Not surprisingly, I watched basically every minute of every game in both the NLCS and ALCS this year. Today I saw a pretty exciting game 7 between the BoSox and Yanks, and I saw a few good things and a few bad:
Good: Joe Torre leaving Mariano Rivera in for three innings, and putting him in in a tie game. The whole concept of a one inning closer drives me nuts. And anytime I see a manager put in his top closer with a three run lead, I want to beat him with a stick. A lot of times a manager won't put his closer in in a tie game (oh no, he might not get a save!), but this is the playoffs, so smart decisions happen. Unless you're Grady Liddle.
Good: the best thing about playoff baseball, as I stated before, is pitcher use. While this is not something you'll ever see in the regular season, this game featured five starting pitchers - Clemens, Mussina and Wells for the Yanks, and Martinez and Wakefield for Boston. You have to let it all hang out in game 7's, and for the most part both Managers did this. And Mussina, I have to say, was awesome in his first relief appearance ever, especially when he first came in with runners on first and third and 1 out. He gave up 0 runs.
Good: Mike Timlin. He pitched something like 10 innings in the ALCS, and gave up 0 runs. Even Mariano Rivera gave up a run in the postseason. Pitchers typically have an advantage in the postseason - you get to start your best pitchers more often, and you have a lot better advance scouting for a playoff opponent. Sorianos struggles at the plate are a good example of advance scouting taking a player out of the game. But even with those advantages, Timlin was awesome.
Bad: Grady Liddle leaving Pedro in. I know that he asked Pedro how he felt, and let him make the decision, but making that decision is the Managers job. All anyone talked about that game (and that series) was how Pedro felt, what was his velocity, etc etc, and while he had pitched a great game to that point it seemed obvious he was in trouble with a capital T. And while the Redsox had had bullpen problems during the year, they had everyone on their roster available since it was game 7. Either way, it didn't work out, so it's easy to second guess. All I know is when he left him in, I immediately called my brother to see if he was watching the Yankees inevitable comeback.
Bad: Joe Torre: Again I'm second guessing a manager, but I still don't get his moving Jason Giambi to 7th in the batting order. While I don't believe that batting order significantly matters, I still don't see why you would do that in a friggan game 7. Seems like a move that could easily backfire.
Oh, and in regards to my last baseball post no one read: I'm a waffle. I can't root for the Yanks. Go Marlins!