My Into Part 2...this is my first question....here goes. Hope you accept the fact that I just joined, and that I might not have back read all previous questions. The other shocking fact is that I'm not American....I live in a place where I can see all games, but not continuously...ok, let's go.
1. Injuries...nah, unacceptable, I don't even consider it. The pitching, shortstop, the catching position...nah, we had all of them covered...any club has to deal with that.
2. The manager...yes, you might want to discuss that. See my following points...he takes some blame, but I have faith, he's a decent manager. After 20 years apprenticeship, he's got the pedigree. See my following points. Roenicke gets some blame, not all.
3. Loss of Prince Fielder...at the plate, in the field...yes, we miss him. But it's not overwhelming....Aramis has come around, he's a good clean up hitter, arguably a better clutch hitter than Prince. But Aramis adds another dimension at 3b....he's good. But here we miss the intangibles...Prince was our leader...our de facto captain..as he matured, he was a tremendous motivator. He had a positive influence on other players. Now missing Prince or not...we should be over it now. I cite it as a factor in our early season play. Then, Aramis didn't get a great start...and we started the season on a stiff road trip. All factors...all combined...and all currently non issues.
4. The Bullpen...that's too obvious, why should I elaborate? See...No.2..the manager, and keep reading...he is partially to blame. I will add only...Axford has a 98 mph fastball. He has a devastating curve...but at times he has fooled around with the breaking ball too much. Synopsis...he's very good...he must stay.
So where did we go wrong? Here's what I have. I discount all above the above, which I have written, and cut to the chase right now.
We went wrong on the 3rd of July, facing the Marlins, 2nd game in the 4 game series. We took the first game, and the 2nd game, we are in total control, leading 9-2 after 6 innings.
Estrada gets pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 6th. Good move, Ishikawa walked and later scored on Braun's HR. We put up 6 runs and lead 9-2.
In comes Veras..he's ineffective. In comes Manny. He throws 8 pitches, gets out of the jam and we go to the 8th.
Now Manny is due up. The 100% correct baseball move is to have Manny hit and let him continue. Even Manny being Manny, a middle reliever, can continue even finish up the routine win, or pitch into the 9th. But no, Roenicke pinch hits for Manny, we fail to score...but we go into the top of the 8th with the 9-2 lead intact.
The season unravels as we end up using KRod and Axford, both due rest days...7 pitchers in all, 6 relievers. I had a meltdown, it was a terrible decision. I said then and there...we will lose this game and as a consquence we will lose the next 2 the following game as well.
But baseball is a funny game, Ramirez won this game with a 2 run walk off HR....but critically, we lose the next 2 games.
I would like to continue, but it might be boring. Please tell me if it is.
We were about to go 3 games under .500...we are going into the AS break and as we know, we have 6 games against 2 of the worst clubs in baseball coming up.
Anyway, that's where it all went wrong. Any bad managerial decision which followed can be traced back to this game.