Monday, September 19, 2005

So much for sticking with one reliever

We were told yesterday that the reason the Nationals lost Saturday was that Frank Robinson made too many pitching changes in the bottom of the ninth. We've soured on Robinson, but we thought then and still think now that that criticism was unfair, but we'll play along. What's the story today? That Robinson stayed with his relievers too long?

OK, fine, we can play that game. So long as we seem to be judging Robinson using a standard of perfect hindsight, we definitely think he stayed with Gary Majewski too long in the bottom of the eighth. He should have removed Majewski immediately after Mark Loretta singled to open the inning. Yes, that's right. No, that's more than right, that's perfect because then Majewski never would have walked Brian Giles and never would have hit Joe Randa to load the bases, and he never would have permitted Khalil Greene to hit a game-tying sacrifice fly. So, you see, had Robinson pulled Majewski earlier the Padres never would have scored in the eighth, meaning that the run the Padres scored in the ninth would have tied the game, not won it!

And so long as we're playing this hindsight game, we think it was OK for Robinson to bring in Eischen to finish the eighth because Eishen got the final out of the inning without permitting any more runs to score. That was a good decision--good move, Frank. But what were you thinking when you brought out Eishen for the bottom of the ninth? Don't you know that Eischen is a situational reliever hired primarily to face lefties? Yes, we know that you were criticized yesterday for pulling Eischen too quickly, but that was yesterday, Frank? Today is a different day, and you can't expect criticism of you to be consistent, can you? Sticking with Eischen was a terrible decision because he allowed Miguel Olivo to single and then hit Robert Fick to put runners at first and second. See, that's what happens when you stick too long with a situational lefty, Frank--get with the program! And even if you were to leave Eischen in for all of that, you definitely should have taken him out before he pitched to Dave Roberts because had you taken Eischen out Joey would never have thrown Roberts' bunt past Nick Johnson, thereby allowing Olivo to score the winning run.

What were you thinking, Frank? Yes, we know you were criticized yesterday for pulling the trigger too quickly, but had you stayed with pitchers longer on Saturday and employed a quick hook yesterday we could have won both games! And had we won both games we would have a more realistic chance of making the playoffs!

Jeez, Frank, why couldn't you have done on Saturday what you did on Sunday and done on Sunday what you did on Saturday?

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