The twins were in a close game in the late innings last night. Again. Ron Gardenhire failed to use the Twins best reliever in the late innings of a close game. Again. This is a disturbing pattern that needs to stop. Gleeman wrote a pretty good post on this topic this morning and I felt the need to discuss it further.
Why does Gardy feel the need game in and game out to fail to use Nathan unless we are up by 3 or less in the ninth inning. Seems like a dumb idea to use your best reliever (if not best pitcher) in such a narrow scope. I’m not really sure what else to compare this to. Maybe if Tony LaRussa only used Albert Puljos as a pinch hitter against tough lefties. Its a complete waste of talent to use Nathan just to rack up “saves”. I’m surprised Gardy doesn’t have Nathan pitch three innings every game and finish each season with at least 80 saves. Seems like the save might be that important to him.
On another note, I like the move to pinch hit for Gomez with Kubel against Papplebon. Gomez didn’t look to good at the plate all day, but Kubel laid off a good pitch or two that he might have been able to at least hit in the air to score Punto from third. Hopefully he realized all we needed was a sac fly not necessarily a hit. I think when a player comes in as a pinch hitter late in the game like that he tries too hard to hit a homer or something. Just put the ball in the air somewhere in the outfield and tie the game. That way Gardy can mismanage the bullpen for a few more innings and get some other mediocre reliever a loss, but keeping Nathan on the bench in case a “save” situation comes up.4 comments