We're talking about unchecked aggression here
(BTW, first of all thanks to the truly awesome Big Lebowski Quote Generator for many of my recent subject headers. Though if you click on the link, be warned that it includes some decidedly R-rated language. Anyway.)
I called Matt Holliday’s homer in the fourth tonight. Knew Micah Owings was going to make a mistake to him, and knew Holliday would pounce. And there’s a reason I was able to call it — because there’s absolutely no way Owings should still have been in the ballgame. He was clearly flagging. He’d thrown 29 pitches in the inning — twenty-nine! He’d taken a pretty good tumble on Torrealba’s ball earlier in the inning.
Oh, and it was Matt Bloody Holliday coming to the plate, only the best hitter in the stadium.
So it’s Game 4. Win or your season is done. You’ve got a very good, very deep bullpen with guys who can go more than an inning. Your starter is clearly fading and has worked extremely hard. The best hitter on either team is at the plate. It’s a two-run game and your team is still in it, but one big hit and the lead is probably too big to overcome. Why, exactly, is Owings still in the game?
(Note — Holliday is 5-for-8 against Juan Cruz, the reliever who eventually came in. So there’s that. But still.)
I like how Melvin has managed for much of the postseason. For the most part, he seems to have a grasp of the single most crucial element of postseason tactical managing — you MUST win today’s game, never mind anything after today. But I really think he dropped the ball tonight. It’s a no-tomorrow game and he didn’t seize on a chance to keep it winnable.