Goatriders of the Apocalypse

One other, final thought

Just a little second guessing before I go to bed tonight...

With 2 men on in the 9th, after having surrendered a run, Lou chose for Woody to walk the bases loaded after LaRussa sent in Duncan.  Chris Duncan is hitting .239 this season and he'd only faced Kerry Wood once before in his career.  

By walking Duncan and loading the bases with 0 outs, Piniella was ensuring that, barring a double play, Wood would have to face Ankiel; a high strikeout batter but with some pop.  Lou was also running the risk of Kerry walking home a run - an obvious possibility, considering that, up til then, he'd been having control issues.  On top of that, while he was having control issues, in 2008 Wood has become one of the best closers in the league.  He started out rocky, and he certainly blew it tonight, but he's been pretty damned good since the beginning of June.  If I have a closer with as much talent and stuff as Kerry Wood, I'm never, ever intentionally walking a pinch hitter, especially one with the numbers of Chris Duncan.  

In other words, upon reflection it didn't make a ton of sense for Kerry Wood to intentionally walk Chris Duncan.  Maybe there were some additional factors that I'm not taking into consideration, but at a glance, I'd call it a mistake.  Not to pile on Lou, who's done a good job so far in his career as Cubs skipper, but he came to Chicago with a reputation for mismanaging his bullpens, and while this might not be a direct example of that, in time it may become concerning.

I'm still not panicking, though. 

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