Keith Law: According to ESPN.com, Baylor just pinch-hit for Scott
Downs … with Daniel Garibay. This, on top of a lineup without
Eric Young, Henry Rodriguez, Mark Grace, or Shane
Andrews, and that had Jeff Huson leading off until Nieves subbed for him
in the third.
Jeff Erickson (of Rotonews):
Ugh… my guess is that Baylor, a big proponent of small ball, sent Garibay
up to bunt for Downs. I guess he assumed that Garibay was a better bunter?
Either that or Garibay has a history of tearing up the Mexican League at the
plate (pure WAG here – I have no Mexican League reference materials handy).
Joe Sheehan: Yup. He laid it down successfully. I’m with Keith, though…
I don’t understand the move. If you’re only going to bunt, why not give Downs
a chance to stay in the game? Especially given 1) the Cub pen in general and
2) the way this series has gone.
Chris Kahrl: The amazing thing about it is that Garibay didn’t pitch the
night before, so why use him to bunt? Why carry both Garibay and Andrew
Lorraine? Why not have someone who can hit the damn ball on the bench?
None of this is as pathetic/feeble as Baylor’s use of Mark Guthrie to try to
get Jeff Bagwell, citing platoon data from last season. If there’s one thing
that frustrates me, its using one year’s worth of platoon data to come up
with ludicrous ideas, like that Bagwell can’t hit lefties or that Guthrie’s
.300 + BA allowed versus lefties is proof he can’t get them out (situational
lefties pitch to the best left-handed hitters in the game and right-handed
pinch-hitters, not to Ozzie Guillen followed by Trot Nixon).
This is a clear case of managers mistaking data for information.
Whatever Bill James ever had to say about Jim Frey is far more appropriate
to Baylor: not only does Baylor get surprised by what happens in every game,
he doesn’t even know how to construct a bench that might be able to help
respond to those surprises.
But man oh man, if there’s ever a team with seven left-handed pinch-hitters
on the bench and five or six more in the lineup, he’s gonna have an