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Deconstructing the Ninth

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I didn't get to see most of the game today, but I got home in-time to watch the eighth and ninth innings. And despite the totally awesome second straight come-from-behind win over the Pirates, I definitely was frustrated with some of the managerial decisions in the ninth inning.

Top of the Ninth:
Jeromy Burnitz: walks, but is then caught stealing second base on a 1-0 count. The decision to send Burnitz was pure folly. First, we're talking about Jeromy Burnitz here, he's not exactly a speedster. Sure, if he made it, the tying run is standing on second base... but if he gets caught you have one out and no one on base in the event something happens like oh say a double.
Michael Barrett: with the bases newly cleared, Michael Barrett doubles to right field. Had Burnitz been on first, he probably would have been held up at third.
Corey Patterson: Intentional Walk. I wouldn't have done this if I were Lloyd McClendon because it puts a guy who hits .250 with a lot of speed on first base representing the winning run.
Todd Hollandsworth pinch-hitting for Jason Dubois This move had me muttering at the TV. Hollandsworth was 0 for 15 and Dubois has been fairly clutch. Plus I was very concerned about a double play ball, and Hollandsworth at bat certainly doesn't decrease this possibility. Well, in a stroke of cosmic luck, Todd Hollandsworth smoked a ball right at Daryle Ward who managed to not only let the ball hit off his glove, but also avoided an error while he was at it. Michael Barrett scored from second, and Corey Patterson advanced to third on Hollandsworth's single.
Jose Macias: I really couldn't believe he was hitting with Aramis Ramirez left on the bench... but this decision again turned out for the better as Macias hit a sac fly to right field that drove in Patterson.
Aramis Ramirez: struck out... proving that an honest second-guesser is really no better off than a big-league manager.

Bottom of the Ninth: I could barely watch
Tike Redman doubles
Rob Mackowiak pinch hitting for Humberto Cota walks
Freddy Sanchez pinch hitting for Jose Mesa attempted sacrifice bunt that ended with Tike Redman getting thrown out at third.
Matt Lawton groundball to second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. who promptly commits an error.
Jack Wilson GIDP!!!!

With the double play, the Cubs won their second straight and fifth of seven. Ryan Dempster got his second save, Michael Wuertz his second win, and Glendon Rusch just got jobbed. He went six innings and only allowed two runs.

Oh yeah, and the series was a sweep! Things **could** be looking up.

Posted by Byron at May 18, 2005 2:47 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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