Tuesday, August 09, 2005

seven in a row for the third time this year

i have just one question after having taken in today's debacle, which delivered the third seven-game losing streak of the year:

in the eighth with two away and cubs down by one, the reds bring in ultimate-loogy kent mercker to face burnitz. burnie is 1-for-22 lifetime against mercker. the cubs have matt murton, hitting 12-of-24 against lefty pitching this year, on the bench.

no brainer, right? get murton up there, slide lawton from left into right. give yourself a chance, yeah?

nope -- not if you're dusty. you let burnitz fan swinging to end the inning.

and here's the kicker. then you sub hollandsworth in for burnitz as part of a ninth-inning double switch!

if you were going to lift burnie anyway, shouldn't you take advantage of the matchup and not let him face an at-bat that he has almost no chance of producing in? down by one late, with the game in the balance?

and why are you making double-switches in the ninth when you're down a run for a lineup spot that is due up fourth in the bottom half of the frame? if you actually did get a guy on, wouldn't you want to be free to pinch-hit according to the situation and not be tied down by your goofy substitution?

i realize you could second-guess this guy all day. and he's hardly the only reason the cubs messed in their bed today. but it really does seem that dusty has zero, zilch, nada ability to manage on his feet. it's almost like he had a plan at 11am today to get holly some time today -- and by golly, he did! and no actual game situation was going to make him deviate from the plan.

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