in MLB in gmLI, average leverage index when entering the game. For whatever reason, it seems like the team keeps winding up asking for too much too often from both of them. They can't be the only team in MLB with mostly lousy 3-6 options in the pen, whose starters don't complete 7 innings routinely, and that doesn't play many lopsided games.

#50 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:15 AM

I don't think it's random or that Tito is getting forgetful in his old age. I think we're lacking a real strategic thinker on the bench this year and its become a problem.

Really? The guy is 51 years old.