Seriously, we are complaining about a PH appearance on the late innings of a blowout now? More bitching about Punto, who is averaging a plate appearance a game? Aviles, with just an 828 OPS vs righties shouldn't be batting lead off vs RH? We get that you hate the manager, but you're reaching.
Plugging Lars as a defensive replacement for Gonzalez doesn't make much sense, but I can let it go in the bottom of the ninth on a cold night and in a blowout. It makes sense to give AG's legs a breather after stretching for some really poor throws over the previous eight.
There may be good reasons BobbyV pinch-hit Punto for Ortiz, but no one here is aware of any. Without our knowing any mitigating factors, BobbyV simply arbitrarily took the bat out of the hands of the hottest hitter in the AL in this young season and gave it to Nick Punto instead. That move makes no sense to me.
Also, without our knowing any mitigating factors, BobbyV gave the ball to Albers in the 8th inning, rather than to a warmed-up Rich Hill. The batters due up were Dunn (career .917 OPS vs RHP, .784 OPS vs LHP), Konerko (.840 vs RHP, .919 vs LHP), and Pierzynski (.770 vs RHP, .674 vs LHP). That move also makes no sense to me.
If BobbyV really wanted to get Nick into the game, why have him bat for Ortiz rather than for Youkilis one batter before, who at least is nursing an injury and has already made a throwing error? If BobbyV really wants to use Albers, why not bring him in for the 9th, when the next four batters due up are all right-handed?
Again, there was no harm done tonight, so folks justifiably can say this is useless hand-wringing.
But neither of his eighth-inning moves makes any sense except if (a) there are two separate, unknown mitigating factors to lead BobbyV to those decisions rather than the more sensible ones, or (b) BobbyV is feeling fat and happy with a big lead, and sees no reason not to light up the victory cigar when the fourth quarter has just begun.
From what little I have seen of BobbyV, I do not believe (a) is likely. And that leaves (b) as the option -- which does nothing to ease my overall concerns after watching earlier, similar, but more costly miscalculations.
[edit: grammar and a little tweaking of content]
Edited by Buzzkill Pauley, 28 April 2012 - 10:39 AM.