Sunday, October 27, 2013

Excerpt: "World Series, Game Three"

"It means nothing that Kelly had a shutout going; those four innings are not predictive, a point that was made forcefully when Xander Bogaerts tripled two pitches into the fifth. Kelly was never going to pitch deeply into this game. At absolute best, Matheny was going to get two more innings from Kelly, and if Matheny doesn't think he can get two extra shutout innings from his relief corps, he's done a staggeringly bad job of assembling his roster. The value of a real hitter up in that spot, with a chance to stretch to a four-run lead or more, is huge -- and Matheny had Allen Craig in his back pocket! It wasn't the perfect spot for Craig, given that there weren't two outs, but it would have sufficed. Events would overtake Matheny's choice, but there is no question that batting Kelly there, rather than hitting Craig for him, was a huge mistake. Kelly would get just four more outs; I've lost count of the number of times Matheny has let Kelly bat in a leveraged spot and then removed him less than two innings later."