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jeremyb1
04-06-2004, 02:11 AM
But the good moves and high energy were wasted because Guillen was afraid to let Billy Koch face Matt Stairs.

Matt Stairs?

This isn't as bad as the time Terry Bevington intentionally walked Tom Goodwin, but it's close. Welcome to the manager's fraternity, Ozzie.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-040405rogers,1,66954.column?coll=cs-home-headlines

He also goes on to say that Koch feels Ozzie failed him although there's no quote and Koch said in another article "I don't have a problem with Ozzie's decision. I'll put [Marte] up against any guy in the league."

Why isn't Matt Stairs a good hitter? Why shouldn't he be feared or subjected to matchups? I've seen this elsewhere and I don't understand the logic for second. He's a better hitter than about half the players on the KC roster. He hit 20 home runs in just over three hundred at bats last season. Most importantly, he destroys lefthanded pitching. Last season he hit .304/.402/.582 against right handed pitching last season! Compare that to a .176 batting average in just 74 at bats his managers were willing to give him against lefties the past three seasons and I think it makes pretty good sense to bring a lefty into the game.

Finally, why is Billy Koch considered a sure thing because he retired one of the two batters he faces (with a strikeout) and hit 97 on the gun? That somehow justifies keeping him in instead of the guy with a sub 2 era last season that is the far superior matchup when Guillen has already indicated he'll rely on matchups some in the 9th? It really doesn't take much skill to watch the game and then suggest a move other than the move that was made and pretend that would've won the game.

mweflen
04-06-2004, 02:19 AM
I agree with Rogers though on the point that if you go through Spring telling a player and the media that he has the job, you ought to back it up for at least ONE INNING in a real game.

Koch looked good during both batters he faced - he had good control, a strikeout, and Santiago muscled a jam shot out to left. He certainly didn't look as bad as Marte did, hanging balls all over the place. (of course, I admit to some 20/20 hindsight here)

I thought Ozzie managed the heck out of the game (esp. the hit and run) up until that point.

jeremyb1
04-06-2004, 02:39 AM
Originally posted by mweflen
I agree with Rogers though on the point that if you go through Spring telling a player and the media that he has the job, you ought to back it up for at least ONE INNING in a real game.

Koch looked good during both batters he faced - he had good control, a strikeout, and Santiago muscled a jam shot out to left. He certainly didn't look as bad as Marte did, hanging balls all over the place. (of course, I admit to some 20/20 hindsight here)

I thought Ozzie managed the heck out of the game (esp. the hit and run) up until that point.

Personally, I think people place far too much emphasis on established roles. Baseball players are professional athletes, they should be capable of performing in any situation. Middle relievers never know exactly when they're coming in. The only roles for relievers are really lefty specialists, closer, setup man, and long reliver perhaps. No other pitcher in the pen knows when he'll be called on.

Irregardless, Ozzie has maintained all spring that he will play matchups in the 9th inning. He had several quotes where he explained that if lefties were coming to bat in the 9th, Marte would get save opportunities which is exactly what happened this game. With a fierce lefty at bat, he called on the lefty for the better matchup. Therefore Ozzie in no way betrayed his word or let Koch down. He did exactly what he said he would.

bc2k
04-06-2004, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by mweflen
I agree with Rogers though on the point that if you go through Spring telling a player and the media that he has the job, you ought to back it up for at least ONE INNING in a real game.

Koch looked good during both batters he faced - he had good control, a strikeout, and Santiago muscled a jam shot out to left. He certainly didn't look as bad as Marte did, hanging balls all over the place. (of course, I admit to some 20/20 hindsight here)

I thought Ozzie managed the heck out of the game (esp. the hit and run) up until that point.

