Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Red Sox manager Alex Cora mistakes: bringing in Chris Sale, taking out Chris Sale.

In the fourth and final game of the division series Red Sox manager Alex Cora inexplicably removed his best pitcher, Chris Sale, after Sale had cruised through his only inning, the eighth, on 13 pitches. Instead of staying with a great pitcher who was both effective and fresh, Cora followed conventional wisdom and brought in his "closer", Craig Kimbrel, who almost blew the 4-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th.

Somewhere the sun is shining. Somewhere children shout. But Giancarlo Stanton has struck out ... on a pitch he could not reach. Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 8:17 AM

The first two batters got on, making Giancarlo Stanton the tieing run at the plate. Stanton struck himself out, swinging at pitches he could not reach. The Yankees scored two and left two runners on base. Boston won 4-3. But get this, Cora never had anyone warming up in the bullpen while Kimbrel was melting down. How was removing Sale a good decision?

Actually, Cora made two mistakes with Sale. The first was bringing in his game five starter. Had Boston lost game four, who was going to start game five? The Yankees would have had a rested Masahiro Tanaka, who won game two in Boston 6-2. The Red Sox would have had to start either Sale, coming off his relief stint, or David Price, who has been ineffective throughout his career both in the tournament and against the Yankees. That's good managing?

Meanwhile Yankee manager Aaron Boone is getting killed for leaving his Yankee Stadium starters in too long. Consider the Yankee scoring:
game three: Boston won 16-1.
game four: Boston led 4-1 through eight innings.

Cora is being praised because his team hits fewer home runs than the Yankees. Some have actually praised Cora for deliberately limiting the Yankees home run hitting. Yeah, Cora told his pitchers to not throw home run pitches. Oh, except in the game two Yankee win, when Gary Sanchez hit two homers and Aaron Judge one. Maybe Cora forgot to mention it in that game. Oops. Too bad Boone didn't think to tell pitchers to not give up hits with runners on base.

The Yankees are being criticized for being too dependent on home runs. This after being praised for breaking the team home run record in 2018.

The Yankees lost games one and four by one run. The Yankees won game two 6-2. Boston won game three 16-1. So two of the three Yankee losses could have gone either way. Why didn't they?

- really bad starting pitching
- not getting enough hits of any kind with runners on base.

game one 5-4 loss:
J.A. Happ, L (0-1)245512122.501144241527352029-0.2590.70-3.3
Chad Green22001000.00924201433352022-0.0090.370.4
Lance Lynn21001200.008321912254110000.0270.181.1
Zach Britton11000109.0041284132110000.0260.350.5
David Robertson10000200.00315105320100000.0160.200.5
Team Totals88553715.6235127815011201213602922-0.1990.42-0.8
Team LOB: 10.
With RISP: 1 for 7.

game four 4-3 loss:
CC Sabathia, L (0-1)35332109.0017593522310584036-0.1571.07-1.4
Zach Britton22110315.4082718945321000-0.0220.340.1
David Robertson1.20001400.00630207581000000.0390.320.8
Dellin Betances1.11001301.69725219572110100.0280.480.8
Aroldis Chapman10000100.0031073131100000.0090.110.5
Team Totals984441214.00411511015018331212603610-0.1030.650.8
Team LOB: 5.
With RISP: 1 for 5.

The Yankees also got really bad starting pitching in the game three loss but, hey, the score was 16-1, so that loss was happening no matter what.

Alex Cora is no genius. Not yet, anyway.

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