No love for Farrell's bullpen managment last night?
Fairly quick hook to bring in Tazawa in the sixth (even tho he turned around Pena to his better side), Breslow to get Fielder and Wiktor, and then to Koji for 5 outs to the righty vulnerable stretch towards the bottom of the order. Close to, if not, perfect, in my judgement.
He got the win that was needed, even if he may have taxed the pen to the point where it may impact decisions tomorrow. Good chance he will have a tough call tomorrow as to whether he should fire the limited bullets he has with the same usage pattern of the Big 3 again. I suppose if we are up, the answer is yes, but if we are up by only 1, let's say, does he, for example, go to Koji again for 4 or 5 outs in Game 6?
Peavy is available in the pen for game 7, if there is one, but what about game 6 (2 days rest)? Do you trust him to be the ROOGY that this bullpen could use now? I would slot him ahead of Workman and Dempster, I think, in Game 7 but well behind them tomorrow night.
Also wonder how much time Doubront needs to get ready out there and whether pre-game prep could affect that. Do you see a scenario where if Buchholz doesn't appear to have it, you flip the script with Doubront early? The righty laden Tigers lineup would appear to make this a dubious strategy.
Agree on Peavy. The fact that he could be available in game 7 on three-days rest and that he pitched 65 pitches yesterday, I think makes him all but unavailable in a non-elimination game barring extremely unusual circumstances.
As for the bullpen big three, Tazawa is the most rested, but unfortunately so far the least effective. With Koji, you have to be worried about him getting close to a breaking point. He has been so heavily used this series.
Uehara: 5.0 IP, 17 batters faced, 58 pitches.
Breslow: 2.1 IP, 12 batters faced, 46 pitches.
Tazawa: 2.0 IP, 9 batters faced, 34 pitches.
Repeating a point in the game thread, everyone of significance but Cabrera has faced Koji now at least once, and some good batters like Hunter, Peralta and Fielder would be getting a third look at him this series if they face him again. The PAs against him so far have been: Jackson x3, Iggy x2, Hunter x2, Kelly x2, Fielder x2, Peralta x2, Martinez, Avila, Infante, Pena.
If it means avoiding game 7 and Verlander, you do what you gotta do if that's on the table, but I really worry about Koji in anything but a three-out save situation, and even then. The nightmare is putting him in high leverage in game 6, but then having play game 7. A 9-2 win with Taz or Breslow closing would be just fine I think!