This is just a hunch, but bear with me…
Something tells me that if the game is on the line in the late innings tomorrow, with Juan Encarnacion and Albert Pujols coming to the plate, Jose Mesa won’t be the guy pitching for Colorado. Encarnacion is now 9-for-14 (.643) lifetime against Mesa, and Pujols is 7-for-11 (.636).
It probably didn’t determine the outcome of the game, but it’s telling to me that La Russa made the move to get Encarnacion in the game because of that matchup — even taking a LHH out of the game in favor of a RHH, against a RHP — while Clint Hurdle didn’t do anything to avoid the matchups.
I know Mesa is your guy in that situation, he’s the eighth-inning right-hander, but sometimes the game calls for creativity, and calls for seeing a few moves ahead. TLR has his flaws, and sometimes I definitely disagree with him — but he got the matchups he wanted tonight, and Hurdle didn’t.