Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Knock Against Torre This Post-Season

Okay, little pieces of info are dribbling out about the post-season. I'd say the two biggest knocks against Torre's performance this post-season are playing Wang on three days rest and bringing in Joba in the seventh on Sunday when we had a five run lead. Those are the two big instances I think everyone agrees Torre blew it, right? Wrong. I strongly supported bringing in Wang on three days rest, even though he'd only done it once in his entire career.

But Torre DIDN'T. Torre was overruled by everyone else in the brain trust, according to the papers the last two days. Torre wanted to start Mussina. Now Mussina did poorly in relief and he might have done poorly starting, but what other option did Torre have if not using Wang? I personally would have started Hughes instead of Clemens, but since Hughes came in middle relief on Sunday, he couldn't start Monday. Kennedy had back spasms and wasn't on the roster. So Torre had no one to turn to except Mussina. You can argue all you want about what might of happened, but Torre did NOT want to start Wang and that was a total bust.

Then there was the decision to bring in Joba in the seventh on Sunday when Hughes was doing so great in middle relief. Why not keep Hughes in, he was looking great? I complained just as bitterly as everyone else. Per the NYTimes, the owner's box went ballistic when this happened. Guess what? The Joba rules played a factor. Joba had warmed up earlier in the night when it was a one-run game and Torre thought he would need the reliever. One of the Joba rules still in effect in the post-season said that if Joba tossed, he HAD to come into the game. But still, why in the seventh when Hughes looked great? Hughes did look great but no one on the Yankee roster -- not even Mo -- has been as lights out as Joba in the second half. Me, I've been pushing and arguing that Joba should stay in the bullpen a la Mo in 95 and 96 and the Yankees can end the game with Joba and Mo combining the way Mo and Wetteland did in those two years. Sunday night was a must-win game. If we lose we go home. Torre brought in his best pitcher for the 7th and 8th inning, despite a 5 run lead and it paid off. Joba gave up one meaningless run, handed the ball to Mo and we won the game. if Joba pitched poorly or we lost the game or it wasn't a do or die situation, you could argue Torre did poorly. But he HAD to bring in Joba and why bring in your best pitcher for only one inning when you can bring him in for two? Five runs is nothing these days in baseball, even in the post-season.

I would argue Torre should have started Hughes instead of Clemens and that Torre should have rested Jeter and used Bettemit on Monday and can you imagine the abuse he would have received if he'd done that? But the two biggest knocks against Torre's post-season decisions -- Wang and Joba -- were partially taken out of his hands thanks to Joba rules and being overruled. He was right both times.

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