sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Sunday, October 09, 2005

.....Bobby Cox is a bit defensive about pinch-hitting for Jorge Sosa in the seventh inning of last night's 7-3 loss to the Astros:

"You got to pinch hit. It's the seventh inning. You've got (Astros closer Brad) Lidge in the ninth. You've got literally two innings to do something.....We had to try to make something happen."

I realize the era of starting pitchers batting in the late innings is over. I recently watched the famous seventh game of the 1992 NLCS, when the Braves rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth against the Pirates. I couldn't believe my eyes when Pirates starter Doug Drabek came to bat in the top of the eighth inning. Jim Leyland was (is?) an excellent manager, but he made a fatal mistake on that evening, in my humble opinion. But that was then, this is now.

Yet Cox is in a special situation with the state of the Braves' bullpen. Considering the fact that pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson couldn't spark a rally, would it not have been a better gamble to let Sosa hit so the Braves could remain within striking distance? I guess Cox realizes that if the Braves are to rally and advance in the postseason, he's going to need his bullpen. To give up on his relievers now would send the wrong message.

But no matter how Braves fans feel about Cox's managerial decsions last night, there was a true crime committed last night at Minute Maid Park:

"The retractable roof on the ballpark was closed last night on a gorgeous night, precisely so the sellout crowd could make a din...."


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