You've posted this elsewhere tonight and it's wrong every time you post it. Ozzie didn't lose faith in Koch; he brought in the pitcher who had the best odds of getting Matt Stairs out. As jeremyb1 wrote, Stairs's 2003 splits (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?statsId=4848) show him hitting .188 vs. lefties like Marte and .304 against righties like Koch. Not to mention that Marte is the far superior pitcher and only gave up 3 home runs in 80 innings last year and jeremy's claim of an aberration is correct.

I do see your point about naming Koch closer and then not letting him start the 9th inning, but to say that Ozzie booted Koch from the closer's role today is not true; if Stairs wasn't the pinch hitter, I think you'd have seen Koch stay in the game.

SSN721
04-06-2004, 07:41 AM
It just sounds like a lack of research on Rogers part. I agree with other posters that according to Ozzies quotes I guess he did what he was quoted as saying he would do before the season. Trusting the research of the other posters it seems like a more reasonable decision than I thought it was at the time Koch was pulled. I only wish Koch had a chance to start the inning, but then again, Politte was hot, he was pitching fantastic before the ninth. Its just so easy to second guess anything. If Marte struck out the last two batters, everyone would be saying today what a great strategic move, but since yesterdays Marte wasnt last years Marte it just didnt work out. I'm not ready to condemn him yet, or give up all hope, despite my new sig, but hey, I am still venting. :angry:

A.T. Money
04-06-2004, 09:28 AM
This matchup thing is overrated. If Koch is your closer, he faces ANYONE.

Remember when Thigpen was our guy? He faced lefties AND righties. It didn't make a difference. Eric Gagne faces lefties AND righties. Smoltz, lefties AND righties.

Hell, even starting pitchers face both for 5+ innings.

If Koch is the man, you leave him in there. It was still a 3-run lead when he recorded the first out. Even if Stairs gets a hit, you're still up by 1 with a double play set up.

poorme
04-06-2004, 09:40 AM
Koch is NOT the man. He has to prove he IS the man. Guillen has very little confidence in him and has no reason to. He has said positive things about Koch because he wants to help build up his justifiably shaken confidence.

Yorke97
04-06-2004, 09:52 AM
The thing is that we want Koch to be able to be a part of of this team, we want him to suceed. Yesterday we saw better velocity and placement than all of last year, facing two batters is not enough to access his role on the team. He will never prove anyone wrong if he isn't given an opportunity.

poorme
04-06-2004, 09:59 AM
What do you mean NEVER given the opportunity? There'll be plenty of opportunities for him to show what he can do. Marte has proven over the years to be one of the best relievers in baseball. If Koch stayed in and Stairs goes deep, Guillen would have been lambasted for not bringing in Marte.

A.T. Money
04-06-2004, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by poorme
What do you mean NEVER given the opportunity? There'll be plenty of opportunities for him to show what he can do. Marte has proven over the years to be one of the best relievers in baseball. If Koch stayed in and Stairs goes deep, Guillen would have been lambasted for not bringing in Marte.

Yeah well, fine. But Stairs didn't go deep. Instead, they bring in some other right-handed chump with 6 career homers to his name to go deep for him.

Stop second guessing.

poorme
04-06-2004, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by A.T. Money
Stop second guessing.

I'm not second guessing anyone. Well, except the people who are second guessing Guillen for not keeping Koch in.

anewman35
04-06-2004, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by A.T. Money
This matchup thing is overrated. If Koch is your closer, he faces ANYONE.


No, the "closer" thing is overrated. You should have your best reliever in at the most important time in the game, no matter what pitcher has been given a stupid, meaningless title.

Yorke97
04-06-2004, 10:30 AM
We can all say that guillen made a mistake or two with handling the pen, but ultimately it was the players who let everyone down. They have accountability too.

mweflen
04-06-2004, 11:12 AM
indeed. Marte is the guy who screwed up the most.

My point is that Koch was looking good, that's all. He had command and velocity, two things he was lacking last year. Roles aside, I think it was foolish and potentially damaging to keep him on such a short leash, when it could have been a big stepping stone in his comeback.

