No Chapman in 8th
One of the frequently asked questions, especially when situations come up like Bronson Arroyo giving up a game-tying two out home run to Phillies pinch-hitter Chase Utley in the eighth inning on Monday, is why didn’t Dusty Baker take out the pitcher?
“Bronson is not that easy to know when to take out,” Baker said on Tuesday. “Sometimes he’ll give it up, sometimes he won’t. If you leave him in there and he gives it up, it’s ‘why didn’t you take him out?’ Then if you take him out and the next guy gives it up, it’s ‘why didn’t you leave him in there?’
“He only had 80-some pitches. We were playing at home and [Utley] was pinch-hitting. He’s a great hitter but all he could do was tie up the game. It would be different if he had a chance to win the game because we had the last at-bat. All of that comes into play.”
The Reds don’t currently have left-hander Sean Marshall for eighth-inning situations. They do have lefty Manny Parra. Of course, there is also lefty closer Aroldis Chapman. If he needs to get a lefty out in the eighth, especially during this series, Baker would most consider Sam LeCure.
While Baker admitted he’s mulled over using Chapman for four-out saves, it’s not something he plans to do this early in the season.
“Parra, they’ve had good success off of Parra – [Utley] and Howard. Real good success,” Baker said. “When do you warm [Chapman] up? Do you warm him up at the start of the eighth? That’s what you’d have to do to have him ready at the end the eighth. It’s easy to have somebody loose but you’re going to tire your bullpen out before they even get in the game. It’s easy afterwards.”
The manager is aware there is plenty of second-guessing of his in-game maneuvers.
“I was thinking about that. I wish somebody would tell me before Bronson gives it up,” Baker said.