Buck Showalter had all sorts of reasons for plugging veteran lefty Randy Wolf into Saturday’s start against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. There’s the experience factor, of course, and the nuanced rotation considerations, either of which would normally be enough to justify that kind of decision.
What may have put it over the top, however, was the belief that left-handers have a big advantage over the hitters in an afternoon game at Fenway Park. That appeared to be the case with Wolf, who gave up three runs on seven hits over five innings, but it didn’t seem to help Red Sox lefty reliever Rich Hill, who gave up a two-run triple on his first pitch after coming on to face left-handed-hitting Flaherty.
Maybe were making this way too complicated. It’s possible that Wolf pitched well because Showalter gave him the ball. This season is dotted with instances where Showalter made a less-than-obvious pitching decision and it turned out to be golden.
The same goes for the other buttons on his managerial keyboard. He left Flaherty in to hit against Hill instead of going with a right-handed pinch hitter. That might have been because the Orioles were a second baseman short after the beaning of Robert Andino on Friday night, but who cares. Flaherty hammered a ball to deep center to break a 3-3 tie and put Wolf in position to get the victory if the Orioles hold on.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times