There was no reason to mess with success.
There was no reason to changes pitchers.
But Robin Ventura did.
There was no reason to lift rookie
after he threw a shockingly efficient 77 pitches in eight shutout innings.
But Robin Ventura did.
And so, the
suffered a painful loss to the Dodgers mainly because the rookie manager tried to manage a game that didn’t need managing.
With the Sox up 1-0 heading to the bottom of the ninth thanks to another spectacular outing by the strike-throwing Quintana, Ventura brought in
. The closer didn’t close, giving up a run to ruin Quintana’s potential 1-0 win. Then
gave up enough shots around Chavez Ravine and Jordan Danks badly missed one of them to complete the arson.
The loss was bad enough. Ventura’s reasoning was worse --- one of the lamest reasons in baseball.
Yes. Well. Maybe. But nobody in Los Angeles was doing it better than Quintana on Sunday, giving the Sox their best start since
’s perfect game. I mean, are you kidding me? Seventy-seven pitches in eight innings? That’s Maddux-like. How would the rookie closer do any better?
He wouldn’t. He didn’t. The Sox lost.
Here’s why I hate Ventura’s reasoning: It was kneejerk.
Let me clarify here: I like Ventura as a manager, but I hate any manager’s reason when it shows no feel for the game that was there that day.
If Quintana had been hurt or worn out from the heat, then fine, take him out. If Quintana had been on a strict innings limit, then fine, take him out. If the Sox had
in the bullpen, then fine, take him out.
But Ventura didn’t say that Quintana was hurt or worn out. Ventura didn’t say Quintana was limited by pitches or innings. And Reed’s career is closer to Marmol than Mariano, so, for no good reason, Ventura removed the guy doing the best job in
I realize that Reed could’ve gone 1-2-3, ballgame, see ya later. I also realize the Sox could’ve scored more runs earlier or in the 10
inning, and that Thornton and Danks could’ve been better.
But the situation in front of Ventura was golden: He had the best pitcher in the stadium totally frustrating the home team with three more outs to go. That might’ve meant just nine more pitches for Quintana, who is pitching himself into starting Game 3 of the divisional playoff series.
It’s possible that Quintana could’ve lost the strike zone in the ninth and blown it himself. I doubt it, but I’ll concede at least the possibility. His pitching made the strongest possible argument that he deserved that chance.