All Good Things Must Come To An End

Well that was fast. The other day I said Cito did a good job of managing the game. Not yesterday. Yesterday Cito went back to managing like a stroke victim.

In the 7th inning, the Jays had the bases loaded with 2 out. Joe Madden brought in lefty specialist Randy Choate (career .224/.307/.322 line against lefties) in to face Fred Lewis (.250/.335/.340 against lefties). This is the exact right time to pinch hit with Randy Ruiz and try to build your lead. Of course, Cito hates rookies and doesn't pinch hit and is afraid to ruin a "young kid" like Lewis' confidence (I guarantee you that Cito thinks Lewis is like 23) and, let's be honest, Cito was probably napping at the time--8:30 is late for people his age to be up, after all--so, of course, Lewis hit for himself and, of course, Choate struck him out. If Cito ever decides to have a kid, I guarantee you he adopts because those kids have been around awhile, and Cito doesn't want to raise some inexperienced young punk baby.

Then in the 8th, Downs gave up a single to Evan Longoria, then followed that up by walking Carlos Pena. It was at this point that Cito should have immediately brought in Gregg for the 2-inning save. The tying and winning runs were on base and there was no one out. This is the highest leverage point in the game, so you should be going to your best reliever (i.e. the closer). Even if you don't think Gregg can go two full innings (there is no reason to think this, by the way, but let's say he can't), you should still bring him in to preserve the lead now, and then you can go to someone else to close it out in the 9th.

Of course, Downs stayed in, and then gave up the game tying single to Upton. Cito finally went to the bullpen, except he brought out Janssen. Janssen has pitched well so far, but he isn't the team's best reliever. He shouldn't be pitching in high leverage situations right now. By the time the inning was over, another pitcher had been used and the Rays were up by 6 runs. At no point was Gregg even warming up. And I don't for the life of me understand why. The game is on the line right then and there. Use your best pitcher. Don't save him for some theoretical situation which may never come. I think that's the most frustrating thing about the way Cito manages. He always makes moves with a theoretical future in mind, like how last year when Cito wouldn't bring in Overbay to hit for Millar against righties because then the other team might bring in a LOOGY to face him later on. Except that you have Millar hitting against a righty right now, which is just as bad, and you have no way of knowing if that LOOGY ever comes.

Of course, if Cito managed the team properly, then I'd never have anything to write about...

Good to have you back to normal, Cito.