Last Night with the chances of a postseason berth on the line the Astros lost 6-2.
Astros fans are hella mad that Dusty used Singleton to PH when they were down 5-0 on a PA in the 7th inning where Singleton got a SF. I am THRILLED the Astros actually PH for Maldy in the top of the SEVENTH inning. It was only the SECOND time this year the Astros PH for Maldy in the top of the seventh all year.
If you don't think the Astros should use Singleton against a fastball dominant RHP for a PH, when do you think they should use Singleton?
Topa was in the game and had pitched EIGHT PITCHES. I THINK the only time this season Dusty has pulled a RP in mid-inning after 8 pitches or less is when Maton came out injured.
Yes, Brash was warming up. Pretend you are in the mind of DUSTY- not you, not me- DUSTY who overuses every pitcher he ever met. The man that would NEVER pull a pitcher after EIGHT pitches (compare with how HE let Montero go the same night earlier.
The point is DUSTY did not expect the Mariners to pull Topa in that spot. Should he have expected it? Well, based on Singleton's xwOBA vs. sliders - yes. If you expect me to assign advanced strategy thoughts to Dusty Baker or if you THINK he is going to have them, think again.
I am telling you WHY it happened. Singleton was a very good matchup for what TOPA was throwing last night. As I tweeted at the time.
Singleton is second on the Astros with xwOBA 0.464 vs. RHP sinker which is what Topa was throwing.
Dusty was out managed because Servais managed like it was the post season last night and went to Brash, and Dusty managed like it was just another of 162 games.
If you are mad Singleton was used in place of Brantley in the SEVENTH inning, I never believed he would use Brantley last night and definitively not THAT early. If anyone did think he would actually use Brantley last night, you need to learn how to translate what Dusty says into what Dusty does better.
Folks, I love the passion, but I think the anger about last night's game is misplaced. In my mind there was a much worse situation that occurred earlier in the game that made the PH situation almost irrelevant.
The worst managing move by Dusty Baker was to bring Montero into a 0-2 CRITICAL game when there was a runner on first and second in a medium 1.02 LI game in the fifth inning. Why?
What Astros fans SHOULD be mad about is that Dusty did not manage like he was in the postseason mode last night in that
- Entering the 5th inning Javier was having one of his extremely inefficient starts - 69 pitches through 4 innings
- Dusty had a VERY rested bullpen.
- In postseason mode you have to use a relief pitcher that is NOT terrible with inherited runner in mid leverage situations
Rafael Montero has been HORRIBLE with runners on base. His 0.425 BABIP in runners on situations might indicate it is all luck. I would rather not risk that in a game situation in one of the most critical games of the season.
The game LI on 9/26/23 was a very mid 1.02. Per these groupings, Montero is TERRIBLE in a 1.02 LI situation.
Montero comes in to the 0-2 game with a runner on first and second and two outs and
- gives up three singles and a walk
- Montero leaves having retired NO ONE with the bases now loaded
- the Astros now trailed 0-5.
This move by Dusty in the 5th made the move in the 7th less important than it could have been.
I wrote about Montero just last week!
In postseason mode the Astros should have Neris come in that situation.
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