We have to face the fact that the guy is one of our key relievers, "closer" or not. We're paying him too much to pitch him against only two guys.

I agree on the overreliance on roles. But It always irks me when managers play "matchup" games. It dirsupts the flow of the game, it makes everything take longer, and it's an overrated statistical ploy.

The other thing is - who DIDN'T see it coming when Pena immediately pulled Stairs upon Marte's entrance? It was obvious that Stairs was not going to bat - Pena just wanted to mess with Ozzie's game plan -- and succeeded.

mweflen
04-06-2004, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by bc2k
You've posted this elsewhere tonight and it's wrong every time you post it. Ozzie didn't lose faith in Koch; he brought in the pitcher who had the best odds of getting Matt Stairs out.

I've posted it elsewhere because it's my opinion, and I stand by it. Koch should have been allowed to sink or swim on his own, because he was looking good. Matchups be damned.

Since when is Matt Stairs so feared? It's like being afraid of Brian Daubach. Sure, his splits look good, but what are his splits while pinch hitting? This is something we know ALL about...

poorme
04-06-2004, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by mweflen
I've posted it elsewhere because it's my opinion, and I stand by it. Koch should have been allowed to sink or swim on his own, because he was looking good.

I have no problem with that opinion. However, it was not an unusual move by Guillen. Plenty of other managers would have done the same thing.

jeremyb1
04-06-2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by mweflen
I've posted it elsewhere because it's my opinion, and I stand by it. Koch should have been allowed to sink or swim on his own, because he was looking good. Matchups be damned.

Since when is Matt Stairs so feared? It's like being afraid of Brian Daubach. Sure, his splits look good, but what are his splits while pinch hitting? This is something we know ALL about...

Did you read the beginning of the thread?!?! This is my biggest complaint. Matt Stairs is a very good hitter, especially against lefties. I don't think he forgot how to hit when he didn't start the game. He was a part timer in Pittsburg last season I'm sure he had pinch hitter opportunities. Sweeney and Beltre are perhaps the only guys on the team I would be more frightened of. If we can completely neutralize Stairs or get a much worse hitter in there as we did, that's the type of move you make to win a ball game unless your sixth sense tells you one of the best relievers in the game is going to inexplicably give up two home runs. Why is everyone such a bigger fan of the guy with the 6 ERA instead of the guy with the 2 ERA all of a sudden?

Konerko05
04-06-2004, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Why is everyone such a bigger fan of the guy with the 6 ERA instead of the guy with the 2 ERA all of a sudden?

Because he was the one who gave up the 2 homeruns and lost the game. If Koch gave up all the runs, there would be three threads on this board as to why Koch should never pitch in the 9th inning again.

My only complaint is I wouldn't have left Politte in the game so long. I was worried when I saw him coming in again for the 9th. This also would've allowed Koch to pitch the start the 9th with a 4 run lead and no one on base. There would have been much more room for error with a questionable closer such as Koch.

DSpivack
04-06-2004, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by Konerko05
Because he was the one who gave up the 2 homeruns and lost the game. If Koch gave up all the runs, there would be three threads on this board as to why Koch should never pitch in the 9th inning again.

My only complaint is I wouldn't have left Politte in the game so long. I was worried when I saw him coming in again for the 9th. This also would've allowed Koch to pitch the start the 9th with a 4 run lead and no one on base. There would have been much more room for error with a questionable closer such as Koch.

My thinking is Koch should've started the 9th and then they should've gone to Marte like they did. I don't blame Ozzie for putting in a guy with sub-2.00 era; what happened is either an aberration for Damaso, or a start of a bad year for him. I'm expecting the former.

ode to veeck
04-06-2004, 09:03 PM
Guillen has very little confidence in him

For good reason too and you can throw 99% of the rest of us in that camp too. Until Koch proves he's capable of being the closer, playing match-ups actually makes a lot of sense