As fans in sports we are quick to dish out blame when our team loses. The players, the management, the owner, the coaching staff at times all can be targets for fan venom. While I will argue that 95% of the time poor play is a direct result of a player falling to execute there is another 5% fringe factor whereby a player was simply put in a situation where he has little chance to succeed. In that case the blame falls directly on the coaching/management.
For the Angels that 5% fringe happened Sunday. With the scored knotted up at 4 in the bottom of the 10th inning Mike Scioscia inexplicably summoned Fernando Rodney from the Angels bullpen. Rodney is the exact opposite of the guy you want to send to the mound in a walk-off scenario. He is wild (6.58 BB/9) and will almost surely allow a free pass at some point in the inning – setting up the other team for a manufactured walk-off.
Rewind to Sunday.
To the surprise of no one ( maybe minus Scioscia) Sunday Rodney walked the leadoff batter – before walking another (after a botched sacrifice attempt) to push the winning run to second base. After his “work” was doen Rodney was pulled from the game allowing Hisanori Takahashi to surrender the fatal blow. A walk – off hit by Edwin Encarnacion.
This was classic mismanagement of the bull pen by Scioscia. Granted Jordan Walden (another blown save) and Mark Trumbo (failure to drive in an insurance run from 3rd with 1 out in the 9th) deserve immediate blame for the loss but Scioscia’s decision to deploy Rodney was equally inept. Rodney has shown time and time again including on this road trip that he cannot be trusted in high leverage situations. So in this rare case as fans – we shouldn’t blame Fernando Rodney. We should blame Mike Scioscia for using him.
- Weekend Notes: Jered Weaver appeared to be bothered by the sign stealing allegations being rumored against the Blue Jays. I noticed multiple times during Saturday’s beat down where even with no men on base Weaver and Mathis went to the multiple signal approach usually reserved for when a runner is on second base. Looks like “The man in white” was in Weavs head. Vernon Wells and Erick Aybar is 1 for his last 39!! Jordan Walden has lost all command with his slider making him strictly a fastball thrower. It doesn’t matter how hard you throw – if big league hitters know what is coming you will get hit.